Holidays fill the calendar
December 23, 2022
Students and staff from Patrick M. Villano School are excited for the upcoming winter break. In addition to the time off from school, some people are celebrating holidays. Hunter Sapio is a sixth grader who is excited for Christmas. The holiday ranks high on his list of yearly celebrations.
“I love seeing my family and I love the Christmas spirit. I’d rate it 9 out of 10,” Sapio said.
The sixth grader at Patrick M. Villano School shared a yearly family tradition. “Every year after decorating the Christmas tree, we put a pickle ornament for a German tradition.”
Sixth-grader, Cora Kahofer, also shared a holiday tradition.
“I celebrate Christmas. I enjoy seeing my family and giving gifts. My family and I have this tradition called Yankee Trading” Kahofer said.
Yankee Trading is similar to another gift-giving game called White Elephant. People purchase random holiday gifts for a set price, place them in a pile, then takes a number. The person who is number one chooses a gift to open. Then, the number two person picks a gift and can unwrap it or swap it for an unwrapped gift. The game continues until everyone has a gift.
Secret Santa is another gift-giving game. Before the holiday, a group of people agree to secretly purchase a gift for oen person. Buyers and recipients are revealed only when the gifts are exchanged on Christmas Day.
Another tradition is decorating a tree in honor of Christmas. According to History.com, “The history of Christmas trees goes back to the symbolic use of evergreens in ancient Egypt and Rome and continues with the German tradition of candlelit Christmas trees first brought to America in the 1800s.“
Christmas is celebrated every December 25 in honor of the birth of Jesus Christ. During the winter months, other people celebrate eight days of Hanukkah or Chanukah. This Jewish holiday begins on Sunday, December 18 and ends Monday, December 26.
The website History.com states: “Often called the Festival of Lights, the holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games and gifts.“
Rosey Schaefer, a sixth-grader, celebrates Hanukkah.
“You celebrate Hanukkah by lighting the candles and getting one present each night,” Schaefer explained.
There are also traditional Hanukkah foods such as fried potato pancakes and jelly donuts. Another Hanukkah tradition is lighting candles on a menorah. One candle is lit each night of the celebration.
Another holiday celebrated in December is Kwanzaa. Kwanzaa is from Monday, December 26 to Sunday, January 1, 2023. According to History.com, the holiday was created by a professor at California State University in 1966. Dr. Maulana Karenga wanted to bring African Americans together as a community, so he researched harvest celebrations. “Karenga combined aspects of several different harvest celebrations, such as those of the Ashanti and those of the Zulu, to form the basis of the week-long holiday,” states the website.