The Christmas season is not only “the most wonderful time of the year,” but is also the time of year for traditions.
Many families spend each season leaving cookies for Santa Claus, watching for the Elf on the Shelf and sipping hot cocoa while watching “The Polar Express.” Each family has its own unique way of celebrating the holidays, and students at North Hall Middle School shared the close-to-heart traditions they do to celebrate the jolly holiday.
Emma Ingle, an eighth-grader at North Hall, said her family always has an unusual Christmas breakfast.
“Every Christmas morning, we get a ‘Happy Birthday Jesus’ cake to celebrate Jesus’s birthday.” Ingle said, adding she and her sister always enjoy eating the cake after opening presents.
Austin Simonton, a classmate of Ingle, said food is very important in his family during the Christmas season.
“My grandma does a special rum cake that everybody loves, and she makes her own homemade dressing,” he said.
Simonton said these dishes were passed down through generations and are still huge hits at his family’s Christmas dinners.
Fun and games are also part of the holiday season. North Hall student Reagan Britt’s family lives in Greenville, Ohio, a tiny town with a population of 30-50 people, she said. Britt said it is a tradition for her family to join them over the Christmas holiday, and she enjoys going to a Veach’s Toy Store in Richmond, Ohio.
“The toy store has two stories, and the whole upper story is filled with trains and train tracks,” she said. “Each year, we get a new train from Veach’s and we circle the trains around the Christmas tree.”
Griffin Neville, also an eighth-grader at North Hall, said he enjoys staying at home for the Christmas holidays instead of traveling like the Britts.
“We normally go see a movie and then watch the nativity story at home,” Neville said, adding his family is very important to him.
Many families have similar traditions, and many families are not aware of the similarities. Ingle and Neville said both of their families enjoy watching the nativity story. Most North Hall Middle families have special foods that are always part of Christmas mornings, including monkey bread, pigs in a blanket and berry cobbler.
For many students, the time spent with family and friends is the most important tradition there is.
“Family traditions (are) very important in our lives,” Neville said. “It’s like a ritual.”