Christmas is a time of the year almost everyone can enjoy. From presents, to food, to celebrations, religion, and especially traditions, every family has its own take on how to make the most of the season.
Geometry teacher Michael McGuckin said he has no serious traditions, although his wife wanted to have matching pajamas this year as their first tradition together.
His wife is a twin and a nurse, so Christmas family gatherings depend on her schedule. Both he and his wife love spending time with their family and love bringing joy to friends, family and people. McGuckin also said that his family generally travels to Virginia the week after Christmas including New Year’s Day, but he likes to stay home in Sarasota for Christmas day and Christmas Eve.
McGuckin shared that he always makes it a custom to have Honey-baked because he doesn’t like turkey. He always makes a sweet potato casserole--it’s a family favorite, and his secret ingredient is adding a little bit of orange juice.
He said that he likes to set up his Christmas tree either the day after Thanksgiving or the weekend of Thanksgiving.
“Christmas means a lot to me, about Jesus Christ being born. I’m strong in my faith, and it is a very religious time where everyone puts things aside, and family is put first before everything,” said McGuckin.
Last year, in Christmas of 2017, McGuckin told us that his family had done a Secret Santa in which everyone pulled a name out of a hat and that was the person for whom they bought a present. He said that it wasn’t just about the stuff that you received or gave, but it was the time that they spent together.
A biology teacher at Riverview, Michaela Stockhill has her own Christmas fun. She informed us that every Christmas Eve she spends with her dad’s side of the family, and Christmas day with her mom's.
Stockhill, along with McGuckin, also has ham every year because she doesn’t like turkey. She also said that she doesn’t have a tree this year because she’s now living on her own. While she was younger, she would put it up the day after Thanksgiving.
She said that as her own tradition she would like to go to the beach on Christmas because no one would be there.
“Christmas is a time to spend with your family and friends, but mainly family’. It’s a catch-up holiday to eat food and give gifts that mean you’re thankful,” said Stockhill.
A student of Riverview, Gracie Berger ‘22, has her very own traditions. Her family gets together in a time of love and joy and celebrates together, and they do this through a game.
The game consists of a hard candy pig, it comes with a hammer and you try to smash the big into pieces. Once you break off a piece you eat it and say what you are grateful for.
While Gracie’s family doesn’t celebrate Christmas directly for religion, she still has plenty of joy and fun with her family.