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Get to Know the Staff: Holiday Traditions

The holiday break is upon us. The time of giving, family, celebration: the most wonderful time of the year. Children, waiting for a man dressed in red, behave to the best of their abilities. A man with presents, a hopeful symbol, will bring children joy once a year. People light menorahs sitting in windows and come together to commemorate the holidays. And with that, comes celebrating traditions.

I saw down with reporters from The Devil’s Advocate to learn how they celebrate this time of year. Reporters Lynne Thomas and Lyric Harris both were looking forward to spending time with family. They expressed excitement about being able to see family members and spending Christmas day with them while they exchange and open presents.

Devon Patenaude added he is most looking forward to sleeping in and opening presents, something Ms. Thomas immediately voiced her excitement about as well.

Katie Lehr, a freshman reporter, also looks forward to spending Christmas Eve with her extended family. “That’s one of my favorite parts of the holiday season.”

When the topic of holiday traditions came up, most reminisce on holidays spent with their families and were looking forward to opening presents in the early morning and eating Christmas desserts. Mr. Patenaude talked about his younger brother waking him up early Christmas morning. “One time, around one, I was as usual, having a lot of trouble sleeping so I just hear my door open thinking that it’s my mom coming into my room, but no. Turns out it’s my brother who got up at one to crawl into my bedroom. To crawl into my bed specifically.”

Adia Bennett, Abigail Denhart, Erin Diggins and Tiernan Pyle are all eager to celebrate Christmas with their friends during their break. Ms. Denhart remembers building a sled jump out of snow with her family and spending hours sledding down it one year.

Ms. Diggins talked about going to church on Christmas Eve to celebrate Christmas, and has nativity scenes at her house to celebrate the holiday. She said that although being Catholic does not play huge part in her holiday season, “it does have an impact on [her] traditions.”

Ms. Harris, Ms. Thomas, Ms. Diggins, Ms. Bennett, and Ms. Lehr all affirmed their love of receiving presents and Santa. Ms. Denhart and Mr. Patenaude both liked the food, enjoying matzoh ball soup and chocolate, respectively.

For Ms. Pyle, “it’s always just been the Christmas spirit, like Santa, and the lights, and the music.” Everyone agreed they all still enjoyed those parts of the holiday time, but all unanimously agreed that now they enjoyed spending time with their family a lot more as well.

Ms. Bennett added that Christmas music was also a plus during the festive time of the year, and Ms. Pyle and Ms. Denhart were quick to agree. “‘The Hanukkah Song’ by Adam Sandler, and I can sing you the prayer, if you want,” Ms. Denhart offered for songs about Hanukkah, which she celebrates with her family. “Anything Ella Fitzgerald,” Ms. Bennett intervened, “I feel like she’s got a really good album.”

The conversation quickly turned to the topic of eating, and everyone shared their love of holiday food. Ms. Bennett said her favorite cookie is the sugar cookie, while Ms. Denhart enjoys cookies with Hershey’s Kisses in the center of them and loves her family’s latkes.

Ms. Harris explained her intricate dinner plans with her family every year. “Every year, my family makes something different, so last year we had roast beef and we had salmon. And then this year, I think we’re having pot roast and Frutti di Mare.”

“We make a gingerbread house, a giant one” Ms. Thomas said. “And then we eat it.”

The holiday season means different things to different people. Many members of The Devil’s Advocate feel this time should be spent with your family and friends, and being thankful to celebrate with them. Others feel people should spread joy to others this time of the year, and be mentally present. For me, the holiday season is a chance to celebrate during the break and enjoy the time off with family, friends, or other loved ones, getting ready to ring in the new year.