PAC students share holiday traditions and memories

Día De Los Muertos Alter
Photo by: Brittany Bridgeforth
Día De Los Muertos Altar  Photo by Brittany Bridgeforth

By Brittany Bridgeforth
Pulse Staff Reporter

With the holiday season hastily approaching, we all sit and ponder memories with loved ones or prepare for time-honored traditions.  

Flour, water, yeast and sugar are just a few of the ingredients that Joshua Delgado, a Cybersecurity major, recalls combining to bake Pan De Muerto, a sweet bread (pan dulce) dessert, alongside his grandmother. It is a memory he holds dear to his heart.  

Pan de Muerto is served on Día De Los Muertos, a Mexican holiday that celebrates the passing of loved ones every November 2, All Souls Day.  

“Spending time with the people that you grew up with and connecting with those you’ve lost is important,” said Delgado. 

He plans on passing the tradition to his children. It is one he remembers celebrating for as long as he can recall.   

While we celebrated the season of giving in November, a few students shared their traditions and memories of getting together with family to feast during this countrywide holiday known as Thanksgiving.  

Roger Arnold, a Liberal Arts major, reflected on a memory of the last Thanksgiving with his grandmother. He mentioned taking road trips during the holiday to Houston, Texas, as well as celebrating Thanksgiving at the family lake house. He remembered his grandmother’s favorite Thanksgiving food being pecan pie.  

With much animation, Yllen Peña, a Criminal Justice major, shared her family Thanksgiving tradition that she referred to as the Peña Tradition.  

At the tender age of 10, Peña was introduced to the family tradition her grandmother started with her nine children. No one is excluded from participating 

in the many tasks, from making tamales to preparing the Thanksgiving dinner.  

“If you’re going to eat, you’re going to help,” Peña said. 

As we move into the cheerful time of the year, traditions are starting or some no longer exist and have grown into memories.  

Savannah Echeverria, a Generalist Education major, is the founder of her family tradition of opening gifts on Christmas Eve.  

Echeverria was around the age of six when her mother gave in to her begging to open gifts prior to Christmas Day. Since then, it has been a tradition in her family.  

Hannah Ortiz, a Social Work major, said her family would travel to Piedras Negras, Mexico, to celebrate Christmas with family.  

On Christmas Eve, the Ortiz family would eat menudo, tamales and champurrado, a chocolate-based oatmeal. While the children slept, gifts would be placed around the home. 

 On Christmas morning, the family heads to church in the Market Square and visits with different vendors afterward. When Christmas evening falls, the children open their gifts, and the family has a huge party.  

“This was a moment when the whole family was together from two different countries, this memory will be cherished and shared with future generations,” said Ortiz. 

As these students give you a glimpse of their traditions and memories, maybe this will give you inspiration to start one of your own? Comment below with your favorite holiday traditions.

Enjoy your time away from Palo Alto College. Classes will resume on Tuesday, Jan. 21.

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