The snowstorm poured fresh layers of white on the ground outside. For the umpteenth time, Jimmy Do wondered when it would stop. He wanted to spend Christmas at home, not in an airport.
Now a senior, Do was 15 when his parents sent him to boarding school in Wisconsin. He liked the environment at first, but that soon changed.
“Winter came,” Do said. “It was cold; it started snowing really really hard; it was all nasty because the snow was actually really dirty and it was depressing. I was homesick in those cold, lonely nights.”
However, despite the dismal cold, Do genuinely liked Wisconsin’s Christmas atmosphere.
“It’s more like a movie,” Do said. “People came around saying hi, Merry Christmas and Happy New Years. It’s more like Christmas there.” And he was still able to enjoy the holiday at home: the snowstorm that had threatened to keep him in Wisconsin that winter was not severe and he departed the next day.
As Christmas nears, people from all regions of the United States hang up decorations. Students from states such as New York, Wisconsin, and Michigan, reminisce about their past Christmas customs and changes upon their move to Texas.
As a former resident of New York, senior Kristijana Arroyo can sympathize with Do’s appreciation for Northern winters.
“Every time fall comes,” Arroyo said, “It’s just a cozy feeling. I love the feeling in New York of a fireplace.”
When he lived in Michigan, junior Edward Chiang remembers, he experienced many special moments of Christmas. His house was located on top of a hill, so he and his friends often went sledding.
“[My neighbors] brought their slopes over and then we just had a lot of fun sliding down the hill,” Chiang said. “Some days, when it was really nice or during the breaks or a snow day or something, we’ll go skiing.”
Chiang loved to celebrate Christmas back in Michigan, but in Texas, everything was different.
“We have those miniature [trees] that are like two feet tall,” Chiang said. “But it’s not really like in Michigan because the season isn’t really seen as much. It just feels cold, it’s not like snowy.”
Senior Brenda Bonola feels the same. Snow was a bigger part of Christmas in the North.
“Over [in New York], it got so cold way long before Christmas even starts,” Bonola said. “So by Christmas, it’s snowing a lot so we can get to do many traditional stuff like make snowman and hot chocolate.”
Junior Stephanie Martinez remembers colorful lights and decorations.
“A lot of people in New York would always go all out and put those moving reindeers out,” Martinez said. “It’s like daytime at night.”
Chiang wants to recapture that “daytime” image in Texas.
“I’m going to try to decorate,” he said. “I hope to bring those Christmas traditions back.”