With finals quickly approaching, the Bellevue College student body is getting ready to celebrate the upcoming holiday season in their own special ways.
“I have this family tradition where I do every Christmas in New York because I used to live there,” Tina Nguyen, a junior Running Start student shared. “We always see the Rockefeller Tree Lighting Ceremony, so I’m really excited about that.” However, Nguyen isn’t the only student with family traditions during the holiday season. “We have always gone to Snowflake Lane every single year as a tradition, since I was four or five years old, and we will not miss this year either!” Nikodim Danilyuk, a freshman studying finance and economics, revealed.
The holidays are a wonderful time of connection and appreciation for loved ones. “For me, the holidays are all about spending time with family,” Running Start student Jessica Duling shared. “One staple of the holiday season is my dad’s almost child-like excitement for Christmas. … He’s the type to hang up the reindeers and stuffed Santas the moment the clock strikes Nov. 1. We have obnoxious, Willy Wonka-like lights that we string up on the trees and bushes in our front yard once the leaves have fallen. … It’s a lot of fun, the ambience is wonderful and his anticipation is contagious,” she concluded. Danilyuk shared that he and his family always light the Christmas tree together, and this year, they plan on going to “the Christmas Candlelight Service in church, as well as the Christmas present-run charity, which is a lot of fun and is very wholesome altogether!”
For most, the holiday season is typically full of light and love. “The music, festivities, films, heritage, unity and overall good-natured attitudes and loving spirits are what make it so special. There’s a palpable buzz in the air, something to look forward to. It brings joy and color to an otherwise gloomy winter season,” Duling shared. The humdrum of life “suddenly is lit with sparkling lights, nice music, different food and homey feelings no matter where you go. … People suddenly start to care about little things, and that is when the greatest moments happen. I also simply love the cold weather, rain and snow in general! Russian genes don’t die out too fast,” Danilyuk added.
A common tradition among BC students is watching festive movies. “I love watching ‘The Polar Express.’ … I always watch it every year with a cup of hot chocolate,” Nguyen shared.
Duling reminisced about the quality family time she had through holiday movies: “When my brothers and I were little, we’d watch all of the Christmas movies like ‘Frosty the Snowman,’ ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,’ ‘The Year Without a Santa Claus,’ etc. Since my brothers have both moved out of the house, we’ve outgrown those films a bit and now it’s nostalgic whenever we revisit them.” Danilyuk shared that “there is a movie which we watch every single New Year’s Eve called ‘с легким паром’ translated to ‘Enjoy the Bath!’ in English. This is a very old and very common tradition in Slavic families as that is one of if not the most popular Russian comedy from the Soviet Union.”
When asked about how she would like to see Bellevue College celebrate this holiday season, Nguyen suggested festive activities: “I know we have a few Christian organizations on campus and a few extracurricular clubs, so I’d love to see them do Christmas carols — something to really bring the students together, walking around campus. Students can join and maybe we can do themed things like … decorating — [making] personalized little snowflakes. … Somebody can hang them up in places and it would be so cute to make it more fun, cozy and homey for the students.” Duling noted how special Bellevue College is due to their student body and suggested cultural appreciation events: “BC has a diverse student body, and there are so many different holidays that people celebrate this time of year. I think it would be really cool if Bellevue hosted some kind of grand gathering for everyone to bring a bit of their culture to share, and to learn about others’!”
Danilyuk suggested that “everyone who can, go out and join a charity event. … It’s about supporting people in need, whose perception of Christmas and the holidays may be drastically different than ours, because while we might associate snowflakes with hot chocolate and presents, others unfortunately associate it with freezing wet nights and inhumane living conditions. It is also best to give to charity in-person, because the blanket or coat you buy is most likely many times better and higher quality than whatever online charity foundations end up purchasing.”