Westlake first-graders share their favorite family traditions
For the Observer's annual last-issue-of-the-year feature, students from Mrs. Jenny Larcey's first-grade class at Westlake Elementary School share favorite family traditions.
Have you ever tried spaghetti before? My family has a special recipe. You should try it! My family and I eat spaghetti every Thursday. Sometimes I put vegetables in my spaghetti. Sometimes I put in meatballs. Then we go to my aunt and uncle's house and my cousins and I play a game we made up called, “Families.” We take turns being the mom, sister and baby. Thursdays are the best days in my family!
Do you know what Eid is? Eid is a type of holiday when you will see family and friends. You will go to the mosque to pray and after you will go home to change your clothes. Then you will go eat breakfast with your family and friends. After that when everybody has left, you will go shopping for toys. This is my favorite family tradition!
What season has a lot of snow and lights with gifts? Christmas! My favorite tradition is seeing the Christmas lights on Seabury Avenue. A bunch of houses decorate with Christmas lights. We walk down Seabury with Aunt Marie, Calvin, and Uncle Mark. We use blankets and heat pouches because it is cold. We walk under arches of lights. Trees have snowy ice lights drooping down with icicles on top. Christmas is the best season!
Do you like going on vacations? Well if it's far you go on a plane, if it’s close you go in a car. My family goes on a trip to a different place in December. We go because my mom’s birthday is on Dec. 31. We have gone to Spain and California. This year we are going to France. I love these trips with my family because I like being with my family and seeing new places.
Do you want to learn about Christmas traditions? My favorite tradition is decorating the tree! The day after Thanksgiving we love decorating the tree. Do you want to know why it is so fun? We spend it with our FAMILY! Every year we take turns putting the star on the top. We listen to Christmas music when we decorate. When the tree is all decorated we turn off the lights in the house and turn on the Christmas tree lights …WOW!
Do you exchange white elephant gifts? We do this is on Christmas. I do it with my aunts, uncles and cousins. Everyone gets a silly gift and we play a game to exchange presents. It is so special because it is always so much fun to see the gifts.
My favorite family tradition is driving around to see Christmas lights. We wear pajamas and bring cocoa in the car. We have a Grinch contest to see how many Grinches we can find. We see so many pretty lights. The pretty colors are red, blue, yellow, green, pink and white. We usually do it two weeks before Christmas. It’s a time to be together, not working but having a good time. Time to get in the car … vroom vroom!
Do you decorate for Christmas? My family puts my tree up after Thanksgiving. Then I decorate my house. After I decorate inside my house then we decorate the outside. My mom puts up the decorations. The last decoration is lighted greens on the porch. Decorating for Christmas is lots of fun!
“Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree, Oh how I want to see you.” Every year my family gets a Christmas tree from a tree farm.When we get home we put it up in our house. Then we decorate the Christmas tree with ornaments and colored lights. My dad puts the angel on top. Now you know how the Dutts decorate our Christmas tree. It’s my favorite family tradition.
Do you want to learn about spring gardening? Well you're in luck because I know how to garden. My mom and I love to garden together. You can grow a pretty pink flower and strawberries too. You can grow so many things in the garden. Someday I’m going to be a spring gardener like my mom!
Have you ever looked for sea glass? I have! “What is sea glass?” Good question. I’m gonna teach you about this shiny rock. We do this fun activity in winter or summer break. We have a growing collection of sea glass that reminds us of our special trips to the beach. It is an exciting and fun tradition in my family! Now comes the best part … we take it home and set it out and admire our treasures of the day!
Have you ever celebrated Eid? On Eid morning we go to the masjid. A masjid is another name for mosque. We pray at the mosque. After we pray we meet our friends and family. Then we go to nice places like the zoo or the park or the playground. When we are done we get gifts and sometimes we get money. Other times we get candy! Then we go to restaurants and buy food. After we're done we might even get some dessert. Eid is so much fun.
Have you ever been to brunch with Santa? You eat a lot of food. There are omelets, mac and cheese and fruit. There are crafts, cookie decorating and of course visiting Santa. Brunch is on a weekend in December. This tradition is special to my family because we get to spend a fun day with our family.
Boom! Boom! Listen to the fireworks go. It must be Diwali! I celebrate Diwali with my family. We light the candles. My parents buy dresses on Diwali and surprise me! They buy it online. It is in October. This starts off the festival season for us. We mostly eat lots of food. This is my favorite tradition.
Have you ever heard about Hanukkah? Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday. Hanukkah comes in November or December at sundown. Hanukkah has eight nights. We eat potato pancakes called latkes. We light a candle called the menorah every night. We give presents to our family! Hanukkah is a joyful holiday.
Have you ever celebrated Diwali? Diwali is the festival of lights. It is at the end of October or beginning of November based on the Hindu calendar. We light firecrackers. We make a rangoli. A rangoli is a sand design that we make on Diwali. We pray to God. And then we listen to some Indian sing along music. Diwali is a fun time to celebrate our family and friends and pray for their health and happiness!
Have you ever opened presents from Santa? They are full of joy. If you are bad you will get coal. If you are good you will get a gift on Christmas Day. You might get so many presents they will fill your living room! I hope you learned something about my favorite family tradition.
Do you know about Chinese New Year? Chinese New Year falls in January or February every year. There is food and red envelopes with money and cleaning and decorating. The decorating is probably with Chinese decorations. It is mostly about sharing. And in busy streets in China there are Chinese New Year festivals. Xīnnián hǎo (新年好) or New Year Goodness to you and your family!
Have you ever celebrated Diwali? Diwali is a special tradition in my family. We wake up early, take a shower and get dressed in new pretty clothes. Then it is time to go to the temple to pray. In the evening we decorate our house with lights. Finally we light firecrackers. Diwali is so special because all of our relatives come together!
Do you have a pickle ornament? This is a special tradition in my family. Every year I get to hide the pickle. We start playing “Hide the Pickle” during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. I like this because it is so hard but it’s fun to find it. If you have one you can do it too!