The Holiday Happenings

Abby Allen and Natalie Nowak, Staff Writer

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The holiday season is here! But what does this mean? For some, this time of celebration peaks with Christmas. For others, the big celebration takes the form of Hanukah. However, for everyone, the season is full of traditions and festivities.  

Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Leading up to December 25th, trees are decorated with lights and ornaments while stockings are hung by the fire place. The morning of the 25th, families gather under the Christmas tree and open presents delivered by Santa Clause the night before!  

Despite Christmas’s commercialization, it is not the only holiday during this time. Hanukkah, a Jewish festival, starts on the 25th day of December and lasts eight days long. Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem that was taken back from the Maccabees. For each of the nine nights, a candle is lit. Other Hanukah traditions include playing with dreidels, eating gelt, and enjoying different gifts.  

The holidays contain many different traditions for different people. For freshman Sophia Hayre, her favorite Christmas activities are “going to candy cane lane, having family dinners, and staying up until midnight on New Years Eve.”  

For everyone this is a time for family. Older siblings in college come home, families travel to see relatives in different places, and family friends gather to celebrate. Many consider reuniting with their families to be the best part of the holiday. Hayre can’t wait to spend time with her brother, who is returning from college.  

Sophomore John O’Donnell agrees that family is the best part of the holidays. He looks forward to seeing his family members because he “gets to tell stories of what he has done in the past year.” 

For junior Andrew Levinger the holiday season is very busy as his family celebrates Christmas and Hanukkah. Andrew shares how going to a Catholic school teaches him a lot about Christianity so for him Hanukkah becomes “an opportunity to learn more about a religion I know significantly less about.”  

On top of his Christmas traditions of visiting family and making Mexican pork soup Andrew and his family celebrate Hanukkah by lighting the menorah every night and saying the prayers attached to that process. Andrew looks forward to making and eating a traditional Jewish dinner of Latkes and Matzo ball soup each year. While these traditions are constant for his family, he shares how the last few years, his grandma has hilariously been shipping his family a box of 50+ fruits as a Hanukkah gift. “It started with apples and then went to pears and then last year was mangoes.”  

Prep students celebrate their holiday seasons with different traditions, people, and food every year. While the specifics of it all vary from family to family and faith to faith, the values of family, celebration, and tradition are apparent in every story. Holidays are experiencing that bond students with their roots and their families which is most likely people look forward to them so eagerly every year. Happy Holidays Seattle Prep!