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Students Celebrate the Holidays

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 11.17.37 PM

Photo credit: Roshni Patel

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 11.17.37 PM
Written by: Communicator StaffDecember 14, 2017

By: Nicole Winans

With the fall semester coming to a close, IPFW students are looking forward to winter break from spending time with family to catching up on their favorite Netflix series.

IPFW student Kimiko Kovacs plans to spend her winter break with her family.

“I’d love to say that I plan on doing a lot of sleeping to offset all the sleeping I didn’t do during this semester,” Kovacs said. “But actually, I plan on spending as much time as possible with my family.”

Kovacs is a returning student majoring in Mathematics Teaching and has a husband and two children.

On Christmas Eve, Kovacs spends the night with her husband, watching Die Hard and wrapping presents.

In the past, a friend of Kovacs would dress up as Santa, and the kids would have to find him in the middle of the night. Kovacs and her husband would watch quietly from afar and run back upstairs.

“Both of my kids still believe since they have seen him dropping off gifts and eating cookies,” Kovacs said.

As her children are getting older, Kovacs will not be having Santa visit her house this year. Instead, the Kovacs family will be carrying on many other family holiday traditions.

They make baked goods every year for their neighbors, hide an Elf on the Shelf and have an advent calendar leading up to Christmas Day.

The kids also leave out their shoes for gifts from St. Nicholas.

“We forgot one year, and the kids cried,” Kovacs said. “He came the next night, and I told them that he probably had too many people to get to that night.”

On Christmas morning, the family opens gifts from their immediate family and eats cinnamon rolls while opening presents.

Then Kovacs begins to prepare for the larger family gathering at 3 p.m. while her husband does most of the frantic cleaning with the kids before the early dinner.

In addition to traditional foods, the family always eat Japanese food on Christmas.

“Vegetable and shrimp tempura, sushi, onigris and miso soup are always on the menu,” Kovacs said. “Sometimes we will have egg rolls too. We make way too much food.”

Another IPFW student who enjoys cooking and spending time with family for the holidays is Roshni Patel.

Patel is a Continuing Studies student who is returning to learn more about health and education.

On her winter break, Patel plans to spend two weeks visiting family in India.

“They (family) miss us, and FaceTime is just not enough,” Patel said.

Patel has grown up in the United States but has traveled to India four times since she met her husband to visit their grandmothers.

“We love just spending time at home hanging out with our grandmas,” Patel said. “They love cooking for us, and we love it too.”

One of the favorite foods of Patel is the fresh produce, such as mangos, pomegranates, custard apples, coconuts and oranges for fresh squeezed juice.

“The fruits have so much flavor there (in India) for some reason,” Patel said.

Patel also has aunts in India whom she enjoys going shopping with during her visits.

Returning student Bosco Lo prefers spending time with friends during the holiday season.

“I really look forward to hanging out with friends for sports, board games or just being able to play computer games without worrying about homework until the break is over,” Lo said.

Other than decorating a Christmas tree, Lo does not remember having many holiday traditions as a child.

“Growing up, Christmas tradition for me, was to go to my parents’ friends’ place,” Lo said. “The adults would play mahjong (a tile-based Chinese game), while I would be playing console video games or board games with my friends.”

Lo no longer spends the holiday with his parents or extended family but instead, with his friends.

In the past, Lo has attended the IPFW Global Christian Fellowship Winter House Party but plans to just hang out with friends this year.

“Personally, Christmas looks like an official day of gathering time and reflection for the year,” Lo said.