By Kirsten Raper, Chattanooga, Tenn. —

Final exams can be stressful, but some students are coping with this stress by knowing that they will soon be celebrating various traditions with their families over the holidays.

Some families celebrate the holidays with traditions like opening presents on Christmas or watching Christmas movies, while other families may light a menorah for Hanukkah.

For Caroline Dickey, a junior from Columbia, one of her family’s traditions includes traveling to Nashville to look at Christmas lights.

“A few days before Christmas, my family goes to the Opryland Hotel in Nashville to see the Christmas lights and displays. It’s really fun, and we’ve been going every year for around the last five or six years. It’s become a really cool tradition,” said Dickey.

Dickey said that in addition to looking at Christmas lights, she and her family always visit her grandparent’s house to eat dinner, open presents and play a well known Christmas game.

“We always play Dirty Santa, which is where each person brings a funny gift, and then we all draw numbers to see what everyone gets. It’s really nice spending time with my family,” she said.

Elise Taylor, a freshman from Nashville, said one of her family’s traditions involves one of a lot of people’s favorite food, bacon.

“My mom always bakes this maple brown sugar bacon that is really good. She makes it for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It gives everyone a reason to wake up really early, and if you’re not awake to eat it when it’s done, you don’t get any,” said Taylor.

Taylor also said that she and her family traditionally open one gift each on Christmas Eve, and then on Christmas, they open their other presents and spend time watching It’s a Wonderful Life together.

Catherine Hamby, a sophomore from Hixson, said that her family’s holiday traditions start early on Christmas.

“We usually get up around six a.m. and we open our presents. After that we all sit together in the living room and watch the 24 hour A Christmas Story special. Then around 12 p.m. we eat dinner. I love the feeling of being at home for the holidays,” she said.