Family Traditions and the Holiday Season

Claire Boyle

Staff Writer

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The semester is almost over, which means the holiday season will be here soon. This time of year brings the celebration of various traditions with our families. I wish to speak of some of my favorite traditions and the holidays of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.

Among my favorite traditions is eating the wonderful treats my mom, makes, such as  Russian Tea Cakes and Orange-Cinnamon Rolls. Each year, my family and I also attend the Nutcracker ballet as well as the Christmas Eve Mass at St. Procopius Abbey.

Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Both the Christmas tree and the celebration near the Winter Solstice originates from pagan traditions. Christmas brings multiple traditions together, and it includes “gift-giving, feasting and family gatherings, and can be celebrated in both the secular and religious realms” (Wikipedia).

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that is celebrated in December and has numerous beautiful traditions. It celebrates “when the Holy Temple was rededicated during the Maccabean Revolution in the second century BCE” ( Jewish traditions include “nightly menorah lightings, special blessings, and eating fried foods” ( Typical traditions include “eating latkes and doughnuts, playing the Dreidel game and giving Gelt which are either chocolate or real coins to children” (

Kwanzaa also has wonderful traditions. “It is celebrated in the U.S. and in other countries that are part of the African diaspora, beginning on December 26th, and lasts a week” (Wikipedia). The holiday emphasizes “family, culture, community, and what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense” (

I hope you will find a tradition to celebrate. Whether it is wearing ugly Christmas sweaters, lighting a Menorah, or “decorating houses with art, wearing kaftans by women, and fresh fruits that represent African idealism” with Kwanzaa, there is something for everyone (Wikipedia).

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Heri za Kwanzaa to all of you! Hope all of you have a joyous season and a wonderful winter break!