Christmas Holiday and Family Traditions

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Christmas Holiday and Family Traditions

My Christmas tree and stockings that decorate the living room.

My Christmas tree and stockings that decorate the living room.

Allison Dunlap

My Christmas tree and stockings that decorate the living room.

Allison Dunlap

Allison Dunlap

My Christmas tree and stockings that decorate the living room.

Allison Dunlap, Editor

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Christmas is a beloved holiday by many and is celebrated all around the world. Although not everyone that celebrates Christmas is religious, there are multiple ways to celebrate Christmas without bringing religion into it. People decorate their houses with lights and blow up decorations in the front yard, and you can’t forget about the famous Christmas tree that is a must have in every household. Families bake cookies, cakes, and desserts and have meals together. Church groups go around caroling spreading Christmas cheer. And you can’t forget about the children waiting for Santa to come around through the night and bring them the present they have been asking for all year long.

The main religious group that celebrates Christmas is Christians. They commemorate the holiday as the birth of Jesus Christ. The traditional Christmas narrative, the nativity of Jesus, says Jesus was born in Bethlehem. When Joseph and Mary made it to the inn they were told that there was no room and were offered a stable where Jesus was born. There is a lot of questioning around why Christmas Day is on the 25th, but from what historians have predicted the date was chosen by Jesus himself because it was the date of the winter solstice on the Roman calendar. He chose this for certain symbolic reasons.

Christmas lights are one of the dominant reasons for going out around Christmas time. Leaverton Park has had the lighting of the park since 1994 and still continues the tradition today. The Lions Club has always served beans and cornbread for a free-will donation. The community churches used to sing separately but lately they have all come together to sing for the crowd. This year our chief of police Jeff Besing sang traditional Christmas songs for everyone to enjoy. When the event first started Darrel Cup, who was taking care of the park at the time, had a recording that matched the fireworks to the point. After he resigned from the position, there was nothing like that used again. Today they use speakers to play music in the background of the fireworks. Ever since I was little, my mom and dad would always take me to see Santa, eat the cookies, and watch the fireworks. Dallas Kidwell says, “The fireworks were spectacular this year just like they always have been.”

Cookies, hot chocolate and coffee are also served at the lighting. Santa does his traditional ride in on the fire truck and children wait in line while enjoying the cookies that are set out before telling Santa what they would like for Christmas.

Houses around Palestine, and all over the county, light up the streets with their festive lights and decorations. Blow up decorations of polar bears, Santa’s, and penguins seem to be the most popular. Some people even go all out and have their lights match up with radio stations that play Christmas music as you drive past in your car.

Christmas trees have been part of the season since the 18th century. Trees were traditionally decorated with roses made of colored paper, apples, wafers, and tinsel. Before electricity was invented, they were lit up by candles. Nowadays, people usually have artificial trees that are decorated with bulbs, beads or tinsel, and colorful lights. My family almost always puts up our Christmas during the first week of December. My cousin and I also help my grandma put up her tree and decorations all around the house. “We always have an angel at the top and use homemade ornaments that my brother and I made when we were little,” says Macy Biggs.

Desserts are also popular around the holidays as well. Grandmas have their grandchildren over to make and decorate sugar cookies, people make gingerbread houses, and eggnog is drank. When I was little, my grandma and I would make sugar cookies and peanut butter cookies to donate to the lighting of the park so others wouldn’t have to buy them.  Ashtin Guyer says, “I like to get up early and make pecan pies for Christmas dinner later in the day.” Yule logs are also a common dessert to have around Christmas time. They are mainly found Belgium, France and Switzerland. The flavors you will usually find around this time are a yellow sponge with chocolate buttercream frosting. It is generally baked in a shallow Swedish role pan, iced, rolled to form a cylinder, and iced again.

Santa coming to town is what children wait for all year long, besides their birthdays. They wait in line to be able to sit on his lap and give him their Christmas list hoping to get everything they asked for. Lindsay Ryan says “When I was little, my mom would take me to the Evansville Mall to see Santa and then I would get to bungee jump afterwards.”

Christmas is a huge part in almost everyone’s life and most definitely mine. The giving and receiving of presents can really warm someones heart and make them grateful for the people in their lives. Always remember to be thankful not only during Christmas time, but throughout the whole year. Happy Holidays!

Allison Dunlap
Standing in Leaverton Park, you can see lights all around you

Allison Dunlap
Main Street is decorated for the Christmas season.

Allison Dunlap
Going through the tunnel at the park is always a beautiful sight.

Allison Dunlap
A star lights up Main Street during the night.

Allison Dunlap
Lights can be found all over Leaverton Park. The house lights are synced with music on a radio station!

Allison Dunlap
Houses around town light up the night with their festive decorations.

Allison Dunlap
Cookies are always a favorite around Christmas time, just like these no bake cookies!

Allison Dunlap, Editor

This is my second year in Journalism and I love it! I enjoy being able to take pictures for articles, designing the website to make it look appealing to...

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