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Sharing Christmas Traditions

by Brianne Martin '13

As the campus community prepares for the holiday season, Azusa Pacific students, faculty, and staff members share some of their most beloved Christmas traditions.

"My family and I listen to the same Christmas CD every Christmas morning as we open presents, and my dad stops half way through to make coffee and we all eat some pumpkin bread my mom has made. Also, my dad still videotapes my sister and me opening all our presents every year as if we were still toddlers."

Michelle Colston ’13, psychology major

"Every year, my wife and I purchase an Advent calendar, usually with a religious theme. We take great pleasure in opening a window each morning and counting down the days until Christmas."

David Esselstrom, Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of English

"Going to church Christmas morning and then coming home, sitting around the Christmas tree to open up gifts as a family. We've done that my entire life and now that the years have passed we continue to do that. It's my favorite!"

Khristi Adams, associate campus pastor for preaching and spiritual programming

"Growing up in Nigeria, my favorite Christmas tradition was attending Christmas evening service, watching the nativity story re-enacted, and going around the community, in groups, singing Christmas carols and worship songs throughout the night. Now my favorite Christmas tradition is reading the Christmas story with my family under the Christmas tree every Christmas morning."

Bala Musa, Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Communication Studies

"My favorite tradition is Christmas Eve service with my daughters, their spouses, and now grandchildren. Also, watching my wife and daughters cook together."

Terry Franson, Ph.D., senior vice president for student life and dean of students

"One of my favorite things that we did every year when I was younger was to go and see the Nutcracker performed by the regional ballet company. We also had a manger set that my mom made that we would use on Christmas Eve to retell the Christmas story. After getting back from the candlelight service at church, we always open the small gifts in our stockings."

Alan Stauffer ’13, English major