Holidays are a time when friends and family come together to celebrate a special time of year. For many families, holidays not only mean laughter and love, but also tradition. Whether it is children decorating the Christmas tree or making gingerbread men, thousands of traditions are celebrated each year.

Family is very important during the holidays, but when students are off at school, they celebrate with another family, their friends. They have different and fun traditions that are made and celebrated each year.

While I have been at Auburn, I have made many wonderful friends and memories that I will never forget. Many of those memories have been made during the holidays that include traditions that began freshman year.

As the first day of December approaches, my roommates and I are always excited to purchase our Christmas tree. As much as we would love to go and pick out a real tree that would fill our apartment with that fresh Christmas tree smell, we usually settle for a fake.

Because we are in Auburn, we are also adamant about having an Auburn tree, and that means going all out. Whether it is Auburn ornaments, orange and blue lights or an Auburn tree skirt, it is all Auburn no matter what.

An important tradition that we also refuse to give up is our annual trip to the mall, and this is no normal mall experience. Although we may not be 12 anymore, we couldn’t imagine a Christmas without Aubie Claus. As if everyone doesn’t already love Aubie enough, when he dresses up as Santa Clause it makes it that much better.

As Christmas quickly approaches, and it is days before we leave to go home, we always have a cookie swap and exchange presents. The annual cookie swap is of course our favorite tradition because it involves delicious home cooked cookies made from scratch. However, little do they know, I usually go to the nearest grocery store to get mine because lets just say, cooking is not my strong point.

The morning we all leave to go home is when we exchange presents. As close of friends as we all may be, we also all have different personalities which makes for a wide variety of gifts. Although the gifts are never extravagant, that is certainly not what matters.

Wherever you may be during the holidays, what matters most is surrounding yourself with the people you love and celebrating traditions that build everlasting memories.

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