Winter break is fast approaching and students at iUP are not only looking forward to catching up on some sleep and relaxation but also preparing to celebrate different holidays! There is such a wide range of students all across iUniversity that have unique traditions to share, and I got the chance to interview a few of them.
9th grader Brooke Bolinger said that her favorite tradition was going down to Austin and watching the Nutcracker. She says, “I used to do ballet when I was younger, and seeing the Nutcracker always brings back memories”. Brooke and her family also drive to Gruene Texas and take pictures with the Cowboy Kringle for their Christmas cards. Some other traditions she and her family enjoy are seeing the Starlight Symphony in Kyle Texas and getting tamales every year after service. I asked Brooke what her favorite part of Christmas was and she said, “My favorite part of Christmas is spending time with family and getting to see everybody”.
While some people like Brooke and her family have set traditions that they do every year, some students enjoy trying new holiday activities. Take 11th grader Jayce Rasbury for example. His family has just recently started playing holiday-themed board games this year. Jayce’s family also has a huge 13 foot Christmas tree that they open presents by on Christmas day! His favorite part of the winter holiday is getting together with his family to watch Christmas movies.
My good friend Isadora is Jewish and she celebrates Hanukkah, also known as the festival of lights. She explained a lot of history behind the holiday and what the true meaning is, “It’s a story about a group of people whose home was taken from them and they were given a blessing from God that helped them retake their temple and place of worship.” Over the course of 8 nights, one present is handed out, starting with the smaller gifts and ending with the most meaningful gift on the last night. Isadora had tons of unique holiday traditions to share like the food, the presents she got, and so many more! However, her most memorable was lighting the Menorah at sunset. “Growing up my Mom used to put a paper towel on her head because she didn’t have a Kippah. While she would light the Menorah I would make a bet in my head if the towel would fall and catch the candle. It was always super funny and one of my most iconic memories”. To conclude the interview Isadora said that her favorite part of the holidays is being together with her family and being grateful for what she has.
Whether your family has special traditions that take place every year like Brooke, celebrates a unique holiday with lots of history like Isadora, or discovered new traditions each year like Jayce, I hope that you enjoy winter break!