Nicole Bagala ’20
During the chilly month of December, there are a variety of holidays to celebrate, including Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve. Perhaps the most interesting part is not what we celebrate, but how we celebrate. Here are some snapshots of the traditions of BHS students and staff.
One of December’s biggest celebrations is Christmas. Several students and faculty members who celebrate Christmas have similar traditions. Mrs. Meehan, the Districtwide Teacher of the Deaf, opens presents with her family on Christmas Eve, while Dr. Fernand, the English Department Chairperson, plays the card game Shanghai after Christmas dinner. Mrs. DeCarlo, the LLC’s paraeducator, enjoys Italian food for Christmas Day dinner.
Students also seem to have similar traditions. Kim Calle ‘20, bakes cookies with her family on Christmas Eve and then celebrates with a large family dinner. Vitoria Vieira ‘20, spends Christmas Eve with her cousins and other extended family.
“Christmas morning is just focused on immediate family,” she adds.
Sophia Anastasakis ‘20 does the reverse of Vieira, spending time with her close family on Christmas Eve and then traveling to her aunt’s the next day to continue the festivities. Jon Eaton ‘20 watches Christmas movies with his family on Christmas Eve. For others, religion plays an important role in tradition.
“I spend all day in church,” says Jaide Jaquez ‘18, further explaining that all her cousins on her mom’s side sing in the choir at St. Peter’s Church in Danbury.
Those students who do not celebrate a specific holiday still have winter break traditions. Sophomore Vesa Islami travels to New Jersey to see extended family and fellow sophomore while Iqra Shafi’s family stays home and spends quality time together.
English teacher Ms. Heller celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas. In observance of Hanukkah, she goes to her parent’s house to celebrate. She and her friends and family eat Jewish food, like latkes (fried potatoes dipped either in ketchup or sour cream) and play homemade board games that relate to the Jewish culture, such as Dreidel battles. Finally, at the end of the party, all of the Menorah candles are lit. She spends Christmas with her family, opens presents on Christmas Eve and afterwards play the game “Celebrity.”
New Year’s Eve round out the holiday season. Many people celebrate New Year’s Eve by going to parties and watching the ball drop in New York City.
“I stay up to watch the ball drop with my family and friends, then go to bed afterwards,” says math teacher Mr. Gill.
Everyone has their special traditions, but no matter how they vary, they all share one component: they involve spending time with families and that’s what the holiday season is all about.
The Wildcat Word staff wishes everyone a happy and safe holiday.