It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a.. spoon?

December 10, 2009 — by Lillian Chen

They stealthily tip-toe to their neighbors’ door step on Christmas Eve, making sure nobody spots them in the act. Being as silent as they can, they drop off the secret gift in front of the door, ring the doorbell and scurry away as quickly as they can. The neighbors excitedly open the gift, but to their surprise, the elderly man and his son find a spoon. A round, silver spoon.

This has become a tradition for junior Mckenzi Toh and her family every year when they fly to Singapore to spend the holidays with their relatives. Each year, they give a different random item, something that can be found anywhere, as a gift to their neighbors. Their neighbors also counter Toh and her family’s gift-giving act by giving them a random gift such as a tree branch in return.

“We thought they would get mad, but we opened the door and found a nicely wrapped up gift,” said Toh. “It ended up being a sock.”

Many different families have a huge variety of their own traditions for the holiday season. Some get the opportunity to cut down their own Christmas tree with an axe as opposed to selecting an already chopped down tree from a local Christmas tree farm or even a plastic tree.

Sophomore Nicole Borda and her family drive into the Santa Cruz Mountains every December to pick out a Christmas tree. There is a designated area in the Santa Cruz Mountains called Crest Ranch Christmas Tree Farm where anybody who wants to is given an axe and is allowed to cut down an evergreen tree to take home as their Christmas tree.

“My family has been doing it since before I was born,” she said.

Besides cutting down their own tree, the Borda family celebrates the Jewish holiday Hanukkah. Because Hanukkah is before Christmas, she and her family are able to celebrate both holidays, having a dinner on Christmas Eve and exchanging gifts, as well as lighting the Menorah and saying prayers. Borda’s mother’s side of her family is Jewish whereas her father’s side is Catholic.

To commemorate this Jewish holiday, which lasts for eight days, Borda and her family go over to her grandmother’s house where a huge family gathering takes place. Then, after saying prayers for about an hour, they eat a grand dinner every night for all eight days that the holiday lasts.

For sophomore Amanda Olson, tradition is visiting Disneyland every year for Christmas and her birthday, Dec. 21, because the days are so close to each other. Ever since she was 3, she and her father have spent quality time together at Disneyland with roughly four fun days.

“My dad and I get to hang out, and it is really nice because we get really close over the four days that we spend there,” said Olson.

Olson and her father still continue their ongoing tradition of watching the Christmas Parade where famous figure Mickey Mouse would appear and fireworks would explode throughout the sky.

“When I was little, I would sit on his shoulders and watch the parade, but that stopped when I turned 10,” Olson said.

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