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Babson + Beyond

Holiday Traditions

Reflections on celebrations from the Babson community

Illustrations by Hanna Melin

Thanksgiving always has been one of my favorite holidays, because my family joins together without any expectations other than love and a good time. Our family has branched out and become quite large, but WE STILL ALL MAKE IT TO THE TABLE FOR THANKSGIVING DINNER. We also are really diverse, and the food options extend past turkey and dressing—potato salad, spring rolls, tres leches cake—adding to my excitement for the holiday. My family isn’t perfect. We are silly and a tad chaotic and somewhat quirky. But we all belong to one family, and Thanksgiving is a great representation of the love and admiration we hold for one another.—Taelyr Roberts ’15


Our tradition is to spend Thanksgiving weekend on Cape Cod with family in the area. That Saturday, my three children, husband, and I WAKE UP TO GO SEE SANTA ARRIVE BY BOAT in the town cove in Orleans. We all then walk to the local home and garden store, where Santa greets everyone amid displays of electric trains and Christmas decorations. Later that evening, we participate in a candlelight stroll through town and end at a tree-lighting ceremony on the village green. So begins our Christmas season!—Ali Hicks, associate dean of student affairs


Easter may not be the first holiday tradition that comes to mind, but in my wife’s family, it’s epic. Four generations gather under one roof, and WE FEAST, LITERALLY FROM SOUP TO NUTS. Escarole soup is the first course; then homemade cavatelli pasta; braciole, sausages, and meatballs with sauce; roasted lamb with vegetables and potatoes; then salad. After a short intermission, the eating begins again with fruit, nuts, fennel, coffee, and decadent baked goods. Although the food is reason enough to attend, Easter also lets us catch up and strengthen the bonds that are rarely given center stage in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.—D.Lo, interactive media technologist

The longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere is around December 21 on the eve of the winter solstice. For Persians around the globe, this night—called Shab-e Yalda (translated, the night of birth)—is full of celebration, joy, and fruit. We stay up all night talking, eating, telling stories and jokes, dancing, reading poems. Foods that are absolutely necessary include POMEGRANATES, WATERMELON, AND A BOWL FULL OF MIXED NUTS AND DRIED FRUITS. Though a large portion of this night is spent eating, its magic results from the warm, joyous time spent with friends and family.—Fatemeh Emdad, visiting assistant professor of mathematics