The Ultimate Hangout for the Holiday Season

CSI’s Women’s Center is preparing to host a festive gathering to celebrate the holidays.

By Drew Donato

The holiday hangout will kick off in Building 2N on December 13.

Photo Credit: Drew Donato

As the holidays approach, many individuals in CSI’s community have different plans for the season and one event on campus aims to unify others in a celebration.

CSI’s very own Bertha Harris Women’s Center will be hosting a Holiday Hangout on December 13 from 2:30 to 4:00 pm. It will present an opportunity for campus community members of all cultures to come together and celebrate the season.

Planning an event such as this takes a lot of careful consideration and organizing. One vital element of the celebration will be the variety of food that will be present, as the holiday season is usually renowned for its many treats.

There is a wide variety of treats to be found, something the Women’s Center was highly aware of in their planning. John Walsh-Lopes, an intern at the center, notes that every member of the community has their own preferences; a deep researching process was necessary to plan accordingly. 

 “We plan our snacks list by polling with our visitors and staff, finding out what our interns and frequent visitors think are the best snacks to purchase,” said Walsh-Lopes. “For an event like the holiday hangout, we also look at snacks associated with the season. That is why we have tiny Gingerbread houses as one of the highlights for this event!”

The gingerbread house-building is highlighted in the event’s promotion. Gingerbread treats have been synonymous with the holiday season for years and different members of the CSI community enjoy the treat, including student Anthony Trezza.

“I’m quite fond of gingerbread and sugar cookies,” stated Trezza. “I like the taste and I usually don’t have gingerbread at any other time of the year so it’s a treat.”

Even with the treats being so renowned, many do wonder why exactly are Gingerbread treats so popular during the Holidays? The Caroline Cookie Company’s article Why Do We Eat Gingerbread Cookies at Christmas? searched for an answer. 

The article explains that making gingerbread houses was a German tradition, later popularized in nineteenth-century England by German-born Prince Albert and Queen Victoria. 

The Prince had brought the Christmas tree tradition over and the common people started using edible ingredients such as gingerbread to decorate the trees while emulating the Queen. 

As more people traveled to the Americas from England and to other places, this practice steadily spread to other regions as well. 

Besides Gingerbread-based treats, other treats will most likely be present, ranging from brownies, cupcakes, candy canes, and many more. Should people vote for their favorites as Walsh-Lopes advised, they will most likely be included in the event. 

In addition to the treats, visitors can expect to have a fun and relaxing time. One of the goals of the hangout is to create a relaxing gathering to celebrate the end of the semester and start of the holidays. 

Each aspect of the hangout is concocted specifically for that chill atmosphere, as the Women’s Center aims to maintain a stress-free environment.

As this event is being held in a COVID-focused world, there are still some precautions being taken into account and student Mariam Elhanafi hopes that people will remember them on the day of the celebration. 

“I would like it if people still put precautions in mind,” said Elhanafi. “So that it could be a safe, fun environment.” 

Indeed, the Women’s Center has prepared accordingly while monitoring COVID, in order to ensure a safe and joyous celebration. 

“Our strategy is one of adaptation,” said Walsh-Lopes. “We are constantly changing our strategy to better suit the evolving situation.”

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