Illustration by Nina Walker
Illustration by Nina Walker

Shopping Lists and Getting Gifts

By Celine Castaneda

Every year, the holidays are the time to get really happy because it’s the moment to spend time with family and friends, or get frustrated with the amount of gifts one needs to buy. Also there is the thought of dealing with difficult customers in stores. The holidays aren't about the gifts you buy or the money you spend. The moments and laughs with family and friends is what matters more. So bake those traditional cookies you have in your family recipe books. Sing those songs your grandparents forced you to sing. It’s the memories that count over any gift you can order online.
For students at Long Beach State University having a break means gaining quality time away from school. After what feels like a long tiring semester, students are craving that long awaited holiday break. It’s like an award for surviving Zoom classes, long lectures and crazy roommates. Oh that break seems like peace on earth. For others, the holiday break is also a time to catch up on themselves and the things they love.
The best part of the holiday break for marine biology major Carlos Diaz is revisiting the things he is passionate about. Diaz says, “I get to catch up on things I like to do that I can't because I’m busy with school work.” One of the plans Diaz has for winter break is to volunteer at the Aquarium of the Pacific. He continues, “I am also going to work at an adoption event for my other job, the pet rescue, also I'm going to work a new years party at the Aquarium of the Pacific.” After all the holiday commotion and volunteering, spending time with his family is what matters the most. Pets are family too! Tourism and recreation management major Sohyoung Shin says the “most exciting thing is seeing my dog.” People are also excited for the new year. Shin says she looks forward to “Getting through my 18 units this year and next semester, graduation!” The holidays and new year bring hope for a happier future as you leave the old things behind you.
Memories and family time are important for having a great holiday break, especially for Juan Sandoval, a business marketing major. Sandoval says, “My favorite memory will have to be the stories my mom and dad tell me and my brothers on Christmas Eve while opening the presents.” The laughs and small moments with family are what brings joy to the heart. Oh and the food? Let’s not forget the food. For the holidays, Sandoval says, “What I'm looking forward to the most is the food, especially tamales and posole.” Cooking holiday dishes every year is a great way to spend time with family
When you are younger it’s normal for the parents and other family members to cook the meals. Now that you’re grown up and in college, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and participate in the fun. Don’t worry about burning a dish or two, your family will love you the same. The holidays are not only about shopping, spending like crazy and rushing to the stores. Students also have traditions they celebrate with their families. Biology major Adora Vang always enjoys spending time with her family. When talking about her holiday plans, Vang says, “I plan to have a Christmas dinner with family where we can all cook homemade dishes and sit and have drinks together. I also plan to attend a cultural event called Hmong New Year where we can culturally dress up and shop, play, eat, and hang out with friends.” Vang, being of Hmong descent, enjoys celebrating the Hmong new years along with doing a Secret Santa with her family and friends.
The holidays are exciting and as we all count down to the day when the semester will end, we all wish for the best of times to relax with those we love. Waiting for new memories to be shared, stories to tell and old movies to watch. Just survive and pass your exams, for the best is yet to come.