Students embracing Christmas traditions

For Cedar Falls, winter is a season filled with slushy snow and frozen windows, but what is happening behind those windows? There are a lot of holidays in the world and everyone celebrates them differently. 

Junior Adriana Parziale celebrates the winter months by wearing pajamas and drinking hot chocolate. Every year her family does Adopt a Family, so they can help a family in need by getting them christmas presents. Adriana shares her personal story, “My mom, when she was younger, was poor and my grandma couldn’t afford to get presents for her and her siblings, and a bunch of people came forward and helped to buy presents for my mom and aunt and uncles so they could get Christmas presents, so basically we are doing this to give back to people who are also in need as a thank you for everyone who helped them, and I plan on continuing this when I get older because it’s just a really good thing to do.”

Another junior, Ed Lin, also enjoys celebrating Christmas with his family along with Chinese New Year. To celebrate they eat dumplings shaped like ancient China’s form of currency to symbolize wealth. Lin and his family used to participate in an annual festival hosted by leaders among the Chinese community, but she said that unfortunately hasn’t returned since covid, although he hopes that his family will invite family and friends over for a mini potluck. To finish off his traditions, on Chinese New Year, his parents give money to their children in the form of red envelopes to symbolize good luck and prosperity. 

Sophomore Makala Janet Rundel celebrates December with her family by dressing up every day in their favorite Grinch apparel while baking cookies. 

Senior Ash Kev’s family celebrates christmas. However, this year, Ash is looking into Yuletide and the Winter Solstice by themself with determination to create new traditions through research to celebrate Yule. 

Jupiter Watson celebrates Christmas but less than the holiday itself and more about the time spent with family, “In the past, most of my family were Christians of some sort or other, but very few people that we get together with during the winter break still practice that faith. We still hold onto a lot of the traditions and iconography that are associated with the celebration of Christmas (the tree, the exchanging of presents on Christmas day, baking traditionally Christmas-themed cookies), but I like to think of it more as a celebration of the time we get to spend together as a family and of the winter solstice, when the days start to get longer again.” Watson’s family also celebrates by making lefse, a potato-based Norwegian flatbread that everyone can participate in making. 

Traditions connect to pasts and create new memories, and Cedar Falls High School is full of different celebrations, so maybe you could find new ones or share yours.

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