My Christmas Traditions

Eleanor, Editor-in-Chief

There are many different Christmas traditions around the world. Many regions replace the traditional American Santa Claus with other various people or even creatures. For example, in Greece, fires are lit to protect from the Kallikantzaroi, a goblin who causes mischief during the Christmas season. In Italy, children wait for the Christmas witch, La Befana. Her arrival happens on January 6th, which is the 12th day of the liturgical Christmas season.  

Also, in Great Britain there are a variety of differences from the celebrations in America. There, Christmas is also known as Crimbo and good old Santa Claus is Father Christmas. One tradition in Great Britain that cannot be missed is Christmas crackers. These crackers are small tubes embedded with a tiny explosive device that makes a large “crack” when the tubes open, hence the name ‘cracker.’ Inside the tubes, there are novelty toys and a paper crown. This paper crown must be worn by everyone; some families have even had arguments over grumpy relatives refusing to put on the festive hats. Favorite foods for the holiday season in Great Britain include turkey, bacon wrapped sausages –  a tradition, I think, we Americans should adopt – and Christmas pudding, a dense cake with dried fruit mixed throughout bread.

The holiday season is one of my favorite times of year. I love celebrating Christmas with my mom, dad, and little brother, Vincent. Every Christmas, I get to see both sides of my family. First, my immediate family and I travel Up North, usually on Christmas Eve to see my mom’s side. My grandparents live on a farm, and it is always fun to see everyone. I have a huge family, and it wouldn’t be Christmas without them. We gather together to give gifts and be jolly, and we all wait for Santa to come. Each year, he enters the house with his bag full of presents for everyone from my two year-old cousin to my grandparents. Also, all of the grandchildren get presents from aunts and uncles.

I really like trying to pick out the perfect present for everyone. I really like the food, too. My personal favorite Christmas foods are all of the desserts, particularly the cookies I really like the shortbread ginger snap that my aunt makes. She always brings a cookie platter with chocolate covered pretzels, sugar cookies, cereal balls, and lots of yummy desserts. Food is definitely a favorite part of Christmas in my household. After the party, we drive back home to await Santa in the morning.

One of my favorite feelings is waking up on Christmas morning and waiting with Vincent for my parents to wake up. It always seems like my parents take forever to get ready on Christmas morning. Then finally, after they get the video camera and are completely awake, we walk downstairs. There is a feeling of delight when we see our eight foot lit fir tree surrounded by beautifully wrapped presents. I love to be surprised by what I get and also to have my family be surprised by what I get them.

Around 11 o’clock, after we have some time to rest, my parents, Vincent, and I head over to my aunt and uncle’s house to celebrate with my dad’s side of the family. Like my mother’s side, there are many family members on my dad’s side as well, which means that there are lots of cousins my age. I have a very close relationship with my family and love spending the holidays with them. Here, there is also a gift exchange. It is fun to pick one of my cousin’s names for the exchange and be their “Secret Santa,” sneaking around to find the perfect present. I like opening gifts, but I love spending time with my family.

Togetherness is such an important part of the holidays. While presents and treats are fun, family and friends are amazing. Without them, Christmas wouldn’t be complete. Wherever you are, the true spirit of Christmas is always the same: not the food or the toys, but who you spend this sacred holiday with and the love of Christ that you share with those around you.



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