U-Talk: What are some of your holiday traditions? | News, Sports, Jobs

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Tabatha Gonzales

Aadm Rubin, Special to the Standard-Examiner

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Christina Gunkle

Aadm Rubin, Special to the Standard-Examiner

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Michael Wilson

Aadm Rubin, Special to the Standard-Examiner

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Aleisya Castro

Aadm Rubin, Special to the Standard-Examiner

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Isabelle Heath

Aadm Rubin, Special to the Standard-Examiner

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“I cook an enormous meal for Thanksgiving and then after Thanksgiving dinner … we are supposed to get together as a family and decorate for Christmas. I cook for upwards of a dozen people for the most part. Right after, the Christmas tree goes up. If I can, we get the family together to decorate. It (decorating) feels like part of the glue for the family; not only is it the glue, it is something that you pass on to your kids because it is a memory. The kids are going to carry that forward if that is something that they enjoy doing. It is something to do with your family, with you husband, your children, if you are a grandparent (with) your grandchildren, your brothers and sisters, your mother and father. I feel like it forces everybody to be together and be happy. I mean, who doesn’t like decorating? People who don’t like to put them away.” — Tabatha Gonzales, Ogden

“(For) Thanksgiving, we cook a huge dinner — like two turkeys type of huge dinner. … All of the cousins ​​and aunts and uncles come over and we talk and play games and have a good time. Then, literally, after everybody leaves and we clean up Thanksgiving dinner we start pulling out Christmas decorations … garland, stockings, Christmas wreaths, fun stuff to put around the house, and a week later we pull out the tree. Then we all get together and decorate that. All of the ornaments that we have on our tree are hunting and fishing-related. For my little nephew we have a “baby’s first Christmas” ornament. … When we are done with that, we normally sit down with the baby and read him “The Night Before Christmas,” “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” something Christmasy and fun. This year, we found out that my Alexa has a Santa Claus setting, so we can get Alexa to read baby a Christmas story in Santa’s voice. Not everybody else has those traditions, so they do not get to witness how it brings everybody together; it brings everybody together in a positive warm manner.” — Christina Gunkle, Huntsville

“Spend a lot of time with family, make a lot of food. Mainly just family. … We like to go look at lights; we try to go to all of them — Ogden, Salt Lake. … Now, they have all the new LED light shows. … We are from Hawaii originally, and we have a lot of family flying up for the holidays. So, our tradition out here I would say (is) going to see all the Christmas lightings.” —Michael Wilson, South Ogden

“Definitely making and baking some goodies and treats. We like to bake cookies, and the majority of the cookies are sugar cookies. And we eat them from Thanksgiving to Christmas each night. We are originally from Hawaii. We like to play outside, big family gatherings at the beach. It is definitely different out there. But up here for the holidays — it is our second time — it is a lot different. It is definitely beautiful. We are just indoors now.” — Aleisya Castro, South Ogden

“We just bought our Christmas tree today. I have already put out all my nativeities. My husband likes to collect them, so we have little nativities all over the house from all over the world. We have one from Italy, we will be buying one from Africa this year. We decorate with ornaments every year, we watch Christmas movies. Some of our favorite Christmas movies are “A Christmas Story,” but my husband’s favorite is “Arthur Christmas.” … I think it brings people closer together, because then you have something to look forward to every year, you have your family experiences that you get to carry on for future generations and just for fun. It is important to keep the Christmas spirit alive.” — Isabelle Heath, West Haven

Photos and interviews by Adam Rubin, Special to the Standard-Examiner.

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