Festivities and Fails

Wintertime is a season full of tradition and culture, whether it be a time to celebrate your faith or spend time with family and friends. In this years’ Messenger Holiday Page, we reached out to the Garfield student body to capture the traditions that are not always represented. Unfortunately (?), along with these wholesome traditions comes mishaps and disasters. We wanted to accurately portray both sides of the holiday season, so we curated the best selection of Garfield’s festive traditions and fails.

By Grace Chinowsky and Devon Ling-Efird



“Each year one day I take nuts/frozen peas and go out and feed as many bird as I can.”


Sofia Ruiz

“I have an advent calendar at my house where everyday you put up a different thing that’s from the nativity scene. No one in my family is religious but we still do it. It’s like a Spanish cultural thing, because in Spain everybody has one in their house. I’m going to be in Spain this year, and on the sixth in all Spanish cities they have a parade with the Three Kings coming into town.”



“Burnt popcorn. Duh.”


Gabrielle Stork

“It’s Korean tradition, we dress in traditional Korean dresses… A big part of Korean tradition is respect for your elders, so whether it’s your grandparents or your aunt or uncle, you [pay your respects] and bow, and then they give you cash…and depending on how big your family is, you can get a significant amount.”



“Glitter turkey statue from Cap Hill Goodwill. She was $9.99 and gorgeous.”



“Eat seven fish/seafood on Christmas Eve.”


Aviv Pinker

“The big Jewish holiday that happens in the wintertime is Hanukkah…it’s a super super
fun holiday that doesn’t have a
ton of super religious components… there’s not a lot of prayer or anything, it’s just a fun holiday to celebrate to hang out with family and eat good food.”



“Dutch Christmas on December 5th called Sinterklaas.”


Stefawn Todoran

“One year, I was on a long trip to Romania to visit my grandparents for the holidays. My grandparents live in a rural area, so the house has a really big amount of land surrounding it. On Christmas Eve, we set up a huge tree in our front yard, decorated it with shiny ornaments, the whole nine yards. The next day, how- ever, I woke up and looked out the window and saw that the tree had completely been stripped of all the ornaments. A few weeks later, my mom and I were walking through the market and saw some Roma selling our ornaments to people in town.”



“I have this aunt who is disrespectful and on bad terms with the rest of the family, and she showed up as an uninvited member at a Christmas family gathering. This resulted in a fist-fight between her and another member of the family. Punches and food were thrown. It ended when my other aunt pushed her out of the house and she went away.”


Chander Boyd-Fleigel

“This was when I was four, my family goes to church on Christmas Eve. I used to get so bored during service, so I would always bring my toys to play with quietly during service. At my church we do this thing where we sing Silent Night at the end of service and we light candles for everyone too. My dad wanted me to participate so he took my toys and put the next to him. I wanted my toys back so I jumped across his lap, but he was holding a candle and my hair caught on fire.”


Autumn Henson

“I used to have a cat named Mr. Tickles. We used to have a 14-foot Christmas tree. We would just cover it in LED lights and they were the ones that gave off a lot of heat so the tree would get really warm. [Mr. Tickles] was always really attracted to warmth so every year, when he was a kitten, he was small enough that he could climb up into the tree and find one spot that was surrounded by LED lights and he would sit in there. One year, we didn’t fix the tree very well and he climbed up to the top branches and weighed it down so much that it tipped over onto our couch. It was the middle of the night and freaked out my parents.”