The end of the semester is quickly approaching, and soon after it will be Christmas. As BYU-Idaho prepares for Christmas, people all around the world are also preparing for the popular holiday.

The most wonderful time of the year brings with it the most wonderful traditions around the world. Some of these traditions include the Day of the Little Candles in Columbia, the Giant Lantern Festival in the Philippines and the Gävle Goat in Sweden.

Most people return home during the holiday season to be with family and celebrate these traditions. While several of the students at BYU-I will travel across the state or country, there are few that will be traveling out of the country to be with their families.

Emily Daniels, a junior studying elementary education, was partially raised in Japan. Although Christianity is not Japan’s primary religion, there are still some families who celebrate Christmas.

“If you do celebrate, its eating KFC and a white cake with strawberries,” Daniels said. “Those are things you do with family or loved ones. It’s super chill and there’s not a ton of gift giving.

According to, eating Kentucky Fried Chicken on Christmas became a tradition in Japan starting in 1974. The company started a campaign called “Kentucky for Christmas” and offered a party barrel filled with their famous fried chicken.

For some countries, spending time with family for Christmas is good enough.

“My grandparents lived on farmland, and we would all go over to their house on Christmas,” said Gillian Gwezere, a sophomore studying geology, of growing up and celebrating Christmas in Zimbabwe. “My aunts and uncles and cousins come, and we all just eat, talk and sit around a fire. Our biggest tradition was spending time with family.”

While we all enjoy putting up decorations, spending time with family and decorating cookies, it’s important to remember the true meaning of Christmas: the birth of Christ. As you celebrate, make sure to include Christ in your list of Christmas traditions this year and the years following.