How different religions and holidays impact gift giving

December 23, 2020

The holiday season is here and everyone celebrates differently. Many people have traditions that they celebrate for certain holidays and some families have special ways they give gifts to one another.
Jacob Resnick (‘22) said, “Although we do give gifts to each other at my house, Hanukkah is more about the food and family to us. Gelt, latkes, and jelly donuts make this holiday what it is.”
Tharunika Govindasamy (‘22) said, Although my family doesn’t celebrate Christmas for religious purposes since we are Hindu, we still enjoy partaking as it’s so much fun to be invested in the Holiday season. We usually begin shopping for presents around the beginning of December since that’s usually when stores have the best holiday presents and exchange presents on Christmas morning. Due to the ongoing pandemic, my family has opted to shop online since it’s a safer option. My friends and I usually enjoy partaking in “Secret Santa” and I also enjoy sending my cousins christmas presents via mail.
Carly Fowler, (‘21) said, “In my family, I celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah. However, to make it easier for everyone we give gifts on Christmas. In my immediate family, my brother and I give collective gifts to my parents. I usually pick out the gift for my mom and my brother picks out the gift for my dad. I have a pretty large extended family, so we usually do a Pollyanna type of exchange for them.”
Angela Merch, (‘22) said, “Every year for Christmas each person in my family decides to splurge on a gift for another family member. We pick names out of a hat to see who gets who! It is so much fun trying to guess who each other’s person is. I really love spending time with my family during the Holiday season and we always have so much fun when we are together.”
Jordan Grossman, (‘21) said, “During the holiday season my siblings and I always do a “secret santa” gift exchange. It’s always fun to buy funny things for my brothers and sister and I like seeing the looks on their faces when they open my gifts. We try to open a gift each day of Hanukkah.”
Jesse Sklar, (‘23) said, “At my house this year, my family is continuing our past patterns of gift giving. We’ll celebrate each night by lighting the menorah, and then opening whatever gifts there are. We are also continuing our tradition of a pollyanna gift trade off with our cousins.”

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