When you’re stuck in the snow, the only way to make it through is celebrating those holidays.
It’s why Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hannakuhh and many other important holidays (like National Ugly Sweater Day) start their celebrations in December.
We asked students what their favorite memories are during the holiday season, and this is what they told us.
Alexi S., Christmas Memory
“Every December my family and I like to kick off the holiday season by, firstly, putting up our Christmas tree and decorations and, secondly, watching all of our favorite Christmas movies while drinking delicious hot chocolate. Personally, I love and try to get my family to play “Elf,” “The Polar Express” and “The Charlie Brown Christmas” movies each year, but I have to be fair and let them play their favorites as well. Another tradition we have is going to see “The Nutcracker” play each year. Every year since I was 10, I’ve been to see the Nutcracker and it helps to really make me cheerful and ready for Christmas. I hope to continue these traditions onto my family when I get older.”
Geneive W., winter traditions
“I come from a very large family; I have about 60 cousins total between both my mom’s and my dad’s side of the family.
My first winter tradition with my immediate family is always the Saturday after Thanksgiving. On Friday, we take the decorations out from the attic to get ready. Then, when Saturday comes, we start decorating. My mom is inside doing some decorating, and my dad and my oldest brother are outside doing the lights around the house. My other brother helps my mom and my dad, and I do the same. The front door stays open all day with Christmas music playing inside and out. Meanwhile, I am going back and forth, also doing some decorating in my room. We do this all day, and by the evening we are very close to finishing. When it is too dark to finish decorating outside, we decorate the Christmas tree after ordering a pizza. Elf is playing during this!
I celebrate Christmas Eve with my mom’s side of the family. There are 21 of us total; my cousins and my siblings. We all go to our grandma’s house following the Christmas service at Mass. Since there are so many of us, we are all assigned a cousin that we give a present to, and then we all get one from our grandparents. Before opening any of our presents, we all hang out and our parents are getting dinner ready. Every year we have tamales, and the dessert changes every year depending on what the Swiss Colony magazine has to offer. After the kids eat, the adults eat and the younger kids watch a movie while the older ones do their own thing with each other. When this is over, we open our presents and then hang out for a while. Eventually, we all go our separate ways and go home for Christmas!”
Kayla T., a Romanichal Christmas
“Each year on Christmas Eve, my family and I all meet up at one of each other’s houses and we have one big feast. I always see my cousin’s kitchen filled with food sometimes there wouldn’t even be room for anybody to sit because there is food on the tables just piled on. I am a Romanichal Gypsy and Romanichal’s are all about family and love so when it comes to presents, I get my family members something I know that they will love and that is useful to them. Sometimes we change up our traditions by adding some different things such as games or like craft things with the little kids. But by far our most favorite thing to do is we all stay up until 12 then that’s when we open our presents. Usually, the tree is barely visible because the presents are always piled high one time that we needed to put some presents in the second living room which turned out to be half filled we could barely walk. Once we are all done opening presents, we eat our traditionary cake that has Neapolitan layers, but not only do we just eat it we have an old fashioned Romanichal cake smashing. We try to avoid having caked smashed in our face though because we still try to look good for the gram.”
Other holiday stories…
“My all-time favorite Christmas memory is the first Christmas I spent with my dog. He’s the highlight of my days and my first Christmas with him will always be one to remember!” – Ayden B.
“My favorite Christmas memory was when my dog had her puppies right before christmas and we got to spend christmas with puppies. I actually have a favorite winter memory too. So, my brother has a kidney disorder and he was sick every year on his birthday in January, and last year, we went to see our cousins in Montana, he didn’t get sick that year and it was a great birthday for him!” – Paul H.