Staff and students take part in differing holiday traditions


Makenna Miller

Keita Gain is standing by the Christmas tree in the band room 111. Photo by Makenna Miller on December 7, 2016.

Makenna Miller, Sidebar Editor

Keita Gain, a junior, celebrates Christmas with her own traditions of spreading reindeer food across her lawn and putting a magical key on her door. Staff and students have unique ways to celebrate the holidays.

“We spread this reindeer food on our lawn and then we leave this tiny old fashion key on our door because we never had a fire place since my siblings and I were little, and the magical key lets Santa Claus in,” said Keita.

She also has a weekend in which the whole time she just bakes with her family and does Christmas caroling in Gaelic and German.

A sophomore, Javier Abner and his family, have their own atypical customs.

“Instead of an angel on top of the tree, we have a bow, and we have secret Santa. We don’t actually buy gifts, we do care packages,” said Javier.

He explained that his family puts a bow up on the Christmas tree because they feel like it puts angels higher above God, so they used a bow.

Javier’s family also do care packages because they believe people truly don’t need presents, they want them.

“My family puts things in packages of what we really need,” said Javier.

Guidance counselor, Kerry Sheehan, spends her holidays differently by putting up Christmas lights and driving down to Florida with her son to see her parents.

“My father already has the tree up, and my mom and I always make Christmas cookies together;” said Sheehan. “We spend ten days just having family time that includes shopping, playing cards, swimming in the pool, and watching Manatees swim in the water outside their condo.”

Sheehan also spends her holidays helping her loved ones.

“I take my mom to dialysis every holiday so my dad can have a break,” said Sheehan. “It’s a tradition for us that I go take care of my mom.”

Sheehan also believes in helping out others during the holidays in the local community.

“Every year I match families with sponsors to make sure those families have Christmas,” said Sheehan, “and they’re usually either dealing with a medical situation or being evicted from their homes.”

In other countries, people celebrate Christmas in other ways than Santa Claus going down the chimney.

According to James Cooper, the author of the article, The Christmas Pickle, German stores sell ornament-sized pickles to hang up on Christmas trees. The whole concept is everyone finishes up putting on the lights, decorations, and ornaments, and the last ornament to be hung up is the Christmas pickle.

The first child who finds the pickle gets good luck and an extra present.

According to Jackie Middleton, an author in Reader’s Digest Magazine, in Iceland, a tradition is practiced in which children would leave their shoes out of the house to await gifts brought to them by the morning to nice kids. Yules lads are the kind individuals who leave presents inside the kids’ shoes, but originally the Yules nighttime visits were used to scare kids into behaving correctly.

According to Noreen, a writer in Today I Found out, in Czech Republic, a single woman’s tradition was made that they would take one of their shoes, turn around from the door, and throw the shoe behind her without looking. Once it hits the ground, she would turn around and if the shoe lands on the heel towards the door, they will be single for a whole year. If the front of the shoe faces towards the door, she should move out of her parents’ house and start wedding arrangements.

All in all, many people who have started up their own unique traditions that they enjoy to carry out with families along with different other countries.

“Traditions remind us of what truly is important at this time of the year,” said Sheehan. “Remember to spend time with those you love, to give thanks for what we have, and to pay for it as you are able.”