Holiday Traditions Outside of the Nest


As winter approaches, the holiday season follows with families and friends getting together to celebrate. EHS experiences the holidays with traditions ranging from hallway decorating, door decorating, gingerbread-house-making competitions, and concerts. The students and faculty at EHS celebrate as well with traditions of their own. These traditions are rooted in family, passed down through generations. 

With Christmas time, many families around town decorate their houses, even if they may not religiously celebrate. It helps to spread the holiday cheer throughout the neighborhood to those who get to admire their decorations. “One of the traditions when I was a kid was we would drive around to look at the Christmas lights with Dunkin Donuts hot chocolate. One of the cooler houses we would stop by is a Sesame Street-themed house in Port Reading,” said Math teacher Ms. Amanda Gonczi. While some look at the lights locally, others look at the larger displays outside of simple neighborhoods, such as the lights in Six Flags Great Adventure, or the drive-thru light shows in Newark, New Jersey. 

During the holidays, families also get together, no matter how close or far they may be. “On Christmas Eve, I go to my sister’s house with my family, and on Christmas morning, my family and I go to my mother’s house for breakfast,” said P.E. teacher Mr. Michael Meagher. Some go out of state, such as Mahidhar Venkataramanan ‘26: “During winter break, we go up to Boston to stay with some family from Christmas to New Year’s.” 

With family, people reminisce over past memories with each other. Kanishk Ragimanu ‘25 said, “My parents used to always have my family take pictures at the mall with Santa. I remember sitting on Santa’s lap and being forced to smile, but they’re nice pictures to look back on during the holidays with family.” 

As a parent conducting these activities, Mr. Michael Evans said, “When my kids were younger, we would cut down Christmas trees and go Christmas caroling.” These activities may have been a bit embarrassing at the moment, but looking back on them with family adds to the joy of the holidays.

Another important factor with the holidays is sharing food with one another. Whether eating or making the food, people bond over these meals. As many different ethnic groups celebrate these winter holidays, they celebrate with their traditional foods. Venkataramanan said, “On Christmas, we have a large dinner, with one main part being a baked chicken, but also eating food from our culture, like panipuri.” Other people indulge in cooking instead of eating. Some follow new internet recipes, while others are content watching others cook. 

Meher Mehta ‘25 said, “Two of my favorite traditions are watching Christmas-themed cooking shows and making desserts. For me, food is a really big part of what makes the holidays special, so I love to include it in my celebrations.” 

Whether being with family or friends during these holidays, it’s nice to spend time with one another, and even teach each other about your traditions. As Mehta said, “I think everyone should find a tradition to do with friends, family, or even by themselves. They always give you something to look forward to during holidays, and they allow you to make your own memories.” EHS has its traditions here, but there’s always more to learn about outside of the nest.