Daily Titan | Holiday Guide | December 12, 2022

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Holiday bowling party brings cheer to kids

Sigma Pi invited children to participate in a day of bowling, games and dancing just in time for the holiday season Sunday night in the Titan Student Union Underground.

The holiday party was hosted by Sigma Pi in a joint collaboration with Center for Autism and No Limits Creative Arts, a program that brings arts to kids with disabilities.

Sigma Pi members paired up with children from No Limits Creative Arts to act as their mentor for the day. They spent an afternoon bowling in the TSU bowling alleys, as well as dancing and playing board games at The Pub.

“I have a lot of privileges in my life, I didn’t realize,” said Ali Marshael, the philanthropy chairman of Sigma Pi. “A lot of these kids don’t have the same privileges that I do, so I just want to be there, show them something like they could do, that we both are doing at the same time and providing them with a good time.”

No Limits Creative Arts helps children with disabilities feel welcomed into an environment where they are able to express themselves by participating in art classes including dance, musical theater, yoga and art.

The Center for Autism is a Cal State Fullerton organization whose mission is to improve the lives of individuals who are on the autism

spectrum. The center is an affiliated partner of No Limits Creative Arts.

The children got in the holiday spirit by wearing holiday hats and headbands throughout an afternoon of activities. They received guidance and encouragement from Sigma Pi members who mentored them in several rounds of bowling.

Next door in The Pub, mentors and children accompanied each other on the dance floor, played board games and bonded over pizza in the sidelines.

“The kids have been so excited, like just watching all of their faces and then seeing the guys interacting and just the empathy and the enthusiasm,” said Carla Hutchison, the executive director and

founder of No Limits Creative Arts.

Some of the children’s parents attended the event to witness the activities between the mentors and kids.

“Well for our daughter, it’s an event that she can participate in,” said Thomas Phillips, a parent whose child attends No Limits Creative Arts. “And when she feels the inclusiveness with other students and with the mentors, it really brings out her personality.”

As a brand new event hosted by Sigma Pi, the fraternity created a safe and welcoming space for children with disabilities, said Erica Howell, a special education professor and co-director for the Center for Autism.

“It’s exciting for me as

faculty to see Sigma Pi students here at CSUF be involved in a really meaningful way on their campus and then within a community,” Howell said.

Angel Gaxiola, the president of Sigma Pi, said Sigma Pi hosts a philanthropy event every semester to raise money for the Center for Autism.

Gaxiola said hosting a holiday party with the children from No Limits Creative Arts alloweds the fraternity to see who these funds go toward.

“It’s all about outreach,” Mashael said. “If you could help one person, then you’re making a di fference in your community and especially helping kids who are local to the area.”

Ferry Baylon contributed to this story.


Holiday haters freeze the seasonal spirit

fourth-year sociology major at Cal State Fullerton.

That is not to dissuade people who have valid reasons for hating the holidays. Some people have unresolved past trauma that prevents them from spending the holidays with their families. Taking care of yourself by avoiding unhealthy home environments is a valid reason to dislike the holidays.

But regardless of the situation, Christmas is a time to relax and be together with people whose company you enjoy. It does not have to be a taxing activity, but one of joy and celebration for having made it to the end of the year.

Jorge Gamboa, a fourth-year entertainment and tourism major, enjoys the festivities and holiday atmosphere, but can understand why people might not feel the same way.

As the holidays approach, streets fill with twinkling lights and holiday cheer, but what about those who prefer to sit the holiday season out?

Not participating in the holidays for the sake of nonconformity is a flimsy reason to boycott the tradition. Those who dislike the holidays for its popularity and overjoyous atmosphere are missing out.

For some people, the contranism of hating Christmas is

appealing. However, holiday season hate is not something worth relishing.

“Everyone can have their own experiences, like they’re valid, but as far as doing it for a purpose of being cool, I feel like it’s just whack,” said Christian Moreno, a

“Everybody has their reasons but I just say, besides the fact of Christmas, I think people should just, no matter what, try to maintain a joyous moment because it is the end of the year,” Gamboa said.

Christmas can be whatever individuals want it to be and the opportunity to be a part of the celebration

returns each year.

“It’s just like a little opportunity to step away from reality and kind of just be grateful for what you got in your life and take advantage of it,” Moreno said.

As the year comes to a wrap, this is a time to find joy in the little things and give Christmas a do-over. Optimism is key and although the holidays can be stressful, there are simple pleasures to be found in this winter festivity.

People who dislike the holidays should try to put their own spin on it so they can make it more enjoyable. There is no point in being unhappy just for the sake of it.

“If you don’t like Christmas, put Halloween into Christmas, put anything that you enjoy, make christmas your own, there’s no one way to do Christmas,” Gamboa said.“No one is ever too prideful for Christmas.”

While the holidays can be stressful and anxiety-inducing for some, every year holds an opportunity to be more redeeming than the one before. It’s not worth it to stand out if it just means sulking in the corner after a long year.


Help your friends. Make a wishlist.

The last thing anyone wants is to be stressed about what to get your loved ones during the holiday season. While it’s ideal to already have a good idea of what people you love want, an old-fashioned Christmas list is even better.

Asking for Christmas wish lists seems like a cop out, because ideally we want our desires to already be understood by loved ones and close friends. But a list undeniably saves time by getting straight to the point.

Some may argue that Christmas gift lists take the surprise out of giving gifts. However, that is not the case. According to a 2011 study done by the Stanford Graduate School of Business, gift recipients are more appreciative of gifts they explicitly request rather than those they do not. Therefore, telling people what you want for Christmas is a better way to spend the holidays.

Victoria Garcia, a junior student at Cal State Fullerton, said, “If it’s a Christmas list, it’s almost, in a way, taboo. If you want exactly what you want, tell me what you want so I can get you what you want.”

We should break the taboo of asking what people want for Christmas. It is a more efficient use of time and money to make sure that someone likes their gift, rather than dealing with the hassle of gift receipts and waiting in line to return a product.

Requesting and making your own list eliminates the anxiety of worrying about if someone will like the gift you bought for them, because you know it’s exactly what they asked for.

“It’s definitely a really good feeling when I get them

something and there’s not a fake, ‘Oh, haha, thank you.’ There’s like an actual genuine reaction, even if they did know what they wanted, now that they finally have it,” Garcia said.

Valerie Madrid, a junior at CSUF, also experiences some anxiety with buying people gifts.

“It’s always a little scary getting gifts for people that you love because you know them but you might not know them,” Madrid said.

Madrid said she asks for lists from her friends because

sometimes she is not sure what they like or if they have the item already. Buying a duplicate gift that someone already has isn’t as awkward as it may feel, but having a list to go by lessens the chances of it happening at all.

Making lists is easier not only for buying gifts, but receiving them. You can even make several to send to different people to ensure you don’t get the same gifts.

Some people may argue that buying gifts by using a list means that a present doesn’t truly come from the heart.

However, that is not true. Asking someone what they would like for Christmas shows an awareness that you might not have the right idea of what to buy, but you want to make sure that they like your gift.

It is not as impersonal as it seems. In fact, it is an example of clear communication skills and that should be valued.

The first step to removing the taboo of asking what you want for Christmas is to create your own wishlist. Being prepared for the possibility that your loved ones may not know exactly what to buy for

you helps both groups manage expectations of what will be given and received for Christmas.

The second step is to ask for wish lists from the people in your life. Showing that you are accepting towards wishlists will make them feel more at ease and will definitely make your Christmas shopping experience more manageable.

Although it is a safe option, Christmas gift lists are a valid way to make sure the holiday season is enjoyable for both you and your loved ones.


How to make holidays with your family less stressful

With the holidays quickly approaching, so does the anxiety of having to make small talk with your family members. For some of us, having your entire family under one roof can be a daunting experience due to opposing ideologies, uncalled-for comments or simply the stress of organizing the get-together.

Here are some tips on how to stay calm and get through this holiday season.

Overall stress

Although anyone can deal with stress and anxiety, the holidays and family gatherings can contribute to significant stressors for many.

Portia Jackson Preston, assistant professor of public health, said the best thing a person can do during the holiday season is draw boundaries for themselves when dealing with stressful situations. Preston said these boundaries don’t necessarily have to be a list of “shouldn’ts,” but instead a list of priorities that may include going for a walk, journaling or simply setting aside time for yourself.

Boundaries can also be set when dealing with the frustration that involves family. Preston said we

should prepare ourselves for any impending arguments with family members by talking ourselves through and realizing there is no reason to fight back.

“How can I soothe myself, not because the other person deserves it, but because I deserve to live in a better existence,” Preston said.

Talking about grades or classes

Having to go home for the holidays and confront your family about possibly failing a class can feel life-ending.

However, remind yourself that failing a class is an important life lesson. Take this time to reflect on your semester and prepare for the next instead of shaming yourself.

When confronting family, be honest and take responsibility. Tell them you failed and why. Your family will likely still react, but being honest is a way to grow and make yourself feel better.

Preston said that we also need to understand that just because we didn’t pass a class, does not mean we are failures.

“You didn’t fail. You personally did not. It is a class, but it is not you,” Preston said.

Family that doesn’t accept you

Whether due to sexual orientation, gender, race or anything else, family interactions are difficult for some. But acknowledging that you have a community that supports you is critical.

These existing communities can be found on campus, with friends or online. That group of people who accept you may not be at home, but they a’re out there.

If you can, spend time with those who make you feel accepted. Family doesn’t always have to be blood relatives. So if spending time with people you consider to be like family sounds better this holiday season, don’t feel guilty about taking the time to be with them instead.

Dealing with seasonal depression

Seasonal depression is hard to endure, and sometimes interacting with family

members who don’t understand can only add to the emotional distress. Preston said that making space for these feelings and honoring these emotions are essential during this time. During this time, it is valid to move slower, do less some days and make sure not to compare yourself to others.

When exposed to family who do not understand your feelings, Preston suggests we stop looking to others for validation for how we are feeling. While we naturally seek validation, it’s not healthy.

It’s important to remember that many people also deal with depression and anxiety, and even the strongest people are going through something. No matter the reasoning, you must validate yourself by accepting that your feelings are valid.

Families that fight

Some families insist on getting together yearly, even though everyone may know that these gatherings will

likely end in arguments or fights. The build-up to seeing family can be anxiety-inducing, and the aftermath can leave you even more stressed. Although some people choose not to show up for the holidays, many may feel obligated to attend.

“First of all, let go of the Hallmark narrative—this idea that somehow everybody else’s family is perfect and your is the only one that’s messy,” Preston said.

You can’t control your family, so you must find ways to care for yourself instead.

Once acknowledging this, Preston said to ask yourself, “How do I feel?” or “What do I need?” as effective forms of validation and ways of setting healthy boundaries.

Preston said preparing to heal for these moments doesn’t have to be a big step. It could simply be realizing you need water, taking deep breaths, journaling or going for a walk to clear your head. Take time to connect with yourself and realize what you


Ranking TV’s best holiday specials

The holidays are meant to be a cheerful time to sit down with your loved ones and watch a feel-good Christmas episode.

Nowadays, there are so many Christmas episodes and specials that it can be hard to navigate which episodes to watch during your winter break. So, we’ve narrowed it down to the top five holiday TV episodes.

#1: “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

Originally airing in 1995, this episode follows Charlie Brown, who becomes the organizer of a yearly Christmas party while his friends, the Peanuts gang, take on a mission to find a meaning to the holiday season. Although this episode aired over 50 years ago, it still resonates today. Because Charlie Brown appeals to people of all ages, anyone can imagine themselves getting together with their family to watch this special. Its nostalgic factor gives it the top spot.

#2 “Friends: The One With the Holiday Armadillo” Ross tries to surprise his son by dressing up as Santa Claus for Christmas, but because all the suits are sold out, Ross comes up with the Holiday Armadillo. Not only does the episode touch on Christmas, but it also focuses on Hanukkah, as Ross attempts to teach his son about family tradition. With its classic “Friends” humor, this episode has been a classic since the early 2000s that everyone in the family will enjoy.

#3 “Full House: A Very Tanner Christmas”

This heartwarming episode, which aired in 1992, showed audiences what Christmas should be about—spending it with those you love. It’s an episode that brings back nostalgia and comfort, as you can imagine waking up to it airing on TV. Many of us can relate to the characters as we get lost in the craziness that the holiday season brings. At those moments, we must remind ourselves to relax and appreciate the ones around us.

#4 “Modern Family: Undeck the Halls”

Although this episode first aired in season one of “Modern Family,” it’s one of those episodes that you can never forget as the series continues. The kids in this family have been acting mischievous, so their parents decide to cancel Christmas until they admit their wrongdoings. Because “Modern Family” shows the perspectives of different households, there is something that everyone can relate to, from family traditions to your first memory of meeting Santa Claus.

#5 “Black-ish: Stuff”

The Johnson parents feel that Christmas has become too commercialized and instead want to show their kids the true meaning of Christmas. They come up with a plan to spend more time together, despite their kid’s protestsThis episode takes a bittersweet look at what the holidays are about. With humor and heart, it teaches us that Christmas is not about gifts but rather about appreciating what family does for each other.


Tuffy’s Table mixes boozy holiday drinks

Whatever it may be, here are three cocktails and corresponding mocktails to keep your cool this holiday season.

Cocktail: Boozy Grinch Punch

If you’re looking for a pretty cocktail with hints of ginger, Boozy Grinchy Punch is an easy no-mess

drink made with simple ingredients. Although it’s quite fizzy, this drink goes down easily and will leave you feeling cheery, despite its name.


Lemon- lime Kool-Aid, Sprite

Pineapple juice


Ginger ale

One lime

Red sprinkles or sanding sugar

Instructions: Combine the Kool-Aid

with 3 cups of Sprite, 2 cups of pineapple juice, 2 cups of vodka and 1 cup of ginger ale in a pitcher.

Add ice, pour it into a glass and rim the edge with sprinkles.

Garnish with a lime wedge.

Mocktail: Grinchy Punch

Following the same steps as above, just substitute the vodka for more Sprite or pineapple juice. You can add frozen limeade or regular lemonade for a sweeter taste. Add some

whipped cream on the corner for a creative twist.

Cocktail: Santa Clausmopolitan

This drink combines a classic cosmopolitan cocktail with festive cheer in a martini glass.


Lime juice


Cranberry juice

Triple sec

One lime


White sanding sugar

Instructions: Combine 1 cup of vodka, 1 ½ cups of cranberry juice, ¼ cup triple sec and ¼ lime juice into a cocktail shaker. If you don’t have one, a simple pouring between cups will do the job.

To garnish, rim the glass with a lime wedge juice, dip it into the sanding sugar and then top it off with cranberries.


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