The Hawk's Eye

Holiday Highlights and Hardships

Felicity Wenger, Staff Writer

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Christmas

Celebrated every year on the 25 of December, Christmas stands as America’s favorite holiday. Originally celebrated in remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas is currently extremely family oriented. It’s very common for people to decorate their homes inside and out, including a Christmas tree. Traditionally on Christmas Eve, presents are placed underneath the tree and opened up the next morning with family and sometimes friends. There aren’t necessarily any restraints, so gifts can range from a bag of candy to a brand new car. The possibilities are endless with Christmas.

 

Highlights & Hardships

The number one favorite Christmas tradition would have to be all the gifts. Whether is giving or receiving, people love this part of the holiday. Many people also enjoy decorations. Both inside and out, lights are plastered through every neighborhood. These decorations also include a pine tree adorned with ornaments of all sorts. For the kids, this holiday just gets better because there are chances of snow days, plus guaranteed days off of school. Other fun things include the food. With family, people love to feast on Christmas day and prepare festive pastries and dishes.

While Christmas includes multiple fun activities and traditions, not everything is merry. For starters, Christmas commonly overshadows Thanksgiving because of all the hype it brings. This causes a lot of stress for shoppers, making them feel rushed. Many people enjoy Christmas music during the holidays but the songs get annoying. This also goes for the cold weather. Snow usually acts as a special winter gift, but the freezing conditions can cause chaos.

 

 

Hanukkah

Celebrated by followers of Judaism, this eight-day long holiday revolves around the Menorah. According to the Talmud, a famous Jewish text, a menorah was lit and was only supposed to burn for a single day. However, the flame burned for eight days straight which was considered a miracle. There is no set date for this holiday, but each night, another candle is lit on the menorah. Along with lighting the candles, giving and receiving a couple gifts each night is common.

 

Highlights & Hardships

For Hanukkah celebrators, the fun lasts for over a week. Depending on the family, different traditions can be tons of fun. One very common tradition is playing with the dreidel, especially among younger kids. Another tradition people enjoy is burning all the excess wax at the end of Hanukkah as a final celebration. Many people also enjoy eating authentic homemade holiday foods every night. Along with the food, presents are received by the whole family.

While Hanukkah is definitely a good time, this holiday doesn’t shine as bright as Christmas, and gets overlooked. This also includes the music. Hanukkah is also guilty of having excessively repetitive music. People love the traditional Hanukkah food, but the amount of fried food will surely result in weight gain. Overall, the holiday revolves around candles and while the idea sounds silly, the chance of having an accidental house fire is a real concern.

 

 

Kwanzaa

Celebrated in honor of African culture, the festivities range from story telling to a large traditional meal. Kwanzaa is scheduled to start December 26 and end January 1 this year. Mostly celebrated in the US, Kwanzaa shares many similarities with Hanukkah. Each night, one of seven candles are lit as one of the seven principals are discussed.

 

Highlights & Hardships

Like Hanukkah, Kwanzaa takes up a week. The extended celebration provides more time to spend with family and friends. Together, people enjoy dancing and listening to music. Eating authentic soul food continues to be a traditional favorite. People tend to wear African-style garments throughout the week. Unlike other holidays, cultural books are a highly common and appreciated gift that participants often give and receive.

Kwanzaa differs from other holidays in that it doesn’t revolve around a religion, but around a group of people. Because of this, Kwanzaa gets shamed for being a made up holiday. The gift schedule isn’t really set for Kwanzaa, but one thing is for sure: no expensive gifts are allowed. Due to whatever other daily activities need to take place, not every day of the holiday gets celebrated.

 

Felicity Wenger // Staff Writer

About the Writer
Felicity Wenger, Co-Editor-In-Chief

Felicity Wenger, co-editor in chief, returns for her third year on staff. She loves writing and also participates in photography inside and outside of school.

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Holiday Highlights and Hardships