Written by Dillon Holdridge, Keagan Lanham, and Lauren Sheehan

As the holiday season rolls around, almost everyone finds comfort with family, friends, and holiday traditions. December is a month filled with holidays, and during this time of year it seems that people are more cheerful, more giving, and all around happier human beings. While a vast majority of the student body observes the Christmas holiday, many have their own customs and traditions that make this time of year very special.

Some familiar traditions include the advent calendar, Christmas caroling, and St. Nicholas Day.

“St. Nicholas brings things to put in the children’s shoes on the sixth of December. On the night of the fifth of December, I had to take each of my sons’ shoes and put them outside. To help St. Nicholas, I would have to make sure that there was something to put in the shoes,” said German teacher Mrs. Hall. She enjoys spending the holidays with her family and as a child, she loved spending this time of year with her grandmother. Hall, being of German descent, continues to carry on many German traditions and holds on to many of her favorite memories. Hall still has a present that her grandmother gave to her when she was just a little girl.

“My grandmother, who came from Germany, always made sure that we had something interesting. One year, she gave me a tambourine, a real tambourine, I still have it. It’s a very special thing to me, because kids were getting toys like a Barbie or something and everybody thought it was weird that I had a tambourine, but I look at that as probably one of the most amazing gifts I ever got,” said Hall.

Others celebrate a more culturally based holiday including Russian Christmas. Junior Andrew Bennett, celebrates two holidays: traditional Christmas and the Russian Christmas.

“Russian Christmas is just Christmas again with fewer presents, but it’s usually just having a good time with my family, because a lot of them usually come over,” said Bennett. Russian Christmas is celebrated on January 7th and is focused more on the religious aspect of Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ. There are only about 1.9% of students who don’t celebrate a holiday at this time. Some students may not participate in a winter holiday at all, but still get in on the fun, like senior Fatimah Khan.

“We think of this holiday season as very inclusive, that is true, and I enjoy this time of year. My sister always has Hallmark on 24/7. However, as a person who doesn’t celebrate a holiday in December, this is also the time of year I feel left out with no holiday to celebrate,” said Khan. There are still other students such as freshman Pierce Kimbrough, who observe other holidays, as well. Kimbrough celebrates both Christmas and Hanukkah, due to his mother being Jewish and his father being Christian,
getting the best out of both holidays.

“Christmas is special, because it’s a big family holiday and it’s a great time to give,” said Kimbrough. While Christmas is one of his favorite holidays to observe, he also enjoys the eight day celebration of Hanukkah, too.

“I have been celebrating this holiday for 14 years and some unique traditions we do is play dreidel and light our special menorah. This holiday is special to me, because it’s a good way to look into different cultures and see how different cultures work,” said Kimbrough. Both holidays share a great importance to him, but what makes it all special for him is being around family and getting to spend the holiday season with those he loves.

During this time of year, almost everyone finds joy in giving, gathering, and making others happy. Although there are many different holidays and traditions, they all spread the feeling of joy and togetherness. The winter holiday season usually makes everybody feel whole and complete, not for what they get, but rather for what they give. No matter what holiday someone celebrates, it’s the season that brings all of us together.