Holidays this year may look and feel different. We wanted to take a step back and reflect on the different traditions that make your celebrations unique. If you are interested in sharing your stories, please email We want to highlight cultures, religions and backgrounds throughout the year to show that everyone has a place to belong in Delta Phi Epsilon. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Rose Chaikin, Delta Iota

There are always three menorah lit every Channukah in my household. My father, brother, and I all light our own each night of the holiday, reciting the brachos (blessings) on the candles in song. My mother is there as well, of course. In past years we have had group family celebrations where we get together with our grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and their families, lighting all together and playing family games. But this year, it’s just the four of us, plus my kitten. On the first night, we exchanged gifts and ate potato latkes (pancakes). Although some of the traditions are cheesy, like having dreidel (spinning tops) competitions for jelly beans or eating donuts, the fact that we are doing it as a family makes it extremely special.

Molly McCabe, Alpha Rho

Christmas traditions are what make the holiday season special to my family and I. One activity in particular that I find most magical is the annual holiday theater performance my grandparents take all the cousins to. We all dress up nice and enjoy a Christmas themed musical or play such as The Nutcracker or A Christmas Story at the local theater in my hometown. One year we actually went into the city to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular! This time spent with my family is so important to me. To get to experience this treat each year with the ones I love makes me extremely grateful to have such an amazing family. The music and laughs we all get to share make the holidays special and it’s something we all look forward to! This year we may not be able to get together and enjoy a show due to Covid-19 but hopefully the tradition can continue with time.

Michelle Hartz, Gamma Psi
Queen City Alumnae Association
Yule & Christmas

Reclaiming my ancestral Germanic/Anglo-Saxon Pagan traditions is easy in December.  Almost all American Christmas traditions have Pagan origins.  I begin right after Thanksgiving, gathering a fresh Yule tree & wreath, a couple new ornaments, candles, and other indoor/outdoor decor.  After the initial decorating, I continue to add natural elements to my Yule alter and tree, until Winter Solstice.  For 3 days, starting on the 21st this year, I light red, yellow, and green candles, on my Yule log, to welcome the changing of the season, with the return of the sun.  On the 24th, I celebrate Mōdraniht (Night of the Mothers) and Christmas Eve with food, drink, gifts, and tributes to the mothers in my life.  Christmas Day is celebrated with the completion of the Advent calendar, giving presents, eating, drinking, and family time.  I like to make desserts for special occasions, so I will be attempting to make a Yule log cake this year.  Wish me luck!

Lori Allen, Epsilon Xi

Christmas starts with all the prep. Normally, my family goes to fun events leading up the big day. The tree and decorations start going up on Thanksgiving night! Our tree is filled with ornaments, mostly glass and some that are 50 plus years old. We have 25 years of ornaments from the Milwaukee Athletes against Childhood Cancer charity, those are some of my favorites. The Christmas Mart was the special trip last year to make the season happy and bright. Hot Chocolate, shopping and loved ones – what could be better? Christmas Eve is dinner and Church at 10PM. Silent Night, which is always a tear jerker, has special meaning. We come home and open gifts with our immediate family in front of our tree. Christmas morning we are off to “Gma and Gpa’s” for coffee cake and polish sausage for breakfast. We hang out until dinner that is always kicked off with Christmas Crackers. What a Bang! Next is a show stopping dessert. Last year, my youngest daughter and I made a cake that exploded with sprinkles when you cut it. (This year is going to be homemade chocolate bombs filled with homemade vanilla ice cream. They will be opened by pouring lit-rum on to the top of then so the top melts. Please don’t tell!)  Once everything is cleaned up it will be present time. We go around in circles to open presents so everyone can see what was given. What a fun filled season filled with the light of Christ and a heart overflowing with love. So excited to have our daughters home with their men! Wishing you a joyful holiday no matter what you celebrate!