Not-So-Average Christmas Celebrations

The holidays are almost here, and with them come the familiar presents and decorations. However, for some students, the ‘Christmas spirit’ arrives in a different fashion. Here are four stories of out-of-the-ordinary celebrations.

Colleen Cory, one of the art teachers at Riverview, says that when she was younger, her family used to go to Jungle Gardens for 13 nights before Christmas and sing Christmas carols.

“It was unusual because there were just reptiles and birds everywhere while we were singing,” she said. Cory said that her family had some connections and was able to sing to everyone at the park.

After about five years, they stopped doing it because it got boring, and they were just singing the same songs over and over, because there is only a certain number of Christmas songs one can sing every year. Despite this, though, she said that it was a very fun and interesting experience.

Allison Housh ’22 says that her family doesn’t put out cookies the way most families do.

“Instead of cookies, every year we put Triscuits and cheese with Coke out. We do this as when we were little, my mom always said, ‘Santa needed a break from milk and cookies.’” Allison and her siblings would all come downstairs, not to milk and cookies eaten up by Santa and his reindeer, but instead Triscuits and cheese gobbled up by their hungry mouths.

Another staff member at Riverview, Sheila Bliss, a Spanish teacher, said that her family plays several games to obtain their stocking presents instead of just digging into their stockings. It all started the year she and her sister Maureen Finley lost two grandparents.

Teacher Pat Bliss thought they needed a new tradition to ease the pain of their loss.

“This makes the process take longer and gives us more appreciation for our presents,” she said of the practice that has now gone on for 19 years and is the highlight of the family festivities in the afternoon before the family goes to church on Christmas Eve.

Jasmine Hens ‘21 says that instead of leaving cookies out for Santa to eat, she and her younger brother sneak out and eat them.

As the holidays come along and people get together, family traditions are a must for Christmas. Family traditions are what gets everyone excited for the holidays, to see their family and do fun activities with the people they love. Every family has different traditions which bind them as one.

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© 2019 Bek Ficze 21'