By Sofia Weddle
As autumn comes to an end and the first snowflakes begin to fall, the most wonderful time of year has finally arrived. With the season of giving comes holidays from every religion and culture, as well as traditions.
Some pass down through generations upon generations of family names, while others start anew from late night Christmas movie marathons or family cookie bake-offs. Here at Glenelg High School, students from all backgrounds and stories shared their own festive activities—those most memorable, those most joyful, and those most full of love.
Apanjit Sahi, Senior
“Christmas Eve and Christmas are two separate things for my family. We don’t open presents on Christmas morning. We open presents at midnight on Christmas Eve, I guess since we’re all adults now. On Christmas Day, we eat food, spend time as a family, play board games, and do other Christmas-y things.”
Hallie Koele, Junior
“Every Christmas my family and I go to Minnesota to visit my extended family.”
Daniel Poltorak, Senior
“My grandpa makes kolache; it’s like a jelly pastry from Slovakia.”
Samantha Dixon, Freshman
“I watch The Polar Express each year on Christmas Day with my family.”
Rachel Dematatis, Senior
“For Christmas, all of my family comes over and we all eat [together]. My uncle used to be a professional chef, so he makes turkey and lamb for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Afterwards, we open presents and each person has presents from at least two different people. It’s always the day after or before Christmas, so that way we can spend time with [our immediate families].”
Devika Elakara, Junior
“For Thanksgiving, since we’re all vegetarian, [my friends and I] get together and have Vegetarian Thanksgiving!”
Hassan Malik, Senior
“During the month of Ramadan, I partake in intermittent fasting everyday. I wake up at the crack of dawn to eat my final meal, then go back to sleep and wait for sunset to break my fast. Each night, my family and I end our fasts at either my grandparents’ house or our family friend’ house.”
Subhatra Sivham, Senior
“Because I’m from Malaysia, my mom likes to make these little cookies and I always help her. They’re called daliya biscuits and they look like flours. They’re made from flour and this custard cookie. We give them out to our neighbors because we think it’s a fun Christmas-y tradition, but we also get to infuse my own personal culture into it.”
Andrew Cho, Junior
“My family always gets a Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving.”
Anna Haney, Senior
“On Christmas Eve, I go to my mom’s side of the family and we go to church first. Then we have a huge dinner and open presents together. On Christmas morning, we used to wake up really early, but now we wake up at 9 or 10 AM to open presents with my immediate family. We then go to my grandparents’ for breakfast, and this year we are hosting Christmas with my dad’s side of the family with all of my cousins and second cousins.”
Grace Perry, Junior
“Every year, my family and I go to the Christmas tree farm and try to find the biggest tree we can and cut it down with our 6-foot cross saw and try to bring it home on the top of our car. It’s always pretty hard to get into our house because it’s so big.”
Glenelg is home to thousands of traditions, each with their own background and meaning. They define not only everyone’s happiest moments, but who they are. Only through sharing these moments can they last into the future and onto the next generation. Here’s to our stories.
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