The Informant is 20 years old, a junior at USC studying Screenwriting, and is from Denver, Colorado.
Him: Yeah, I come from a big running family. Christmas morning we get up super early and all go on a 5k run together. We’ve always done it. I run with my dad like 2x a week or so whenever I’m home. And I run a 5k about 5 days a week. It’s just habit at this point. Running is a big part of my life and our family’s life.
Me: Do other members of your family still run? How has this tradition changed as you’ve grown up?
Him: I think my grandparents on my dad’s side are the ones who started it. My aunts and uncles do it too, but not with their kids I don’t think. My dad has always been a runner, and I think my mom just started doing it when they met. I’m not sure how the Christmas Run thing got started though. I don’t even remember NOT doing it. It’s always been a thing for us. It’s changed a little. When we were younger, we’d just run 1 mile or so, but now that we’re older and all still running, we bumped it up a bit. This is BEFORE we open presents by the way. I think that shows how ritualistic it is *laughs*.
Me: I know you’re from Colorado, so it can get pretty cold out there. Do you always go on a run no matter what the weather?
Him: Typically, yeah. It just might be a shorter run. It’s just a habit for us. We can’t NOT go on our Christmas Run! My dad would get sad and it wouldn’t be a proper Christmas *laughs*.
This tradition is interesting because it shows how holidays can differ among the people who celebrate it. Christmas in my household is about staying inside and eating as much as possible. No exercise required. In fact, if you exercise, you’re “doing Christmas wrong” in my house. However, in the Informant’s home, running is such an important factor in their lives that they make sure to fit it in even before opening Christmas presents. Even when they were children. Which tells me that there is a great level of significance and discipline placed on this Christmas morning run. Yet, despite the differences in how each family may celebrate the same holiday, the same intentions hold true. It’s about unity, family bonding time, and creating a sort of happiness among those you love. The different ways families choose to address those intentions will always be different according to each household.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Colorado tends to be a very athletic state. There’s snowboarding, skiing, sledding, running, etc. In Las Vegas (where I’m from), athletics isn’t a big factor at all. It wasn’t until I moved to California that I realized how important physical activity can be in social and familial aspects.