Cougars share their holiday traditions


Desi Beireis, Web Editor

Winter break is a time for friends and family to come together and enjoy the holidays. Many people celebrate in a variety of different ways. Here are some traditions shared by students and faculty across campus.

  • “A tradition we have is to give a surprise or ‘gag’ gift to someone. It’s not something they ask for. It’s more of something we want to give them, but we never know if they will like it or not,” said Principal Chris Scott.
  • “After Thanksgiving, me and my family come together and put up the Christmas tree and decorate the house. Closer to Christmas, we fly to Minnesota to my grandma’s house and meet a whole bunch of my family members. We open gifts and have a Christmas dinner together,” said junior Lainey Stackhouse. “One thing I remember would be when my family’s flight to Minnesota got canceled on Christmas eve and we had to go back home. Then the next day my whole family showed up at my house and it just reminded me that family can always come back together.”
  • “On Hanukkah, we traditionally light a menorah which has 8 level branches. One is taller called a Shammash, which depends on what day of Hanukkah we light one of the candles. Afterward, we say a special blessing and we normally open presents. Sometimes we play dreidel which each side of it has a Hebrew letter that is put together to the phrase,” said freshman Jonas Pfenger. “We normally make Sufganiyot, a deep-fried jelly donut. My favorite memory from when I was a kid would be playing dreidel while sitting around the table and eating sufganiyot as it was snowing outside.”
  • “My favorite memory from Christmas is last year when my uncle wrapped the money in a box covered in duct tape and my family watched me struggle to unwrap it for an hour while laughing,” said Abbie Hartman. “I ended up getting 50 dollars out of it.”
  • “Every year I go and spend time with my grandma and the rest of my family in Spain, and normally all go to church as a group,” said Jimena Carrasco.
  • “During Christmas break, I travel to go see my family in Reno, Nevada, and on Christmas Eve we eat Mexican food together,” said history teacher Ethan Berger.
  • “My favorite memory is being together with my family and telling stories,” said junior Keegan Kouznetsov. “Every year we put up the Elf on the Shelf for my little sister, and we also put up Russian Santa and Matryoshka dolls which have been a tradition in my family for a while.”