Saxon Holiday Season

Exploring how Saxons celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah


The two week break off of school for students makes the holiday season special, but celebrating the holidays is equally if not more important than the break for some Saxons.

“My family makes a lot of food and we spend quality time together,” sophomore Natalie Meza said, referencing the holiday break. In addition to the two weeks off, Meza celebrates Christmas, using both Christmas Eve and Christmas day itself to celebrate.

“On Christmas Eve I eat with my extended family and then when it turns midnight I open presents from my grandparents and aunts and uncles,” Meza said. While Meza begins celebrating the day before, others begin celebrating the Christmas holiday much earlier in December, or even November. This is true for sophomore Sophia Kerns.

“[My family and I] go out at the beginning of December to buy a real tree…my mom enjoys putting up decorations and my little sister and I enjoy helping,” Kerns said. Tree decorating is a large part of Christmas for Kerns, as are rules to present opening.

“We cannot go downstairs until everyone is awake and my parents have their coffee.” Kerns said. She’s not alone though, Meza agreed with her saying, “my parents like to have everything set up and organized before my brother and I are allowed down.” Other holidays don’t work quite the same way though. 

“We start by lighting the shammash with a lighter while saying our first prayer. Afterwards, we will light the other candles from left to right with the shammash. Afterwards, we will give out gifts. This was not originally a part of the holiday, but has been a tradition with the westernization of [Hanukkah]. It’s still a nice touch anyways,” freshman Eden Whalen said. Although the holidays and the ways they are celebrated differ, the one thing that seems to not, is the food. Food isn’t only a way to connect people on the holidays, but some food has real meaning on the holidays.

“Popular foods are latkes, fried potato pancakes, and sufganiyot, jelly donuts. Both are fried in oil to pay homage to the original menorah. If it is Shabbat, or a Friday night, we will say the Shabbat prayers before dinner and eat challah with our dinner,” Whalen said. 

The end of the holiday season is never enjoyable, but each year brings new memories and experiences with friends and family that will last a lifetime.