From a signature meal prepared on Christmas morning to going out and cutting down a tree together, most families have holiday traditions they do every year. The holiday season at the University of Idaho has many of the on-campus living groups following their own holiday traditions.
Every year, the fraternity of Alpha Kappa Lambda goes out as a group and carols in front of all the sororities on campus.
“It’s all in the spirit of the season and it ends up being a blast,” Alpha Kappa Lambda member Zach Maryon said.
Braving the elements, the men of Alpha Kappa Lambda sometimes bring instruments to go along with their caroling.
“We’ve had times where we’ll have musical accompaniment, because some guys in our house play piano or guitar to go along with the songs,” Maryon said.
Within the fraternity, they also do a voluntary Secret Santa exchange.
“Most of the gifts are just fun gifts that we get (to prank) each other,” Maryon said. “It’s not necessarily always serious things that you get and that’s part of the fun of it.”
For the holidays, the women of Steel House come together and have a big dinner.
“It’s a time for us to come together at the house,” Steel House president Alyse Armstrong said.
After the feast, the residents do activities.
Other than the feast, the Steel House also gets a Christmas tree to put up for the holiday season.
“The executive board goes out as a group (and) cut down a tree and then bring it back to the house,” Armstrong said.
This year, Targhee Hall is participating in the Residence Hall Associations hall decorating contest. The winner of the contest this year gets $400 donated to their hall.
“We’re decorating it more than we have before,” Targhee Hall president Anne Wardlad said.
Like Steel House, the residents in Targhee also have a big dinner for Thanksgiving and Christmas to come together for the season.
“Basically it’s just kind of working with everyone and/or eating with everyone,” Wardlad said.
Delta Zeta Sorority gets together every year and has an ugly sweater party. During the party, the sorority members have a themed gift exchange.
“This year we did a white elephant gift ornament exchange,” member Kate Cole said.
Each person involved made an ornament to be given in the exchange.
“We all ran around the room and stole each other’s ornaments for an hour and then we got to open them at the end and we all had a surprise ornament from someone,” Cole said.
During the academic year, most people become pretty well acquainted with the people they live with and the holidays offer up a chance to become closer. Something as simple as a prepared meal together can be enough to get into the spirit of the season and give everyone some extra cheer right before Finals Week at the university.
Jared Jonas can be reached at email@example.com