Algonquin students share how they'll be celebrating the holidays this year. Photo credit: Akira Cooper & Kavya Nair

It’s that time of the year again: the snow starts to fall, decorations appear and twinkling lights go up creating the perfect holiday scene.

But this will be a holiday season like no other. Christmas 2020 along with Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Diwali will be experiencing a modified celebration period due to COVID-19.

As Algonquin students march into the final weeks of their fall semester, they’re still beginning to get into the festive spirit, however. Wishing for some Christmas magic and keeping their spirits held high, many are choosing to celebrate the Holidays with some tweaks and adjustments. Here’s a sneak-peak into some of their Christmas plans.

Name: JP Beaumont

Program: broadcasting- television

“I’m going back to Toronto to hang out with my family,” Beaumont said. “Usually I go to my sister’s and see some other friends back home but this year it’s just going to be me and my dad.”

Name: Ethan Biafore

Program: broadcasting- television

“I’m just going to spend it with my family, play some lacrosse with my pals,” Biafore said. “I think we’re all just going to gather regardless. We live on a pretty big property out of town but probably only 10 or 11 people anyway.”

Name: Ethan Fink

Program: broadcasting- television

“We’re probably just going to stick with immediate family,” Fink said. “We usually have big family dinners with my aunts and uncles and everyone but this year there will be no dinner.”

Name: Ghita El Janaty

Program: broadcasting- television

“I’m going to be spending it with my COVID-19 bubble,” Janaty said. “We’re doing this gift exchange thing like secret Santa but everyone is everyone’s Santa. What we normally do is have a huge family dinner with my friend’s family but this year me and my friend are hosting ‘Friendsmas’ at her place because we both have at-risk grandparents.”

Name: Melinda Constant

Program: massage therapy

“It’s just going to be a super relaxed holiday: me and my fiancé and our dogs,” Constant said. “Normally I’d be visiting my family up in North Bay and for New Year’s I would be going to the east coast.”

Name: Pasha Tchountchouzon,19

Program: hospitality and tourism

“I’ll probably just be staying at my own house with my parents and no big dinner since the rest of my family is in Russia,” Tchountchouzon said.

Carter Normand, broadcasting-television
Carter Normand, broadcasting-television Photo credit: Akira Cooper

Name: Carter Normand

Program: broadcasting-television

“COVID-19 hasn’t affected my Christmas spirit,” Normand said. “Though, it has taught me to appreciate family and not take life for granted. This year’s festive season is all about gratitude and relaxing.”

Chris Hue, broadcasting- television
Chris Hue, broadcasting- television Photo credit: Akira Cooper

Name: Chris Hue

Program: broadcasting- television

“My family and I go for skating together and have the customary secret Santa,” Hue said. “Continuing the tradition, we’ll be going skating but have a virtual secret Santa. I’m looking forward to the break.”

Bridget Lutz, hotel and restaurant management
Bridget Lutz, hotel and restaurant management Photo credit: Kavya Nair

Name: Bridget Lutz

Program: hotel and restaurant management

“I am hoping Christmas to be as fun as every year,” said Lutz. “My plan is to spend the break with my immediate family. Nothing much has changed for me except for having a smaller get-together.”

Sarah Darling, food service worker
Sarah Darling, food service worker Photo credit: Kavya Nair

Name: Sarah Darling

Job title-food services worker

“The Christmas spirit is really down this year,” said Darling. “I live alone, so getting to meet my family would be the highlight. I’ll be driving to London, Ont. to meet them. We’re having a small gathering and we’ll be exchanging gifts. It’ll definitely help me lighten up.”