Wilson students celebrate many holidays this winter break


Madelyn Shapiro

Discounted items decorate every store window. Wreaths and lights have been put up on houses. Radios play Christmas music on a loop.
In other words, it’s December.
The holiday season is different for everyone. A survey of a group of Wilson students showed that 75% celebrate Christmas, 9% celebrate Hannukah, 11% celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah, and 5% celebrate Kwanzaa.
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Christians usually go to church, gather with family, and receive presents. Some people, however, celebrate Secular Christmas. A secular Christmas is when someone practices the well known Christmas traditions, such as receiving presents or taking photos with Santa Claus, but does not follow the religious aspect of the holiday, and opts out of going to church. Out of the people that celebrate Christmas, the survey showed that 14% celebrate it secularly.
Hanukkah lasts for eight days. It honors the miracle of light, where oil to light the Jews’ temple burned for eight days instead of the usual one day the small ration of oil would usually burn for. Most people celebrate by lighting the menorah, playing with dreidels, and Jewish specialties, such as Latkes, which are fried potato pancakes. Some families also exchange presents during these days.
At Wilson, some people also celebrate Kwanzaa. Kwanzaa is a non-religious celebration of African culture. It is practiced by lighting seven different candles, each representing a principle that Africans should value. Freshman Jahi Guise said that “lighting the candles at night,” along with getting “presents on different days” was his favorite part of the holiday.
These three holidays all have several similarities. They all focus on celebrating light as a means of hope and joy, as Christians wrap lights around their trees and houses, and people celebrating Hanukkah and Kwanzaa light candles. All of these holidays also embrace spending time with family and loved ones.
No matter what holiday someone celebrates, or even if they do not celebrate a holiday, December is a time for commemorating what matters most to them. This may be their family, their friends, their heritage, or their religion. Happy holidays!