Various Holiday Traditions Around Foran High School


Evan Kerzner

Menorah and Christmas Tree: Hanukkah and Christmas, two very different holidays, celebrated around the same time by many students and faculty at Foran High School.

Austin Lermayer and Evan Kerzner

     The date is December 24, the night before Christmas Day. Christmas lights are glowing bright red and green, Christmas trees are full of lights and various ornaments, and everyone’s gathering around a warm and comforting log fire. Although this may seem like a typical holiday night for many people, it may not be the norm for other families as people celebrate other holidays and have other interesting traditions.  

     Students at Foran High School are all celebrating the holiday season in different ways. According to a student survey of 105 students, 45.6%  travel during the holiday season, 96.11% of students celebrate Christmas, with 92.3% of them putting up a real or fake Christmas tree, and 5.9% of students celebrate other religious holidays such as Hanukkah, Diwali, Three Kings Day, and Gurpurab. With this survey, this shows the diverse environment of what holidays students celebrate at Foran as there are many different holidays being celebrated through many different cultures.

     Additionally, 70% of students are able to gather with their families for this years’ festivities. There are also many religious traditions that students participate. According to the survey, some of the religious traditions are not eating meat, lighting a Menorah, wearing paper crowns, having Christmas crackers on plates, and singing/caroling a Swedish song around a flagpole. 

     Some traditions include candy cutting events, ugly sweater contests, Christmas lists, watching holiday films, hiding a ‘pickle ornament’ around people’s houses and first to find it wins the competition, and unwrapping a ball of plastic wrap and finding gifts inside using oven mitts. 

     Students are not the only people at Foran getting into the holiday spirit. Ms. Melissa Jones, an English teacher, describes how varying holiday festivities and the traditions that she enjoys partaking in along with her family.

     Jones says, “Just spending time with family, listening to some Christmas music, watching some Christmas movies, eating lots of cookies, making lots of cookies, and thinking of past Christmases and our memories from those with relatives that aren’t with us anymore.” 

     Foran parents are also ready to enjoy the holiday spirit. Jackie Wrigley, a teacher at Trumbull High School and mother of junior Cal Wrigley, also likes to celebrate the holidays. Wrigley says, “One holiday tradition my family and I celebrate is going to the Christmas Tree Lighting the day after Thanksgiving and picking out a tree at Robert Treat Farms. This year, we will continue our tradition of having Christmas Eve at my mother in laws house, and Christmas at my sister in laws home. We are likely going to see the Christmas lights at the Bronx Zoo as well.”

     It is truly awe-inspiring and amazing to see the different holiday traditions that are practiced around our school and community. Whether it be Hanukkah, Christmas, or Kwansaa, many holidays are celebrated around this time of year and all of these holidays and traditions are represented in our small community and school.