Brendyn Piper, Contributor

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Christmas is a very popular holiday all around the world. I would say the majority of people really enjoy the Christmas season. It is a holiday that is celebrated, in one way or another, everywhere. A lot of cultures and religions have there own twist on Christmas, and have folk tales of certain things that happen. For example, In Iceland they have a folklore of pranksters called the Yule Lads that come around Christmas time, from December 12-15th. They also have a lore of something called a Yule Cat that eats people who don’t get new clothes for Christmas. Christmas is a really cool holiday, and it’s interesting to see what customs that other people have.

My Mom’s family has some traditions that we like to do around Christmas time. One of the things we like to do is always, no matter what, go and watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at the movie theater. This is something that we cherish and would never miss out on, even though we have probably watched it around 50 times. I can’t even count the times Aidyn has said, “Where are you gonna put a tree that big?” The second tradition that Mom likes to do is on Christmas Eve, when we each get to open one present that she picks out. It was really exciting at first when me and my siblings were younger, but we all get the same thing each year. She has us open up the present, and inside is a pair of Christmas pajamas. It is a joke now when Halle sarcastically says, “Wonder what this is going to be?” In the morning mom takes a picture of us in the pajamas, and that is one of the most excruciating things I have to do.  Another weird thing that we do is that on our tree, we have this thing called the “Christmas Pickle”. On Christmas morning whoever finds the pickle ornament on the tree receives an extra present and one year of good luck. Halle has found the pickle for the last 5 years, and it’s really starting to make me mad. We have only been doing this tradition for the last 5 years also. I honestly don’t even know why we do it because it originated in Germany, and nobody in the family is of German descent.

We have traditions that we do on Dad’s side as well. On Christmas Eve we all go to my Grandma Piper’s house and eat dinner. While we are there we bake cookies with her and watch television. Grandma and Grandpa also have us open one present on Christmas Eve. These presents aren’t pajamas though. Grandpa likes to talk to me about when we should start getting the tree taps ready, so we can start making Maple syrup. Once Christmas season rolls around I know he is going to be on me about this for the next couple months. On Christmas morning, Grandma and Grandpa always come to the house, and watch us open up our presents. One thing that I find funny is the absurd amount of pictures they like to take. One of the kids has to end up showing them how to work the camera though. Every year since I was little Grandpa has given me two presents that I really care about. My Grandpa is really into tractors and I like to help him work on them, so he gives me a little Farmall tractor figurine. He gives me a different model of tractor every year, and it is very special to me and him. No joke– I probably have about 13 of these tractors in my room at Dad’s house. The other present he gives me is one of his very old fishing lures he has kept since he was little. He will then say something along the lines of, “I used this back whenever the world was in black and white.”

Christmas is a very special time of the year and most, if not every one, seems to enjoy it as much as I do. I love all the different traditions that both sides of my family do. I can’t imagine not being able to do them, because I look forward to them so much. It is one of the times I get to see my family the happiest. I would probably say Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year.

Brendyn Piper
Decorations outside my house

Brendyn Piper
The Christmas tree in my house

Brendyn Piper
A decoration my mom hangs up every year

Brendyn Piper
Stockings hung from our fireplace