Bay Village students share family traditions

The holiday season has arrived, a time for rejoicing, connecting with loved ones and creating memories that will last a lifetime. For the Observer's annual last-issue-of-the-year feature, Mrs. Martha Fisher of Westerly Elementary School in Bay Village asked her third-grade students to share favorite family traditions from this time of year.

A Very Merry Christmas!
by Suresh V., Westerly
I am always excited that Christmas is on the way. Are you? My family decorates for Christmas Eve on Thanksgiving Day. We decorate a six-foot tree with ornaments. We have about 45 ornaments. We put up about 35 ornaments. We leave the rest in the boxes. After we put up the Christmas tree we enjoy a wonderful meal. We eat turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, apple pie, green bean casserole, stuffing and carrots. Before we eat we take pictures of our family, including the turkey. On Christmas Eve we collect our Christmas books. My mom reads the books to our family. We decide which one to read first. My favorite story is about Santa Claus not delivering toys and he is on a beach in California. I hope that the story is not true!

Christmas
by Adrianna P., Westerly
Going to my grandma’s house is always very special. First, we go to my grandma’s house. Her house is like a museum and she likes to cook. The house is like a museum because she has lots of old things and her house is really big and fancy. She has pretty glass vases, a fireplace and a basement with lots of toys. She also has big couches and lots of plants, of course. She has tomatoes and cucumbers and green beans and eggplants with lettuce. The special thing at my grandma’s house is we celebrate, take pictures, drink hot chocolate, and roast marshmallows. We also eat cake and cupcakes. Even when I am a grown up I will still remember the fun I’ve had when I was little at my grandma’s.

Dad vs. Lake
by Katie P., Westerly
Can you imagine jumping into a lake? Well, on New Year’s Eve my dad will jump into Lake Erie. It will be cold. My family will be watching him. Other people start to join in. Cold, cold, cold. We are all so cold. But it is worth seeing it! First he takes off his clothes and only has a bathing suit on. I am smart. I am dressed in a coat, gloves, snowpants and boots. My dad runs into the lake. When he gets out he is shivering. Brrrr – especially his head because he is bald. My family bundles him up in towels and  blankets.When we get home he lies down in his chair and takes a long nap. My dad is special because he is a risk taker. I prefer my winter coat and boots.

Dear Santa
by Colton M., Westerly
I love you Santa. Every year before Christmas I write a letter to Santa. I get some red paper and a pen. I go to the living room. I write, “Dear Santa, I have been a real good boy this year. I helped mom around the house. We baked cookies for you. I helped decorate the tree. I don’t fight with my brother. We play sometimes. I love presents. I want Creeper stuff like socks, toys and a blanket. I promise to be good next year. I love you Santa! Love, Colton.”

My Special Family Tradition!
by Cooper B., Westerly
One of my holiday traditions is making gingerbread houses. First we buy the gingerbread house that is all cut up into shapes. Then we put the frosting on to look like snow. I  put gumdrops on the roof. I use the red hots as a doorbell. For the chimney, I use a candy cane and sprinkles as shingles. I hope my gingerbread house does not fall down!

The German Pickle
by Ryan R., Westerly
I wonder where Santa is going to hide the pickle? Last year Santa hid it deep in the Christmas tree. The pickle is green and bumpy. This tradition is an old German tradition. Santa hides the pickle on Christmas Eve night. We wake up and find the pickle. Whoever finds the pickle first gets to open their presents first. My grandma comes to watch us open presents. When we open our presents, we take turns to enjoy our gifts. We open stockings first then presents. I wonder where Santa is going to hide the pickle this year?

Ramadan: A Muslim Tradition
by Jasmine I., Westerly
Fasting, fasting, fasting! Ramadan is Muslim tradition celebrated in July. The meaning of Ramadan is to show Allah we love him, our family, and friends. We cannot eat from sunrise to sunset in Ramadan. Kids can even fast. We cannot eat food OR water. We pray before we eat. We start fasting at 4:14 a.m. When we fast, we have a big meal because we cannot eat until the sun goes down. That’s usually around nine o’clock p.m. After the sun sets we eat a lot! At the end of Ramadan I feel happy that I fasted to show my love for Allah. I fasted and I am only 8 years old.

Riddles and Surprises
by Sarah L., Westerly
What is the riddle for today going to be? Every year my family sets up an advent calendar. The advent calendar is three buildings. The buildings have doors, windows, and other places that are numbered. Every day up to December 25th we open a spot. Our mom and dad write riddles and put them in the numbered spots. On the day of that number, we open the number that goes with it. My brother, sister, and I read the riddle. We solve the riddle and find a hidden treat or surprise. I really love our advent calendar tradition.

Sweet, Sweet Christmas
by Luke B., Westerly
Good times, good times on Christmas Day. Did you know that I eat cookies and drink milk when I am sitting around the Christmas tree telling stories? I go to our cousins' house and we do lots of stuff in their man cave like foosball, beyblades, sword fights, and play the Xbox. When we go to our grandparents’ house, if we sleep in, we can have donuts for breakfast as a special reward. We get lots of cool presents. We celebrate Jesus’ birthday by going to church, singing songs, and playing games. I bet this Christmas will be as fun as last year.

The Giving Box
by Tommy M., Westerly
Yay yay yay! That is how kids in poor countries feel when they get Christmas gifts. Every year my family fills shoeboxes with Christmas gifts for kids in other countries. Then we give them to our church and they ship them. My family goes to the dollar store and buys stuff to put in the boxes. We get toys, stuffed animals, soap, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. You can choose if you want to give them to a boy or girl and what age they are. After the kids get them, our church shows us pictures of them opening the boxes. I have a lot of fun with my family filling the shoeboxes.

Eid, A Good Holiday
by Mohammed A., Westerly 
Presents, presents, presents. Where are my presents. How many more days until the first day of Eid? Fun, fun, fun for everyone.We have three days of Eid and on the last day of Eid we get presents and we have a feast. We get ten dollar bills from our grandma and we get to spend it at Crocker Park and The Great Northern Mall. We also stay up late, read, and we go to sleep at 11:00 p.m. Before we go to sleep, we do a race with remote control cars and eat cereal. When I dream I wish Eid was everyday. 

Thankful Gifts
by Hannah S., Westerly
Do you have any holiday traditions? We have some fun traditions at my house. One of my favorite traditions is opening gifts. My brother and I sit in my mom and dad’s room. My mom and dad go out in the living room to see if there are any Christmas presents under the Christmas tree. Then we get to go out to our living room and open gifts. We also see if the cookies that we had left for Santa Claus are gone. The cookies are a snack that we leave for Santa. There are usually some crumbs left so someone ate the cookies. Finally we empty the stockings. We dump them out with the goodies. There are little things like candy in our stockings. The presents make me feel thankful for my wonderful family.

Holidays At Hartville
by Bennett B., Westerly
What’s your special holiday? My family traditions are full of memories. On every Christmas Eve we go to Hartville, Ohio, for dinner and to open presents. We eat in the basement and set up huge tables. We can’t open presents until everybody is there and finished eating. Before we eat we pray. The food is great and we eat things like ham and cranberries. We have a great time.

I Love Celebrating Christmas
by Grant S., Westerly
My family and I all love celebrating Christmas. We put up a Christmas  tree and decorate everything in the house. On Christmas morning, my sister wakes my brother and me up at 5:00 a.m. She wakes me up even after I told her I was sleeping in. Then we wake up our parents. When everyone is awake, we read the note Santa left us by the empty milk glass and cookie crumbs. At the end of the day we gather around and open up our presents. I love Christmas. 

Christmas Eve
by Madeline J., Westerly
Do you know what my favorite time of the year is? It’s Christmas, of course. We hide a sparkle pickle ornament in our tree. We switch who hides the pickle ornament every year. After we open presents at my house we drive to my grandma's and the person who hid the pickle will pick a person to try to hide the pickle. If that person can not find it they would have to pick another person to try to find it. Whoever finds it will get an extra present. We start opening the presents that she has for us at her house. We also have a special breakfast at her house. Also I am the first one to wake up for Christmas. My whole family celebrates Christmas together.

What Kind Of Presents Will I Get This Year ?
by Ava C., Westerly
Fun, fun, fun. Opening presents with my family is more fun than hearing Santa say, “Ho, ho ho!” My brother Ryan and I go in our parents’ room and jump on their bed to wake them up. Next we go in our other brother Ethan’s room and wake him up. Then we run downstairs to the Christmas tree to open our gifts. First we go to the stockings and see what is in them. We go from youngest to oldest. I am the youngest so I get to open the stockings and presents first! I am always excited. When we open our first present, we start with the smallest present to biggest present. Opening presents with my family makes me feel happy and grateful for having a loving family.

Christmas Time        
by Jass K., Westerly
Every year my sisters and I each get an ornament to put on the Christmas tree. I have gotten a Spiderman, nutcracker, and a fishing bear ornament. It's always so fun! While we are at the Christmas store, we buy a tree. Next we go home and we put up the Christmas decorations. After that we put on the ornaments. When we are done, we play outside in the snow, if there is any. We drink hot chocolate when we’re finished and watch a movie before going to bed. We all had a fun day.     

Decorating My Christmas Tree
by Noah S., Westerly
My family decorates two Christmas trees. The first one is an artificial that my sister and I decorate. We put ornaments that we made in school on the tree. We have big bins of ornaments and we pick out the fun ones to put on the tree. I like this little snowman ornament that was my mom’s when she was little. I wonder what I am going to pick this year.

Christmas Time Is Near
by Erin B., Westerly
Do you know why Christmas is so special to me every year? I put up my Christmas tree with my family every Christmas year. I put my ornaments on my Christmas tree. We sort our Christmas ornaments so we can put up our own Christmas ornaments. My brother and sister like their very own ornaments then we put them on our tree. My brother, sister, and I watch "The Santa Clause" movie with my mom on the Friday before Christmas. We love to cuddle up and get cozy when we watch the movie. My family goes to my grandma’s and grandpa’s house for a week before the holidays. My grandma has a countdown till Christmas. We always get to mark it. We open our stockings first on Christmas day. When everyone wakes up, we eat breakfast and everyone gets ready so we can open our presents. Our cousins come to our grandma’s house and we exchange gifts. I think I have a good day on Christmas.

My Christmas Story!
by Alexa S., Westerly
Do you want to know what my family and I do every Christmas? First we go as a family to pick a Christmas tree. Our cats try to eat the tree! You don’t eat trees! Then we put lights on our tree. We usually put colored lights around the tree and then we add all the ornaments. We leave Santa a list of gifts we want most. That is what my family and I do on Christmas.

What Ornament Will I Get?
by Jason P., Westerly
HO, HO, HO! Santa lands on my rooftop. We have many fun family traditions. We go to my grandma's house on the Saturday before Christmas every year. On the dinner table she puts an ornament at each person’s seat. We get to take these ornaments home. My cousins always come and sometimes they get to sleep over. We get presents from my grandma and her family. I am excited for this year and all of my family’s Christmas traditions. I wonder what ornament will be at my seat this year?

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Volume 7, Issue 24, Posted 9:45 AM, 12.15.2015