Family Festivities

Traditions vary from family to family over the holidays.

Some families set up a Christmas tree, leave cookies and milk for Santa Claus, and decorate the exterior of their house with lights. Some light a candle on the menorah every night for each night of Hanukkah, eat fried foods, and play traditional games.

Whether someone celebrates Christmas, Hanukkah, or another holiday, the holiday months are always packed with tradition. Many families have their own special ways to celebrate the holidays.

“Our whole family always puts the trees together on the same day and celebrates Lent from Dec. 1 to Dec. 25,” sophomore Elizabeth Antony said. “Lent is giving up something you really like, and on the day of Christmas you get that again. It is a tradition for Christian Orthodox people.”

Though numerous families have similar traditions for the holidays, there are differences between each way they celebrate.

“My favorite tradition is spending time with my family,” junior Nicole Solomon said. “On Christmas Eve we have my family come over and on Christmas Day we exchange gifts and go out and do something together. We have gone to the movies before.”

It could be said that the holidays put extra attention on families. Though numerous people celebrate the holidays with their families, many do not.

“I like getting together with family over the holidays,” principal Tom Lietz said. “It is just fun to celebrate with people.”

Though some careers do not give any time off for the holidays, many working adults and students get time to take a break from their work or studies. This allows them to spend time with friends and family when they may not have had the time to before.

“There’s the family you have, and the family you choose. I like how the holidays give us time to get together with the family that we chose to be family with; that is always a really neat thing for me,” Lietz said. “…and eating pumpkin pie, or cannolis.”

The holidays usher in food that is special to the season. Though hot cocoa, cookies, pumpkin pie and others can be available year-round, they’re far more common for the holiday season and can bring a festive feeling along with them.

“My favorite Christmas tradition,” sophomore Mckenzie Remeselnik said. “is decorating Christmas cookies at my grandma’s house.”

Sometimes families put their own twist on an age-old tradition.

“It started because my aunts and grandmas decided five years ago that they were going to each bake a different kind of cookie and they’d all get some of everyone else’s cookies,” Remeselnik said. “Then they started decorating them and trading and eventually all the little kids became a part of it.”