Different December Family Holiday Traditions

Different December Family Holiday Traditions

Brook Harper (12th), Reporter

Every family celebrates the holidays a little differently, even if they are celebrating the same holiday. Some people celebrate with big parties with lots of friends and family and others have small family gatherings with the people who they are closest to. Some people travel and others love being home for the holidays.

Each year my family gets together and celebrates Christmas with our extended family on Christmas Eve. We all go to my grandpa’s house on Christmas Eve and everyone brings a dish or two and we have a potluck type of meal then we open presents from our aunts and uncles and all the cousins make gingerbread houses together. On Christmas day my family opens presents in the morning and after that we watch Christmas movies and bake cookies and drink hot chocolate. 

To get more of a sense of how other people celebrate the holidays I asked some classmates how they spent their winter break;

“My family is Catholic and we celebrate Christmas during December. We celebrated our Christmas by decorating our house with Christmas decor and my whole family decorates the family tree together. We also go to church in the morning on Christmas Day. After church we open presents around the tree.

Because of Covid-19 some of our plans might get scratched. Since I am Hispanic, we usually make tamales during the holidays. We get together with my cousins and aunts and we stay in the kitchen all day making tamales. We might not get to do that this year because of Covid. But instead of making tamales all together we’ll probably just make them as a family. 

Being Hispanic during the holidays is the greatest thing ever because of how good the food is. My grandma makes pozole  which is a traditional Mexican soup. There’s also tamales and pan dulce and of course Mexican hot chocolate. Christmas time is the best because of all the good food.” — Jackie M.

“[I celebrate]Christmas and New Years (this includes the Eves). My celebrations include different cultures and customs, as well as transitions. When I am with my father’s family, we have the more “traditional American” holiday food such as turkey, mashed potatoes, and green beans. We also give presents and play games with one another. 

When I am with my mother’s family, we celebrate with tamales, stories, pozole, and remembering those who came before us. Because I have family members that would be considered “high risk”, my family is choosing to keep the holiday celebration small this year. Instead of meeting up with extended family as we have typically done in the last, we are going to be celebrating with only the people in our household. Just because we’re celebrating apart, doesn’t mean that we’re any further from our family… emotionally, that is. 

Without considering the pandemic, the usual holiday get together would be quite large, which means huge portions of food are made. Ham, turkey, green beans, stuffing, and mashed potatoes are typically the foods that are eaten with my father’s family. With my mother’s family, we celebrate with pozole, flautas, tamales, arroz con leche, flan, and pan dulce.” — Myreia E.

Every family celebrates the holidays differently and there is no one right way to do it. As long as you are with people you care about and who care about you it will be a splendid holiday!