Happy Holidays from your Arizona DECA State Officer Team!

Hey, Arizona DECA! We hope you are all staying safe and healthy! In this pandemic we are all challenged with new circumstances and adaptations. However, one thing that will never change is the spirit of the holiday season. We asked each state officer about the holidays they celebrate, their traditions, what the holiday means to them, and how they plan on celebrating this year.

As you read each description, be on the lookout for a number: Date, quantity, time. If you find all of the numbers, list them in district order, and direct message the Arizona DECA Instagram. By messaging us, you will be entered into a drawing to win a DECA Drip Box!

District 1 – Liam Nelson

I am celebrating Christmas! Some of my family is religious, so Christmas does still carry the general Christian aspects to it. However, for myself and my two (2) immediate family members, Christmas is more so an opportunity to be cheery during a (relatively) cold and dark time of the year. It’s also an opportunity to celebrate with family! I am celebrating with my immediate family as well as extended family from Boston and New York City. A tradition my family has is that each year, somebody, usually the oldest member of the family, reads “The Night Before Christmas” to everyone on Christmas Eve.

District 2 – Thong Vo

I celebrate Christmas during the holidays. For me, this is about strengthening bonds with my family, especially those that I only see a few times every year. Usually, I take part in holiday festivities with relatives, although this year, it is looking more likely to be a Christmas with my parents and long-distance family members over a 6-way Skype call.

District 3 – Manvi Harde

I usually celebrate Christmas and New Years’ with my family! I don’t particularly observe Christmas, but it’s always a fun time with family and I’ve loved going to masses at midnight on Christmas Eve before.

We have always had a big New Years tradition with friends across the country, but unfortunately, we won’t be able to do that this year. I’m very excited to have a more intimate night with my family, though! I also really enjoy learning about other faiths’ holidays, so I’ve been trying to observe some Hanukkah traditions as well this month.

In addition to our big New Years tradition, the 2nd thing we do without fail is to go driving with friends and family to see Christmas lights!! It’s such a simple yet perfect way to celebrate this beautiful month.

District 4 – Jacque Quesada

I celebrate Christmas. For us, this holiday is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It all is also a time to give to our neighbors and spread kindness. Every year I celebrate with my family and friends! Our annual tradition is to host a Christmas Eve open house for our family and friends to come and celebrate! After, we open our Christmas presents super late on Christmas Eve, get a few hours of sleep, and then head to the airport to spend Christmas day on a plane to Maryland. I have spent almost every Christmas on an airplane but I wouldn’t change it for the world. We go back to see my mom’s side of the family and my great grandmother. It never has bothered me that I spend Christmas day on a plane, because I am with my loved ones and once we get to Maryland we celebrate Christmas 5 different days with various family members throughout the week! Even though we will not be doing these things this year, I hold the memories close to my heart and look forward to a safe and joyful Christmas!

District 5 – Emily Anasagasti

For me, my family and I celebrate Christmas. Christmas to me means family and spending time with those who you truly love. It is a time to be grateful and look forward to the upcoming year. I usually celebrate Christmas with my parents, my brother, my grandparents, and my cousins in California! Our biggest tradition is that my mom and I bake together every year. We make my grandma’s favorite recipes and usually spend about 7 hours total in baking, that doesn’t even include decorating!! It’s my favorite tradition and I look forward to it every year!

District 6 – Izzy Yadav

My family and I celebrate Christmas! Christmas is a time to reminisce on the past year, be thankful, and spend some quality time with one another, and to make an absurd amount of cookies! Each year I celebrate with my mom and dad, we have a tradition where each year one of us has to buy matching pajamas for us all. Then on Christmas Eve all 3 of us open our pajamas and wear them on Christmas Day!

District 8 – Brinlee Kidd

My family and I celebrate Christmas! As Christians, the significance of the holiday for us is the birth of Jesus Christ. I will be celebrating with my parents and my brother. One tradition that we do each year is finding chocolate coins in our stockings on Christmas morning! My family also celebrates my birthday on December 22; right before Christmas.

District 9 – Aakash Kakkar

Every year, my family celebrates Christmas. To me, this holiday commemorates the spirit of giving and the act of spreading the holiday spirit to family and friends. I typically spend Christmas with my dad’s side of the family. We either travel to Boston, Massachusetts or their family of 4 joins us in Arizona. Due to the current circumstances, we will be Zoom calling our family and friends on Christmas eve instead of joining them for Christmas dinner. I cannot forget to mention the bread pudding my sister makes for our family every year, which is always a highlight of the holiday! Although this year looks different, I am excited to spend time with my family and relax during this holiday season.

Please take this time, spend it with your family, relax, and celebrate! We cannot wait to see you all soon! Stay safe and have an amazing holiday season, Arizona DECA! One Diamond, One Family!