Seasons greetings

Reflections on the Season of Lights


Emmeline Roney

Winter break means something different to each student.

Bailey Vydareny, Staff Writer

It’s the holiday season! Everyone has a different way of celebrating the season, but all traditions seem to circle back to spending time with friends and family.

Traditions and December festivities start at all different times depending on when some holidays begin.

Though Christmas and New Year’s is celebrated over Holiday Break other December holidays don’t fall over the school’s off weeks.

“I’m Jewish, so I celebrate Hanukkah by lighting a menorah (which is a candle holder with nine spots), eating fried foods, and exchanging gifts with family members,” Talora Deaner ‘21 said.

This year, Hanukkah takes place during the first week of December. Hanukkah is “The Festival of Lights” and is celebrated for eight nights.

“My favorite thing about Hanukkah is that it’s a nice time to spend with your family and you get to do the same thing that Jewish people all around the world are doing,” Deaner said.

Something everyone can enjoy no matter their December festivities is two weeks off of school.

“My favorite thing to do on break is go on road trips and visit my family because we make the most memorable memories,” Elsa Hossain ‘21 said.

Hossain, who doesn’t celebrate a specific holiday during December, said that her favorite part of the holidays is “the light and happy atmosphere that is full of giving and spending time with family and friends.”

Deaner agrees that spending time with friends and family is an important part of her holiday break.

“I like to relax and enjoy the winter weather by doing things like ice skating, spending time with my family, and hanging out with friends,” Deaner said.

Miriam Stolle ‘22, also enjoys spending time with her friends over break.

“My friends and I love to ice skate and explore small cafes,” Stolle said about her favorite things to do over break.

Along with spending time with friends over break, Stolle celebrates Christmas with her family.

“We always eat a special breakfast, egg souffle, before opening presents on Christmas Day,” Stolle said.

Quintin Steers ‘21 Christmas traditions revolve around family too.

“Normally on Christmas Eve my family hosts a Christmas party, so all my extended family from my mother’s side comes and we exchange some gifts, we eat dinner, and we cook most of it,” Steers said.

Steers Christmas celebrations with family continue on Christmas day.

“The next day, we go to my grandma’s house and open some more presents after our own Christmas celebration and we eat lunch there,” Steers said.

While December seems to commonly become a month revolved around Christmas, many other religious and non-religious celebrations occur as well.

“I think something that not everyone understands about Hanukkah is that it isn’t ‘Jewish Christmas’ – Hanukkah is much less significant compared to other Jewish holidays, and a lot of the traditions people participate in today are new and less meaningful,” Deaner said.

Though the month of December may not mean as much to Deaner as it does to others, she and her family still celebrate.

“American Jews also have their own Christmas traditions – going to the movies and getting Chinese food,” Deaner said.

Hossain doesn’t celebrate a specific holiday during December, but she does celebrate later in the year.

“I celebrate Eid which is celebrated in a similar way as Christmas, Easter, and Hanukkah,” Hossain said.

Though Hossain’s main celebration isn’t in December, she is a true believer in “Christmas spirit”.

“I believe that the holiday season means a time (no matter what) of year to celebrate and give back to the community through religious holidays,” Hossain said.

This outlook of the holidays is one more individuals should try to emulate.

The concepts of spending time with family, friends, and giving to those who aren’t as fortunate is a way that anyone can celebrate the holidays, no matter religious affiliations.

However different celebrations seem to be, all holiday activities are rooted in spending time with friends and family.