Christmas traditions

Story by: Sydney Shurman, Reviews Editor
Photos by: Elizabeth Miller, staff photographer

Christmas treeOn Christmas morning, many children across America wake up early, eager to see which presents they have received from good old Saint Nick. What about other children who celebrate Christmas, though? What are they eagerly awaiting on Christmas morning, if anything?

Not every child pictures a jolly man in a red suit climbing down a chimney at night to deliver presents. On the flip side, some do not dread receiving coal in their stockings either. In fact, coal may seem like a pretty awful gift to receive, but punishments in other countries can be quite a bit worse.

For example, some children believe in a horned beast called Krampus, who is now becoming more well-known in America in light of the recent movie. The legend originated in Germany, but over the years has become popular in all of the Alpine countries. Krampus is a sort of anti-Santa, who instead of bringing a sack full of toys, stuffs bad children into a sack to take them away. He also carries birch sticks in order to swat at the misbehaving kids.

Greece also has some rather strange Christmas lore. According to their legends, there are goblins that live underground and saw away at the World Tree all year, which will eventually collapse and destroy the world. However, on Christmas, they forget all of their plans and come up to the surface in order to terrorize people. When Christmas is over, they return to their home to begin their mission again, creating an endless cycle.

On a more positive note, there are many festive and fun winter traditions too. St. Lucia is a festival of sorts which involves the oldest daughter in a household performing several simple but meaningful duties. She wears a white dress, red sash, and a crown made of twigs and nine candles. Then, she wakes up her family members and they eat breakfast in a candlelit room. Later, all of the people gather to have a parade with torches. At the end of the parade they all throw the torches onto a pile of hay to create a bonfire. St. Lucia originated in Sweden but is now celebrated in all of the Scandinavian countries.

Australians really mix it up by celebrating Christmas in the middle of their summer. People will even go to the beach or have a barbeque, in typical Australian fashion. Otherwise, the celebration is fairly similar to American traditions, with family gatherings, gift exchanges, and a nice meal.

Even within our own borders there is a wide variety of ways to celebrate Christmas. Some people opt out of putting up a Christmas tree, others go out to eat instead of cooking, the possibilities are endless.

holidays“We celebrate Chanukkah, which is a combination of Christmas and Hanukkah,” said Hailey Patton. “We celebrate it because my grandpa is Jewish, and the rest of our family celebrates Christmas, so for him we combined it and made it Channukkah. We still do the lighting of the candles on the Menorah and then we get ‘gelt,’ which is money, every night of Hanukkah. Then we also celebrate Christmas, but with an added Hanukkah gift to it.”

It may seem cliche, but everyone truly is different, and Christmas is made even more wonderful by all of the different celebrations. Whether someone says “Merry Christmas,” “Froehliche Weihnachten,” or “Feliz Navidad,” Christmas is a magical time of year.

Capitalosers

Story by: Maggie Brown, News/Copy Editor
Photos by: Zoe Jenkins, Staff Photographer

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As the holidays arrive, people become more and more infatuated with the idea of “help thy neighbor.” These ideals, while still present, are fading fast under the large looming presence of capitalist greed. The holiday season is crawling with people who care for nothing more than themselves and what they can get out of it. If something does not cater exactly to them and what they want out of a shopping experience, the whole world has to be put on hold.

The system that claims the customer is always right is the same system that is creating a societal monster which insists that they are not only right, but entitled to pitch a fit at anyone who suggests otherwise.

To most consumers, the holidays are a pain. All they can think of are situations to complain about. Everything is expensive, parking lots are crowded, Starbucks will not say “Merry Christmas” and all of the people working are being so rude!

capitalism 2But what they do not realize is that expensive items are not what the holidays are supposed to be about, and they could have been shopping online and nowhere near parking lots at all. Starbucks is taking a step in the right direction since Christmas is not the only holiday the world celebrates in December, and the people who they perceive as rude have been on their feet for five hours and have been dealing with people angry at them for things they can not control.

The way we run our economic system is destroying us, as is evident by the homeless that fill the city streets, the attitudes we have towards money and items, and the way we treat those providing services as though they owe us something. Capitalism brought this country to life, but it will, in the end, be the death of us.

Prices raising for the holidays

Story by: Ashley Offenbach, staff writer
Photos by: Ashley Offenbach, staff writer

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Starting on Black Friday, a day where people crowd the street for deals, prices for products change dramatically. The day after Thanksgiving, for one day, prices are at the lowest, then they skyrocket.

December is when most people get their holiday shopping done. There is most likely not many people in October or even most of November shopping for holiday gifts. It all starts after Black Friday. Stores are crowded, lines stretch to the back of the store to get family and friends the best gift cards or the newest device that just came out.

Stores see this as a time to get customers to spend a lot of money on products. Stores raise prices as it gets closer to Christmas because people buying gifts very close to the holidays will sometimes be willing to pay more just to get what they want.

Why are the prices during eleven out of the twelve months lower, while the last month of the year has insane prices? Because the company knows the customer will buy them for gifts, if they are last-minute shopping close to the holidays.

Stores put their Christmas trees out as soon as Halloween ends with what they claim are amazing deals. Some people think this is too early, but are willing to the price. Others want the deal, and they want it quick.

Taylor Bragdon, 12, said, “They make special deals so that you buy more so you spend as much, if not more, than you normally would. I personally feel like it is better to start Christmas shopping earlier like during all the semiannual sales in July so you aren’t tempted to buy as much but still get a good deal.¨

The prices for anything, especially if it is holiday related, such as trees, ornaments, or lights, are going to be significantly cheaper in November than in December.

So it is time to think about when buying holiday gifts are more convenient, November or December, so customers are saving money, or the stores should just keep their prices at a reasonable price through the holidays.