Holiday Traditions Are Varied Among a More Diverse Cinnaminson Community

Emma Passey , Editor in Chief

With the holidays rapidly approaching, students at CHS are beginning to participate and prepare for their different holiday traditions. Because of Cinnaminson’s diverse student population, there are a variety of different customs around the Christmas season.

Sophomore Julia Evans’ family participates in a “Chinese Pollyanna”, which has different rules than a typical Pollyanna. In Chinese Pollyanna, everyone brings a wrapped gift along to the Christmas party. Each person picks a number out of a hat, and whoever gets the first number gets the first pick and it goes on vice versa. Any person can “steal” a gift from any person who picked before them, and if your gift gets stolen then you get a chance to choose at the end of everyone picking.

Jack Conville, a senior, shared that he and his family wear pajamas to his aunt’s house on Christmas. Other seniors, such as Miranda Rooney, also participate in pajama centered-traditions, in which her and her cousins all get matching pajamas to wear on Christmas Eve.

Ayushi Patel, also a senior, explained that her “family does not religiously celebrate Christmas, and [her] parents only started celebrating Christmas when they came to America from India”. The only tradition her family has acquired over the years of celebrating a new holiday is having all of their relatives that live close over for a party on Christmas. Typically, only Christian families celebrate Christmas, but many people who follow other religions and live in America celebrate it as it is such a widely celebrated holiday in our country. In countries where Christianity is not the primary religion, however, such as India, Christmas is not as widely celebrated and acknowledged.

Members of both the students and faculty participate in the Seven Fishes tradition, which is typically an Italian tradition that is followed on Christmas Eve. Mrs. Hamilton, the guidance secretary, has been doing the “7 Fishes” her entire life, and has made it something that her children will also follow in for years to come. The “7 Fishes” is a meal that consists of seven different seafood meals, but some families have increased it to nine, ten, or eleven dishes.

Mrs. Hamilton said that she “typically has her entire family over, as well as some close family friends that bring with them their own traditions for them to participate in”.

Having a parent from a foreign country brings with it new traditions that not everyone can relate to or understand. My dad is from England, so every Christmas Eve and Christmas we do Christmas crackers, which are cardboard paper tubes, wrapped in brightly colored paper and twisted at both ends. There is a banger inside the cracker, two strips of chemically altered paper that react with friction so that when the cracker is pulled apart by two people, the cracker makes a bang. Inside the cracker are typically little toys, and then a paper crown that everyone wears. Also, the day after Christmas in an English household is celebrated as Boxing Day, which usually entails families and friends getting together and watching soccer for the night because Boxing Day is the biggest day of the year for soccer games in England.

Students at Cinnaminson High School participate in an exorbitant number of holiday traditions, and whether it be little traditions such as matching pajamas or more prominent traditions like the “7 Fishes,” each family has their own tradition they will be doing this holiday season.