Bay Village students share their favorite traditions
The holiday season has arrived, with all of the magic and wonder that make this time of year so special. It is 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, students from Mrs. Martha Fisher’s third-grade class at Westerly Elementary in Bay Village share favorite family traditions.
A Holly Jolly Family
When the adults wake up on Christmas, the kids are forced to stay upstairs. My aunt and uncle sleep over and the rest of my family comes over in the morning to eat breakfast together. After eating we open our presents. Everyone stays for lunch and dinner. After dinner we stay up late. The adults talk while the kids play with their toys. Getting coal on Christmas is a possible outcome of being naughty. But it has not happened to me … yet!
– Emma M.
Are You Ready for Christmas?
Jingle! Jingle! Jingle! Let me tell you about my tradition from the beginning. Before Christmas or even Christmas Eve, we decorate our trees. One of my trees is in the front room by the big window. The other tree is in the living room by the backyard door. I’ll tell you about my small tree first. My small tree has lots of adventure ornaments, family ornaments, and friend ornaments. We have ornaments that my little brother and I made. We have some from when we were born and some of my cute little dog Reagle when he was alive. (He died about 4 years ago.) Other ornaments are from when my parents were kids. Some are from vacations, even ornaments from Owen’s and my friends. The other tree is all blue and silver, blue poinsettia flowers, silver and blue fake plants, blue and silver ribbon. It is beautiful! I love seeing my little brother’s face when we’re all done decorating the trees. He sparkles with joy!
– Olivia M.
Awesome December Traditions
One of our December traditions is we make tons and tons of cookies.We give some of the cookies to our neighbors. We probably make 200 cookies. I really like two types of cookies: sugar cookies and peanut butter cookies. The cookies taste very good. One other tradition is we go to Christmas Eve Mass at St. Charles in Parma. After mass, we go to my Mame and Pepe’s house. When we get there, we have dinner of sausage and pierogies, yum! After dinner we open presents. I hope you have very MERRY CHRISTMAS!
– Joe B.
Sweet Candy Elf
We have an Elf On The Shelf for our tradition. She comes to our house in early December. She hides somewhere at night when we are sleeping. Then we wake up in the morning and try to find her. When we find her, she has candy! She makes sure we’re good because she goes to Santa’s house every night. She also takes our letters to Santa and shows Santa our Christmas lists. Sometimes she even changes her outfit! She has rosy cheeks, short brown hair, red skirt with white ruffles at the bottom, a Santa hat, and blue eyes. On Christmas she even brings extra candy! Last but not least, her name is Sweet Candy. Jingle! Jingle! Don’t forget if you don’t find her, you don’t get any candy!
– Kara D.
First, on Christmas Eve I bake cookies and all kinds of treats with my mom. My mom and dad are divorced but my dad comes over to my mom’s house. We go to church together. On Christmas morning I wake up early and I only get treats for breakfast. We all put our hands together and say a prayer of thanks. Then we take silly pictures of each other. My dog opens his present and I open my presents. My dad leaves and my mom and I drive to my grandma’s house with all my new toys. I get presents there too. My cousin and I play together with our new toys. All December I have two Advent calendars, one is chocolate and the other is Lego. My Christmas is always fun and I hope yours is too.
– Margaux J.
For Christmas we go to Hixson’s in Lakewood with my family. Mr. Hixson made ornaments for the White House. I have a bunch of ornaments from there. I have two cats hugging each other. One is black and one is brown. I have another ornament that is a pickle that says “Dill with it.” I have a banana Santa and it is yellow and shaped like a banana with a Santa face. The mermaid ornament has a blue tail and blond hair and is sitting on a rock. My dad has a cat playing the banjo in Hawaii. One of my favorites is a soccer ball with red, white and blue colors. It usually takes two or three hours to pick mine but I always find the best one. I wonder what I will find this year!
– Cannon C.
My family has many Christmas traditions but my favorite is the White Elephant. If you don’t know what that is, let me explain. Anyone who wants to participate brings in a gift, not for anyone in particular, and you get a number. When your number is pulled, you pick a gift no one has yet. If you decide you don’t want this gift, then when someone else picks a gift you can trade. But you can only trade three times. This year, I’m probably going to do a toy-sized carousel with three white horses. One has purple reins and saddle, one has blue reins and saddle, and one has pink reins and saddle. I’m pretty sure it lights up, but I know that it winds up and spins. Two years ago we got a white fuzzy blanket. Last year we got a black fuzzy blanket. I’m also excited for this year’s White Elephant because it’s my first year not sharing a gift. My favorite part is when everyone opens their gift to see what they got! Now that you know my favorite Christmas tradition, you should start your own!
– Amy I.
Christmas With Cousins
Thirteen cousins! I wonder what will happen? On Christmas morning my family opens all of our presents at home and then all of my cousins go to my aunt and uncle's because they have a really big house. On Christmas days that are snowy we all play outside. My uncle has a Bernese Mountain dog named Obi and he is so big that he can pull us up and down the hills on a sled. If there is no snow, we play the “Monster Game” in the basement. One cousin is the monster and tries to turn the other cousins into monsters by tagging them. We run all around the basement. I hide in the dark and the monster/cousins never see me. Ha ha. After all of the activity we eat brunch because by now we are really hungry. Thirteen cousins make Christmas Day special to me.
– Gavin F.
Christmas in Florida
Jingle, Santa, gifts and then Florida! The day after Christmas I have to start packing. Why do I have to start packing? My family is going to Florida. Going to Florida is our biggest holiday tradition. Some of my family lives in Florida and we stay through New Year's Eve and then an extra week after that. When we go to Florida, we drive by car and stop in North Carolina to see more cousins. I usually am sleeping by the time we get to Clearwater, Florida, our final destination. We go to my aunt and uncle’s house and stay there. Once we spend some time with them, we walk across the street to my other cousins' house. They are two girls and one boy. I play with them for a while and swim in their pool. My sisters and I sometimes sleep over at their house. Every year together we put on a circus and a magic show. Going to the beach is so much fun. The best thing we do when we are in Florida is celebrating 2017 on New Year’s Eve. At one point we have to leave. It is very sad to leave but then I am happy to see my friends from Ohio. Family, Florida and fun. Going to Florida is the best part of my Christmas!
– Morgan M.
Lake Farm Park
Warm and loving, what does this make you think of? When I hear this it makes me think of Christmas. One of our Christmas traditions is going to Lake Farm Park. About a week or two before Christmas we go there. When you arrive, the first thing you see is a big snowy barn. When you get inside, there’s a gift shop, Santa, and Santa’s workshop. In the workshop there are wooden toys you can make. You tell an elf what toy you want to make. They give you all the big and little pieces to make the toy you picked. After you build, it you get to paint it and add glitter. Then we on get a ride in a carriage pulled by horses to look at the Christmas lights. Some of the lights are curved over you. Soon you're at another barn to see a horse show and we ride a pony. Then we look at all the other animals in the barn like the cows and the pigs. Next we ride the carriage back to the main barn. My sister and I fall asleep in the car on the ride home. I love Lake Farm Park.
– Paige K.
Have you ever gone Christmas caroling with all of your neighbors? Every year my family invites all of our neighbors to our house and the kids play until it’s time to go. Usually around 20 or more people show up. Then we get our caroling books and go house to house singing Christmas songs. My favorite ones are “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Joy to the World.” Once we are done caroling, we go to a neighbor's house and get a cup of hot chocolate. Since it was cold outside the hot chocolate warms me up and feels good because we were singing a lot. Next we play at their house for a bit. We usually watch a movie but sometimes we play on the rope swing and play popcorn on the trampoline. The object of the popcorn game is you try to bounce the person that’s in a ball and try to make them POP and come out of the ball. Most of the time I lose because I don’t weigh a lot. Singing, friends, hot chocolate and playing is my recipe for caroling.
– Sacha J.
Wilcox Tree Farm
Do you want to know what traditions my family has for Christmas? Every December my dad, mom, brother and I go to Wilcox Tree Farm for a tree and have HOT CHOCOLATE! We take a wagon ride to the very back of the farm to pick our tree. My brother and I always argue about the tree we want and we try to convince our dad to cut our tree. Our dad always cuts the trunk evenly. We take a wagon ride back to the front of the farm, our dad stands outside with a loud machine that wraps the tree, while my mom, brother and I have HOT CHOCOLATE! We also go to the Christmas decor/candy store. We tie the tree on the roof of our car to take it home to put it up. Merry Christmas!
– Lucas H.
What’s your favorite holiday? Mine is Christmas where all my family comes together and has fun. We go to our grandparents' house. We make yummy Christmas cookies for Santa Claus. He doesn't really eat the cookies. He just takes one bite out of them. We also give the reindeer some carrots. When we wake up on a beautiful Christmas morning, my sister, my brother and I get up and we take out the goodies in our stocking. We get ornaments, an apple and an orange every year. The apples and oranges are for telling us that in the past, that’s the only thing kids got in their stockings. When everybody wakes up, we open our presents. After opening presents, we get to play with our gifts. Later we go to our cousin’s house and exchange the presents with them.
– Isabella B.
One of my Christmas traditions is every year my elf comes. My elf hides in different places each day. His name is Hockey Elf. One day my elf hid on my Christmas tree. He hides in funny places too. One day he hid on my television upside down. He leaves on Christmas Eve. Hockey comes every day when my family is asleep. My elf goes to the North Pole and tells Santa if we have been bad or good. My elf has never not come to my house. One time Hockey hid on my table reading Elf on the Shelf. Hockey started coming to my house when I was three. He comes on Nov. 26. When I go downstairs the first thing I do is go look for Hockey. My elf sometimes gives my family presents. One time he hid in my room and on Christmas Eve he spelled Christmas with cereal. My favorite Christmas tradition is finding my elf.
– Jackson M.
Both Sides of the Family
Do you celebrate Christmas? Every Christmas Eve we go to my dad’s side of the family's house. There we eat dinner, open gifts and watch movies. Then around 9:00 we leave and go home. In the morning, my brother wakes me up around 5:00 and shows me all the presents. We wait for my dad and mom to wake up. When they wake up, we open our stockings, then the wrapped presents. Next we enjoy cinnamon rolls. Now my mom's side comes to our house, and we eat a delicious brunch. Then we open each other’s presents and watch movies.
– Steven A.
Christmas is Family to Me
On Christmas Eve we go to my Uncle Todd's house. We have a delicious dinner and we exchange presents. My grandma sleeps over at my house so she can be with us on Christmas morning. First we all get up and enjoy cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Next we open presents, youngest to oldest, one by one. I always start playing with my presents right away. We have fun all day long being a family.
– John V.
Do you want to know what our family does for Christmas? On Thanksgiving everybody picks a small piece of paper with someone’s name on it and whoever you get you have to buy them a present. Every Christmas Eve our family gets together at someone in my family’s house and we exchange presents. We always alternate houses. We sometimes have a family picture! This year my family is coming to my house. At the party, before we exchange presents, there are always snacks, drinks, dinner and my favorite, DESSERT! My favorite dessert is blueberry pie. My cousins and I always play and have fun. We mostly play hide and seek. I usually win because I am the skinniest and almost the smallest so I always get the best hiding place. Sometimes if it’s snowy we go outside and play basketball or jump on my trampoline. I have 15 cousins. All my cousins come over for Christmas Eve.
– John A.
Christmas With Family
What do you do for Christmas? When it is December, we start with getting our Christmas tree and decorating it with all kinds of ornaments. We make peanut butter Hershey's Kiss cookies to eat while we decorate the Christmas tree. In the month of December, we always have a Christmas countdown chart until Christmas Day. Each year we spend Christmas with both sides of my family but one side of our family gets Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The other side we have Christmas on New Year’s Eve. For my dad’s side we have steak fries and English crackers at Aunt Meme’s house. We have breakfast and open gifts with all our cousins, aunts and uncles. Then on Christmas Day we open gifts from Santa. We also have Christmas with our mom’s side of family. We go to our aunt's house for Christmas. We have Chinese for dinner. We open the fortune cookies at midnight. Finally we have Christmas at my house. We have it with my brother, sister, mom and dad. We get presents from them. I always have fun with Christmas!
– Jack W.
Do you celebrate Christmas? Every year I set up all the nativity sets including the snowmen nativity set, bear nativity set, and the mini nativity set. My mom runs the bike co-op so we donate bikes to people in need. We play a card game called Push. It is played with quarters and is a really fun game. Before Christmas we put our carrots for Rudolph, Dasher, Blitzen and all the other reindeer. I have a fun Christmas.
– Luke S.
The Day Before Christmas
What do you do on Christmas for a holiday tradition? My family does Elf on the Shelf. My elf’s name is Tom. Every year somebody hides a certain ornament on the tree and then we try to find the ornament. Whoever finds the ornament wins a prize. We also do things where every day in December we open little pockets and get little gifts. On Christmas Eve we have cinnabuns and bacon with eggs. I have a snowball fight with my brother and make snowmen if there is snow. We sometimes we make our own ornaments.
– Colin M.