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U-Talk: What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?

By Staff | Dec 5, 2022

Tiana Lao, Special to the Daily Herald

Gregory Heredia

“Making Christmas ornaments. We do all types. We do pinecones, paper dolls, so we can hang them on the tree. So every year we make our own ornaments and put it on the tree, and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. We use paper, cardboard, pinecones, anything. Branches off of another tree, a corn on the cob. We hang it on the hooks that they come on. I have two daughters and two grandbabies now, and hopefully if I can get the dollars before Christmas, I’ll be doing that with them for the first time — with my grandbabies.” — Gregory Heredia, Orem

“For the holidays, we usually find somebody who’s in need and surprise them. Take a little gift, drop it off, and knock on the door anonymously. We’ll do it with people around our neighborhood that we know are having hard times. Usually, when my kids were younger, it was really fun — they would help. We would let them go drop it on the door, knock, and then run. When we talk about favorite holiday memories, they are always talking about that: either leaving gifts or food.” — Rowdy Symmons, Orem

“What we usually do, like around Christmas, is we get Christmas pajamas and we all open them up on Christmas eve. That is probably one of my favorite things to do. Another thing that we do, like during the holidays, is always find a family who needs some help, whether it’s with food or Christmas gifts, and we always go out and give someone a good holiday. It’s either through a church or sometimes, like random restaurants will have Christmas trees with the names on them, you know? Someone who needs something.” — Kasey Gibson, American Fork

“Having a neighborhood party. Everyone brings some food, and we do a white elephant gift exchange where we all bring a present, and we have numbers, we draw names, and you get to pick the present and open it, and the next person can either steal your present or pick another one. It’s the only time that I like stealing. So that’s really fun, and then my kids have gotten older now, so they don’t really like to do it, but growing up — and I grew up in California — we would go to selected neighbors and sing songs to them. We are not good singers, but we usually take them a little treat.” — April Zushi, Orem

“I think the biggest thing is just getting all the family together. That’s always been just the best part of it. When I was little, we’d all gather together at my grandma’s place. She had six kids and each of those kids had at least four kids, so you are packing all those kids in there. Plus, all the parents, it’s just a lot, so people are tripping all over each other, and we pass out presents, so they’d be going over each other’s heads, there’s wrapping paper everywhere, there’s chaos, but you just love that pandemonium, you know? So that’s the biggest one, is family, getting together.” — Joel Bean, Saratoga Springs

Tiana Lao, Special to the Daily Herald

Rowdy Symmons

Photos and interviews by Tiana Lao, Special to the Daily Herald.

Have a suggestion for a question you’d like us to ask? Send it to hepstein@standard.net.

Kasey Gibson

April Zushi

Joel Bean


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