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Christmas traditions: Join the discussion

With Christmas and winter break approaching, many students and teachers are thinking about holiday traditions and memories.

In light of the season, The Feather has obtained a few stories regarding past Christmases. During the next several days, additional stories will be published below.

In addition to these collected responses, The Feather encourages readers to e-mail their own stories to [email protected] until the end of the month.

Christmas wrap
Becky Barisic
Dec. 31, 2010

When I was little, I was confused by the fact ?Santa? used the same gift-wrap, ribbon and tags that we also used. One year I decided to ask why and my mom?s answer to this was that Santa left the gifts and mom & dad did the wrapping. I didn?t buy this answer for much longer and so my belief in Santa ceased to exist.

When I became a mother, I thought I would do things a little differently. The Santa gifts have always been wrapped with plain red paper, white ribbon and a special tag that is different for each child. I use Christmas Post-Its, and write their name differently.

One year, thinking the children would recognize my handwriting, (since they were getting older) I asked my very good friend to write their names on the tags. They however did recognize the handwriting and said, ?This looks like Auntie Pam?s handwriting!? It was at that point (since William, our youngest and still believing in Santa) I decided to shared my philosophy on the subject of Santa Claus. ?Stop believing, Stop receiving.? They have all complied nicely.

Police ride-along, open gifts early
Debbie Fries
Dec. 24, 2010

Ever since my kids were little we have done Christmas different than most families. The first big difference is, we rarely open gifts on the actual day of Christmas. This started because my husband is a police officer and when the kids were little he worked on Christmas Day, so we would just pick a day a few days before Christmas and open the gifts, telling the kids it was Christmas.

On Christmas Day, the kids would go to Grandma’s and I would go on a ride-along with my husband so that we could be together that day. Now, even though he hasn’t had to work on Christmas for years, our kids insist that we open gifts early and so we do.

Christmas is a special time for our family; we decorate the day after Thanksgiving and leave them up until January. We only listen to Christmas music in the car; we watch Christmas movies and hang tons of cheap tinsel on our tree. I love my family and I love spending Christmas with them!

Sugary breakfast touches
Ashlyn Key, ’13
Dec. 15, 2010

On Christmas morning, my dad makes breakfast. The breakfast consists of the usual eggs and toast and potatoes, but he adds a special touch to the bacon. He candies it in the oven by sprinkling brown sugar over it to create a candy-like glaze as it bakes. It is really yummy, and I look forward to it each year.

After Christmas, we open presents and do our usual thing. I really love Christmas.

The perfect present
Bessalee Mendoza, social science teacher
Dec. 14, 2010

My favorite Christmas has to be when I got my first “big girl” bike from Santa. My family was staying at my papa’s house that year. I woke up very early that morning and snuck out to see what Santa had brought me.

As soon as I rounded the corner, the only thing that I could focus on was the amazing bike under the tree. It was perfect! It was pink, of course, and glittery. I ran to my parents’ room and exclaimed, “Mom, Santa brought me a bike and it’s pink!”

My mom always reminds me how I woke all of them up early so I could ride my bike, the few feet that I could, in the living room until it was light enough to go outside. It is a fond memory that I look back on and it’s something that my mom and I still laugh about.

Adopting a tradition
Jenna Yee, ’11
Dec. 14, 2010

One year, before Christmas, my family and I went on a tour of the Meux Home in downtown Fresno. When we were taking the tour, we got to see many different rooms.

At the end of the tour, we went into the living room which had a large, decorated Christmas tree. Our tour guide told us that one of the many traditions was that the families would hide a pickle somewhere in the tree, and whichever one of the children found it would get some kind of prize.

After the tour was over, my family and I went to the gift shop and bought a glass pickle ornament. Each year since then, my parents hide it somewhere in our tree, and my brother and sister and I have fun competing against one another to find it.

Anticipated gift
Brady Lee, ’12
Dec. 14, 2010

One of my favorite memories was at my Grandma’s house. I was a little boy then, and I was eagerly anticipating Christmas day! We were able to open a couple presents that night, and I got a Fisher Price pirates play set. That was such a special time for me.”

Searching for Santa
Brenna Ainley, ’14
Dec. 13, 2010

When I was a little kid, around 6, I would use to try and hide under the Christmas tree and wait for Santa Claus to arrive. One time I even fell asleep under the tree; the next morning I looked for evidence from him.

Discovering the truth
Brandon McCormick, ’13
Dec. 13, 2010

When I was 7 years old, on Christmas morning, I woke up really early to go look at all the presents. I noticed something weird about the writing on one of my presents. So, I asked my parents if they were the ones who wrote “To: Brandon. From: Santa,” because my mom’s writing was the same as on the present.

From that day, I found out Santa was not real; however, I still believed in Santa because if I didn’t believe in him, my parents wouldn’t give me any gifts.

Christmas in Italy
Herbert Kendall, science teacher
Dec. 13, 2010

I remember spending Christmas in Italy where we were house sitting for missionaries on furlow. House sitting helps to ensure that their home is not burglarized while they are away for several weeks.

We carried a Christmas tree from the Navy Exchange sale across a dark orchard using candlelight, since I didn?t have a car. We decorated it with lights and wooden angel carvings made by Anri of Italy. Each angel carried a different basket of fruit and gifts. Each was unique.

It was just a fun experience that made me feel very blessed by God to experience. On Christmas Eve, I played my accordion for our chapel Christmas carolers and got my picture in the paper with many Italians who joined in with us as we walked down the alleys in Gaeta, Italy.

For more coverage of the holidays, read the Dec. 6 article, Long-running Christmas traditions return. For more discussion, read the Nov. 24 article, Thanksgiving memories: Join the discussion.

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    Gigi ThaoSep 7, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Wow Zed, that was a pretty intense jump!