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  • Eliza Press and Bella Scovotti

Edgemont’s Holiday Happenings

The most wonderful time of the year is finally here! Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, another holiday, or nothing at all, the holiday cheer is starting to appear. Between holiday shopping, the encroaching cold weather, and other festivities, the holiday spirit lingers in the air. You have probably started counting down the days until winter break, awaiting some time away from school.

With the addition of free time over winter break, we became interested in learning about what holiday traditions Edgemont’s students and faculty members partake in. Whether these holiday festivities are new or have been around for quite some time, the variety of ways to celebrate the holiday season allows us to reflect upon our own customs and appreciate the traditions of those around us.

There are many different ways to celebrate the holidays, some of which go back many generations while others are newer. Nevertheless, each holiday tradition gives us a glance at what people cherish in their lives. For instance, Caroline Fleischhauer (‘23), loves making challah bread with her stepmom every year. “She’s Jewish and my dad’s Catholic so I found it interesting to mix different traditions with each other.” Caroline appreciates the “very unique dynamic, religion-wise, in [her] household.”

Similarly, Mr. Chesterton, a Spanish teacher at EHS, emphasizes the importance of his young kids experiencing different “sides of not just religion, but really more so tradition. Because for us it’s less important about the religion and it's more important about just having fun and being around family.” Mr. Chesterson reminds us how crucial it is to treasure those around you.

Ms. Schutt, an English teacher at Edgemont, also values spending time with her family during the holiday season, explaining to us how ever since her “daughter was little, each year we've added an ornament to our tree, something to do with her life.” During the holiday season, Ms. Schutt and her family also do a fair amount of baking and will “always exchange either Christmas cookies or some other little gift” with neighbors. This remarkably has been a tradition in Ms. Schutt's family for twenty-one years. “So, when we hear the doorbell ring, we know it's a neighbor coming with something!” Whether your holiday traditions are simple or extravagant, it’s nice to be able to take a break from school and enjoy the company of family and friends.

In addition to having traditions, many students and faculty also have a general favorite aspect of the holidays. Mrs. Jacobs, a Special Education teacher and observer of Chanuka, explains how she loves, “to look at the lights that I usually put up, I love looking at that. And, I love buying gifts for people.” With that, we remember the importance of giving during the holiday season.

Linsday Jaffe (‘25) and her family enjoy putting a twist on their holiday gift exchanges. “When we are exchanging gifts on Christmas, someone will give a gift to someone but it is from a famous person that’s related to the gift. If I was given something related to skiing they would sign it from Lindsey Vonn the skier. So it’s just a way to add some liveliness to our Christmas present giving.” Lindsay adds that the holidays are about, “being able to spend time with daily, especially family from far away that {you} don’t get to see as often.”

Ashley Barlow (‘25) stated that one of her favorite parts of the holiday season is going “caroling by the Christmas tree near the duck pond,” every Christmas Eve with her family. The experiences we reminisce about and look forward to each holiday season are unique to everyone, which is what makes them so valuable and memorable.

When asked how to describe the holidays, Edgemont students and faculty commonly used the words “festive,” “warm,” and “friendly.” However, some have added that the gift buying adventures that come with the season are stressful.

Overall, the holidays are a wonderful time to reflect upon the things and people we are most grateful for. We found that it is the people that make holiday traditions so spectacular. So, whether or not you have plans to celebrate the holiday festivities this year, remember to enjoy spending time with those you love and appreciate the magic that comes with the holiday season!


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