Deck the Halls: Winter Traditions

Students share their favorite winter holiday traditions

Claire Johnston, Staff Writer

What are your winter traditions? Maybe it’s decorating cookies with your aunt, or cutting down your own Christmas tree with your dad, or maybe it’s wrapping presents with your brother. Whatever your traditions happen to be, they are all key memory makers of the holidays. 

Christmas and other winter traditions generally take place after Thanksgiving and up until New Year. A tradition doesn’t have to be something that is common: it can be one special thing that you share with family or friends. 

Reese Irons, a junior, mentioned “Hiding a pickle ornament in the tree and having to find it with my family” when asked about her favorite holiday tradition. This is a tradition that originally started in Germany. German families would hide a pickle in the tree after decorating it, and the lucky child who found it would receive an extra present from Santa that year. 

Another common tradition is getting a pine tree, whether fresh or faux, and decorating it with ornaments alongside family. Brooke Bundschuh, a sophomore, said “I love being able to decorate my Christmas tree. It’s good quality time with my family that is full of laughs.” 

A senior, Avery Kibbey, combines both of these traditions. Her family gets a Christmas tree and decorates it together with the addition of a pickle ornament. “My favorite thing about decorating our Christmas tree is being able to find the pickle afterward,” Avery said.

Another tradition is decorating gingerbread houses. There are gingerbread house kits that are available for purchase in stores and online. They come with gingerbread walls and roofs, frosting, sprinkles/decorations, and a base. The other option is making gingerbread houses from scratch. 

When I was a kid, I started out making them from the kits, but about 5 years ago my family decided to make them from scratch. My grandma is the one who helps me and all of my cousins make them. She bakes the walls and roofs days in advance and we use her homemade frosting. They are always fun to put together and a great project for all ages.

Overall, there are many different and unique traditions that people do. Whether you have any winter traditions or not, it’s never too late to start one, whether inspired by those listed above or a completely unique one of your own.