Tidings of holiday traditions to last a lifetime

Bella Lee, Staff writer

Christmas is easily one of my favorite holidays of the year. My birthday is less than a month after, but I love to begin the year with my birthday and end with Christmas. There are several things that I do with my family that, while probably seen as mundane, are something that I hold near and dear to my heart. I usually have two Christmas movies that I watch with my family whenever the season comes around, and those are “Elf ” and “A Christmas Story.” However, a third movie that has joined the crew thanks to my 10 year old brother is “The Grinch,” the animated movie from 2018. Usually, on Christmas morning, we will play these movies on a loop, along with some others, such as the animated “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” being thrown in the mix at times. Also, since we have streaming services, we are able to play lots of Christmas music on Christmas Day as well. Usually, it just comes in the form of playing a video on YouTube, but it is a wonderful atmosphere that really helps to bring the family together. However, one tradition that always brings my family together, in a more sentimental way, is the decorations that we put up on the tree. We normally do not decorate the tree until the week before Christmas, but we have a lot of ornaments that mean a lot to us. My great-grandmother, my stepdad’s paternal grandmother, just passed away a couple of months ago, and she always loved to decorate for Christmas, so we were honored to have been able to inherit her decorations.Additionally, she used to quilt amazing blankets and other tapestries, including the Christmas tree skirt that we own, so that makes the holiday all the more sentimental and special to us. My family does not just enjoy Christmas traditions; we also have traditions for New Years as well. On my dad’s side, there are some specific traditions that are a part of Korean culture.This consists of making mandu (Korean dumplings) and bowing to my grandparents three times as a way to receive their blessings. On my mom’s side, what we tend to do for New Years is go to my grandparent’s house. We always celebrate the New Year twice: once on the East Coast, since we watch the ball drop in New York City, and once in Central Time, since my mom’s side of the family lives in Texas. I even did this when 2019 became 2020, even though I had my wisdom teeth removed just hours prior. Overall, the winter holidays are something I look forward to every year. That, combined with my birthday, are big reasons for why winter is my favorite season. I cannot wait for winter break this year so that I can do all of these traditions with my family!