Road trips, cruises and presents among Titan Christmas traditions

Bust out the eggnog and ugly sweaters; it’s Christmas time.

Students at the University of Detroit Mercy are preparing to celebrate the holidays with family and friends in a variety of ways – once they get those pesky finals out of the way, that is.

Most say they appreciate the break from schoolwork to return home, set up decorations, play Christmas music and give and receive presents.

William Cage, a junior Mechanical Engineering major, said he looks forward to the holiday season because he gets to see his two older siblings who both live out of state.

The family, he says, plays board games like Monopoly, listens to music and enjoys a large dinner that includes cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, a turkey with dressing and a few different vegetables.

“I am always eager to get to dinner because it feels like a second Thanksgiving for me,” Cage said.

He said his most memorable Christmas was in 2013, when his parents got him a new Xbox One with the video games like Grand Theft Auto Five, Madden 13, and NBA 2K13.

“It was a Christmas to remember because I enjoyed playing those video games years after with friends,” he said.

Cage said he’s excited for Christmas to come so that he can enjoy time with his family and see the smiles on the faces of his family members from the gifts he bought them.

Erica Francisco, a junior in the Health Service Administration program, said her traditions include “having a good breakfast with my family, going to mass Christmas morning, opening presents after mass, watching a movie with my family and eating a big meal with them in the evening.”

She said they usually don’t travel to see extended family and relatives because most live in the Philippines, but they do chat over Skype or FaceTime.

She said her favorite present was concert tickets and that she still fondly recalls the Christmases of her childhood.

“I vividly remember celebrating Christmas around the years of 2009- 2011 because all our close family friends in Michigan would come together to eat, play games, exchange gifts and take lots of pictures,” she said. “I really miss those days, because everyone has grown up and we do not get to see each other as often anymore.”

Most Michiganders are used to white Christmases, or at least cold temperatures, but Carrie Green, a freshman Biology major, equates Christmas with palm trees and sunshine.

She said each year, her family takes a road trip to Orlando, Fla.

“My family and I drive from Michigan to Florida in one go, which is about a 20-hour drive, but it is all worth it as we begin to see the palm trees when we first get there,” she said. “We spend a week in Florida doing various activities such as going to theme parks, going to beaches and enjoying the weather.”

Green said her family usually goes to Magic Kingdom and Universal Studios. She said she loves all the different Disney rides at Magic Kingdom and her favorite is Space Mountain.

Her favorite ride at Universal Studios, she said, is a Men In Black- themed ride.

Sophia Carter, a junior Business major, is also leaving the state.

“I am very excited for Christmas to come this year because we are planning to go on a cruise,” she said. “I have never been on a cruise before and have also not been outside the country yet, but the cruise line is set to be going to Costa Maya, Cozumel, and Honduras. This will be such a special trip for my parents and younger sibling who is just as excited as me.”

Carter says the family plans to open presents before the trip. Once they board the ship, she’s looking forward to the food, games and live shows, on top of seeing the different countries when the boat docks.