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Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree

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By Adriana Gutierrez

Holiday traditions are important to many people. “Traditions remind us to stop being busy and take time to reconnect and build bonds,” said senior Kaylene Ramos.

“Traditions are a wonderful way to pass down family values to children, who will keep passing them on,” added senior Carlos Diaz.

“This is something to do together and helps you make new memories,” said sophomore Lucia Hernandez.

Many students have positive holiday memories. “The best Christmas I have ever had was when we went skiing in Canada. Even though what I mostly did was fall, I felt like an adventurous person,” said junior Kevin Martinez. 

Sophomore Keyla Alonzo’s unforgettable memory was when she was little, and she would get responses from Santa. She remembers seeing him hiding a gift under the tree, and when she got caught him, Santa told her to stay on the nice kids’ list.

On the other hand, some Christmas memories are not always merry. “I remember my parents had a massive screaming match during Christmas lunch that resulted in my mom storming out of the room and going to cry in the kitchen. It was the worst,” said junior Jasmine Arroyo.

Freshman Alicia Ortiz remembers when her family went up state and it was freezing cold, and when they checked, they weren’t prepared for that weather, so they couldn’t enjoy it as much.

Family gatherings are the most special thing during this time. “Every time Christmas is here, me and my family travel to California to spend it with my grandparents,” said junior Javier Rodriguez.

Sophomore Ashley Perez said that her family makes each year unique by spending the evening in a different relative’s house. “Our family has a passion for games so we all get together and have a game night,” said freshman Oscar Lopez.

Holiday season is often gift giving season as well. “I usually get clothing, and I’m happy with that since I love fashion,” said freshman Jasmine Torres. Junior Daniel Vardez said he gets videogames for him to rate on his YouTube account.

“It doesn’t matter if we exchange gifts. That’s that not the point of Christmas; sharing time is,” said freshman Lizandra Olivera. The best gift is to spend time with the people you love the most and cherish each laugh and smile together, added junior Caroline Gutierrez.

The deep affection for food and baking also takes over during this time. “My mother gets so intense with baking that we go all week with cupcakes and muffins for the whole neighborhood,” said junior Karla Rodriguez.

As a Puerto Rican, junior Jennifer Acosta said that a roast suckling pig known as lechon is a must on the table.

“The panettone is a must in our family,” said sophomore Gabriela Nunes. “When we used to live in Italy, we adopted that tradition.”

The bacalao is a Mexican dish the freshman Alberto Diaz’s “abuelita” (grandma) always prepares for everyone to enjoy.

Decorations play a key role in people’s holiday. “It’s the one time of the year when we really want our homes to shine,” said math teacher Mr. Brborich. Sophomore Kenia Alonzo added that her family uses things like faux fur, rustic wood finishes, metallics, plaids and greenery which bring a cozy and magical feeling to spaces.

For junior Alejandro Miller’s family, decorations are meant to be something fun which is why they try not to repeat themselves each year.

When it comes to religion, winter holiday might be a time to show your beliefs.  “We go to mass; it’s a way of having spiritual stability and identity,” said freshman Amanda Fernandez.

“In our family we celebrate Hanukkah. We use a menorah (candelabrum) to bless each night of the holiday,” said sophomore Josh Epstein.

 

 

 

 

 

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