Students and families share holiday customs

Students and families share holiday customs

Gabrielle Buchanan, Staff Writer

The Stroudsburg area is culturally diverse, with people who practice a variety of different religions and speak different languages.Ai?? They also celebrate holidays in unique ways.Ai??Holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah, and Ramadan have a different meaning for every family, even if they are celebrated at similar times of the year.Ai??

ai???I celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas,” said junior Kyra Davey. “My family has incorporated both holidays into our household for almost 40 years (and counting). Ai??We put up a Christmas tree which we also call our ai???Hanukkah Ai??We also have a menorah that we light each night. Ai??We have a fairly new tradition where we wrap 25 books under the tree and open one starting on December 1, and read it as a family before bed up until Christmas

The word Hanukkah means dedication. The original purpose of the holiday was to honor the re-dedication of the second temple in Jerusalem. One of the important toys involved with Hanukkah is the dreidel.

The original purpose of the dreidel was to trick soldiers into believing students were playing a gambling game, when in fact the students were really studying Torah. Torah is the central reference of Judaism. Now, the dreidel is known as a toy made of plastic or wood for display or play.

People also like to celebrate Christmas by making food. ai???My family usually makes flan and lots of sweet cakes,”Ai?? said sophomore ai??ZJose Hurtado. “For Christmas night we like to make salads with a bunch of Spanish food. My extended family and even some of my momai??i??s friends come over.”

The first celebration of Christmas took place on December 25 in 336. The purpose of Christmas was for people to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. As year continue to pass, some people find that Christmas is the best time to be thankful for each other, while giving to those cherished and in need.

Of course, one famous figure always appears during this time of year: Santa Claus.Ai?? Interestingly, in 1804, he was first depicted as the figure most people are familiar with today.Ai??His red suit was created by the Coca-Cola Company advertisements in the 1930s. During the Christmas season, many children are urged to be good kids, so Santa Clause will deliver presents to them.

Some families develop traditions for Christmas, such as watching movies and going out to eat. Junior Kyra Davey explains some of her own traditions.

ai???We watch the Polar express every Christmas Eve and get the metal popcorn tins,” she said. “We then go over to my grandparents’ house and we typically go out to a Chinese restaurant for Christmas dinner because itai??i??s also my mother’s birthday and she doesnai??i??t feel like cooking so itai??i??s fine. Ai??We also leave our decorations up in my house until around Easter.”

Approximately, 80 percent of American will put up a Christmas tree this year. Ninety-two percent say they typically put up a Christmas tree when they were children. About half of Americans (51 percent) say they see Christmas as a religious holiday, while 32 percent view it as a cultural holiday.

Senior Nadia Soto spends her Christmas in New York, and she goes to her familyai??i??s house. Sotoai??i??s family opens gifts on Christmas morning. Ai??

ai???We usually have a giant party,ai??? said Soto. ai???My entire family is there, from extended to immediate,ai??? she added.

The holiday season mean a lot of different customs to a lot of different people. For most people, though, they still revolve around spending time with family and loved ones.