Holiday Traditions

Vanessa Saavedra-Rodriguez

Many students in the Virtual Academy have different holiday traditions that are influenced by their ethnicity and or cultures.

“I am Chaldean and my religion is a Christian Catholic,” Stevenson sophomore Ashley Abasso said. “A food that we usually eat are grape leaves stuffed with rice and meat. I usually spend Christmas with my parents, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins. Something meaningful we do is we all go to church as a family and help each other decorate the house.”

Traditions are specific to each family.

“I am Mexican and Catholic,” Stevenson junior Leslie Moya said. “In my culture, we eat pozole and tamales. For activities, we do posadas (an important religious Mexican tradition which includes prayers, food, music and piñatas), light up fireworks and do a gift exchange.”

Seniors will have their last holiday experience as high schoolers and share what they will be doing this year with their holiday traditions.

“I am Chaldean,” Eisenhower senior Elena Putrus said. “We do the basic Christmas activities, including Secret Santa, where each parent gets five kids to buy for since our family is so big. We usually go to my grandma’s house and wear fancy clothes in the afternoon and change into Christmas Pjs at night. We eat a bunch of different foods, like a traditional dish with grape leaves. We also eat lots of different salads, including shawarma salad. One other dish is a rice plate with kabobs and cream chops.”

Teachers have their own traditions they continue with their families.

“We celebrate Christmas and Three Kings day,” Henry Ford Spanish teacher Nicole Lorenzo said. “On January 6, my three children look under their beds for the gifts that the Three Kings have left them. Normally, on Christmas Eve, we go to my mom and dad’s house and all my nieces, nephews and my siblings join us. Then on Christmas Day, it is just the five of us. My husband is from the Dominican Republic so we eat lots of plantains and rice.”