Courtesy of Audrey Wilson
With Thanksgiving coming to a close and Christmas approaching, the holiday season is officially in full swing. As the season continues, kitchens will be filled with the sweet and warm scent of baked sweets, along with some old fashioned Christmas music softly playing in the background. Families are gathered together using this time to be closer than they usually would be.
Many families use the holidays as an opportunity to push away their busy lives and relax with their families. They use this time with family to do things one can’t usually do throughout the year, like watching movies and binging on snacks. Junior, Mikaley Applewhite, loves her family tradition because it gives her time to enjoy being around her family.
“My family and I love to bake, make hot chocolate, put our Christmas tree up, and go look at the lights. Our traditions are important to my family because it gives us time to all come together after having busy schedules and enjoy each other’s presence,” said Applewhite.
Last year, around the new year, the first few Covid cases hit, but didn’t have much of an impact on the holiday season. However, as the holiday season approaches, the virus has ruined the plans of many people who were planning on traveling. The holiday season tends to be the season that people travel to visit their families; however, with the ongoing pandemic, people are depending on other ways to communicate. Junior, Kami Chaddick, plans on doing the same thing she would do in her hometown just to feel like there wasn’t much of a difference.
“My mom, sister, and I have always traveled back to my hometown, Houston, and gathered with the rest of my family on Christmas Eve. We hang out the whole night and open our gifts on the same day. Covid-19 prevents us from traveling to Houston, so to stay safe, we do our own thing here. It might not be with the rest of the family, but continuing the tradition away from them makes it feel like they are still here with us,” said Chaddick.
For a lot of seniors, this is their last proper holiday season with family before they go off to college. With that in mind, they want to do whatever they can to enjoy the holidays like any other. Senior, Audrey Wilson, appreciates the time she gets to spend with her family given the time she has left before she goes off to college.
“Every Christmas Eve, before my brother and I go to bed, my mom always reads us The Night Before Christmas. I definitely do enjoy my family traditions because as I’m getting older, I’m learning to appreciate the time I have with my family. I only have a few months left at home before I head off to college, so spending time with my family is very important to me,” said Wilson.
Many traditions are started from when a person is young until they grow up and as time goes on, they push it to relatives. As time goes on, doing the same tradition every year may be boring to that person. However, if that person passes it on to younger generations, the tradition will be fun and enjoyable. Senior, Chloe Roberts, enjoys seeing her nieces and nephews enjoying the tradition that she loved when she was younger.
“A tradition for my family is that every year on Christmas Eve, we get a pair of pajamas and read the book The Night Before Christmas. This tradition hasn’t changed, but it has grown because now my nieces and nephews get to receive pajamas. Since me and my sister are teenagers, reading The Night Before Christmas isn’t as appealing to us, but our nieces and nephews love it,” said Roberts.
As generations grow older, so do traditions. Children grow into adults and start their own holiday traditions with family. Social Studies teacher, Heather Willson, has a very different tradition than when she was younger.
“I’ve gotten my little one excited and so the biggest one drives from out of town and we do a night of gingerbread house decorating. We also have Christmas Eve candlelight services, we do that with the in-laws and they like to do Mexican food. I grew up with a non-religious family, so we went out to eat on Christmas Eve and then went and saw a movie,” said Willson.
Family traditions are seen as a very important part to the holidays by many people. They use this time to be around their family and do the things they love most, like listening to Christmas music and decorating their houses.