As the calendar switches over from November to December, jingle bells and jolly begin to fill the air. On campus, the holiday spirit is evident as dorms transform into winter wonderlands, and lights are strung up around each corner. For many Stags, the holidays are a time of giving, spending time with family and spreading cheer. 

For first-year Samuel Enriquez, the holiday tradition that comes to mind is the Pickle Ornament tradition. “No, it is not a real pickle, though that would be cool,” he says.

For those that don’t know, this tradition originated in Germany. As the tree is decorated, an ornament shaped like a pickle is hidden somewhere within its branches. Whoever the lucky searcher is to find the festive fermented cucumber is rewarded with an incredible prize. Fairfield University has its own rendition of this festive tradition. Come finals week, the Dimenna Nyselius Library hides many pickle ornaments around the library for students to find and win prizes. 

Not all holiday traditions must involve a monetary reward. First-year Madison Ryder loves to attend an enchanted village each year with her family. “It’s really beautiful,” Ryder shares.

Consisting of magical lights and beautiful festive scenes, walking along the streets with some warm hot chocolate is a tradition sure to put anyone into the holiday spirit. 

Traditions can also take place inside of the home. For first-year Anna Minino, spending time with her family is everything. “Sitting by the fireplace on Christmas Eve surrounded by my loved ones, it couldn’t get better than that.” Anna attributes this time to creating some of her best memories. 

As for me, my favorite tradition has to be decorating the tree. Turning on a cheesy Hallmark movie and rummaging through boxes of ornaments is an aspect of decorating I look forward to each year, despite the dust constantly making me sneeze. Not only does a well-dressed tree transform a home into a winter wonderland, but it is a prominent symbol of the love and the giving that the holiday season is all about. 

Oh, and don’t you all forget, a beloved Fairfield tradition, the Tree Lighting Ceremony is coming soon on Dec. 5 at 6:15 p.m. The holiday spirit is complete with caroling from the Glee Club, hot chocolate and other treats and even free Stag merch to keep you warm this winter! You better not miss it!

As the winter season rapidly approaches, the days may seem darker, but Fairfield University is illuminated by the holiday spirit of its stags. Through tradition, the student body is not only able to promote giving, cheer and spending time with loved ones, but each Stag is granted the opportunity to practice these values, curating a happy holiday season for all.  

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