Holiday Traditions within IHS

Haley Goode, Staff Writer

No matter what holiday you celebrate during this time of year, there are usually fun and classic family traditions that go along with it, anything from specific food, movies, or games. Other than the stereotype of just sugar cookies, ugly sweaters, and Santa, there are special traditions that maybe only a few families participate in. Let’s hear what kids at Issaquah High do with their family and friends during the best time of the year.

During the first winter break, a lot of families celebrate Christmas at the end of December. Freshman Hazel Terry says, “Well, for my family and I, we celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. We finish lighting the Menorah and play the dreidel game which is really fun with my family.” The dreidel game is a family gambling game made up of the four different sides of the dreidel. Each side represents how much money you either take or give. There is the Nun, take none, Shin, put in, Hey, take half, and Gimmel, take all. Terry adds, “We do not celebrate these holidays religiously, but it is really nice to learn about them and the culture around it and appreciate it. For the Christmas traditions, we put up a tree and decorate it with my sisters, we also make gingerbread houses and frost some sugar cookies and watch my favorite Christmas movie, ‘Elf’.”

Another big part of the holidays is the religious side of Christmas. Sophomore Cal Marshall shares, “I was born and raised in a Christian household. I was always told the story of the birth of Jesus and going to church.” Christians celebrate the birth of Christ on Dec. 25. Mary was visited by an angel named Gabriel and was told she would be having a son named Jesus and it would be the son of God. Marshall also explains, “My family and I give gifts to each other and write funny nicknames on the to and from tags. My sister and I usually make Christmas cookies for dessert for our family after the big Christmas dinner. This is my favorite holiday because I love reading the full story of Christmas and now I can fully understand it now that I am older and why I am Christian. It is very important that we celebrate it with my whole family and some of my friends that are Chrisitan too.”

Junior Sydney Hostetter also can relate to Marshall: “We always go to the night service on Christmas eve to hear the story of Jesus. Being Christian is very important to me and I was always taught that.” Hostetter adds, “Usually my family and I make a big dinner after the service, always with my grandparents and other extended family. It is also tradition for us to watch the movie ‘Home Alone’ while we eat our dessert, snowball cookies my grandma and I make every year. My family and I also read different scriptures of the Bible together and talk about what it means to us. Some traditions that are very special to my family, is we all sleepover at my grandparents house and make a big breakfast the morning after Christmas. We also let each other open one gift on Christmas eve, which are usually clothes to wear to the church service or other things that can be helpful on Christmas day.”

Even if you are older now and not a little kid, the traditions can still carry on for years. Senior Matt Fullmer celebrates Christmas religiously, but also keeps the traditional belief in Santa alive: “Christmas is a national holiday celebrated all around the world and people can bond over their religion. I celebrate this holiday with my whole family and a tradition that we do every year is leave cookies out for Santa. I have done it ever since I was little and I still love doing it to be honest.”A big part of Christmas is the believing in Santa Claus. This story starts in the third century when Saint Nicholas became a patron saint of all children and protector of children and sailors. It is said he gave away all his inherited wealth and traveled across the world to help the poor and the sick. Now, kids across the world wait for Santa through the whole month of December for him to come down the chimney and leave presents for them in the middle of the night. It is traditional to leave milk and cookies and a note for him somewhere near the tree. Fullmer explains, “My brother and I were always told we had to go to bed early or else Santa wouldn’t come and bring us presents.”

All these traditions are what make every holiday so special during this time of year. Religiously or not, coming together with family and celebrating togetherness is what matters. With the break coming up, it gives students time to relax and spend time with their loved ones.