The Northside Chronicle has paired with Manchester Academic Charter School to feature the works of students in grades 6-8.

This month, 5 seventh graders will share their family’s holiday traditions. You can also find the selected work of four additional students in our December 2010 print edition.

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Christmas Traditions
By Tyree Walton

Every year the Walton and Simpson family exchanges gifts with one another. We also go over each other’s houses to collect gifts, and we decorate and bake cookies on Christmas Eve.

On Christmas Eve, Amir and I help my mom decorate the Christmas tree then we go and bake cookies for Santa Claus. After we do all that we light up the Christmas tree and leave the cookies on a special plate that has a Santa Claus face on it. When we are done doing all that, we go to bed so Santa Claus can come to our house faster. When we think he came to our house all ready we sneak downstairs and look at the gifts. We try not to make too much noise so my mom and dad don’t wake up.

On Christmas day we open up all the presents and play with them for a while. Then, we go back to bed because we wake our mom and dad up super early. When 1:00 comes around we start to get ready to go over family member’s houses to collect gifts and money. I rather get money though because sometimes I don’t like the gifts that my grandma gives me. I don’t like the gifts because she gets me clothes. I also go to different family members homes to collect money and gifts.

In conclusion I get a lot of things on Christmas but the most important part is giving.

Here Comes Christmas
By Aujanae’ Washington                             

Every year, the Martin and Washington Families gather together at my home to celebrate Christmas where we watch movies, sing songs, have snow ball fights, sleep in, eat, open gifts, and hope to have a good time!

My family and I enjoy and love the Christmas holiday the most because we share our feelings and let each other know how much we love them.

Last year’s Christmas was fun because I had a lot of gifts to open and lots of money. I also went to my grandma’s house to visit her and see the presents she got me. She gave me gloves, a hat, and a scarf, all of which I am thankful for because sometimes it’s cold outside and I have to walk to the bus stop.

Another part of our Christmas Tradition is when my family and I talk about things that we like, things that we want, and talk about going out to eat if my parents didn’t cook. But after all the talking, things turn out well, just like we expected.

Overall, everyone in my family is very caring. All I do is wish to have a good time and do what we always do: spend time with my loving family. Lastly, I look forward to having a fun, unforgettable Christmas!

Fun Times
By Shane Jones

Family time is fun time. I think traditions are important because it brings the family together. I enjoy traditions because it’s fun how people recall thing that happen in the past that everyone else doesn’t know what they are talking about and telling stories of when they where kids. What my family does from October to January has a huge impact on the rest of the year.

In October, my family goes to the Kingdom Hall every Sunday and Wednesday to learn about Jehovah and his son Jesus. We also learn what we can do to become followers of the Christ. On the weekends, we would go downtown to eat at Café Milano and have fun. On the 4th of October my granddad would come get me and we would go out to eat because that’s my birthday but he doesn’t come all the time like when he is in Washington DC on business or something of that sort. Sometimes we would go visit my dad’s sister and her family. This is what my family does in October.

In November, we would have a party of any sort. Like last year my mom had a candle light party. Then later on this month my mom’s dad would visit for her birthday and we would go out. On Thanksgiving we would eat turkey, not all the time, but we do always watch Thanksgiving football. Last year we watched the Dallas Cowboys take on the Houston Texans and the Cowboys won. That is pretty much everything we do in November.

December and January we don’t do a lot at all, except when it’s not snowing. When it isn’t snowing my uncle would come down and visit us and we would have a football tournament a couple days before Christmas. We also watch football on the weekends. Then at the end of December we would turn on the TV and watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s. On New Year’s we would play the game, make cookies, pasta and things like that. Then sometime in January we would go to a district convention for my congregation. This is pretty much what we do in December to January.

In conclusion, traditions are important because it keeps families together and provides a way for us to have fun. When I think of family traditions I think of fun things to do as a family. I enjoy this time for the year because it’s a time we could see most of the family. What my family means to me is love.

Turkey Giving
By Jaylyn Hammond

Every Thanksgiving my family and I go over my grandma’s house to eat turkey, hang out with the family, and play cards. I have many other favorite holidays, but since Thanksgiving is coming up soon I wrote about it.   

Once all my family is over my grandma’s house, we eat dinner. Of course we have a turkey, but we also have ham. We also have my grandma’s homemade macaroni and my mom’s homemade mash potatoes along with green beans, and other traditional Thanksgiving foods. You can pick either macaroni or mash potatoes, but sometimes I pick both because they are the best. For dessert we have pumpkin pie, cake, and /or ice cream.

After we eat, we always play cards and watch a movie. We always play the card game “Tonk.” We have a good time playing cards, and we are always laughing and having fun.

Before we are about, to leave my grandma makes sure everyone take a plate of leftovers to take and eat at home. Everyone gets to pick what they want, and they’re also able to take some dessert home.

That is what we do for Thanksgiving. I hope to see all my family this year and all the years coming up. This will also be my brother’s first Thanksgiving, and I’m thankful for all the food my Grandma provides for us to have a good Thanksgiving.

Fun and Excitement
By Maurice Barron

So what do you do for a holiday family tradition? Holiday traditions are important. They are activities and memories that you and your family will enjoy. I enjoy them mostly because they’re fun and exciting. Here’s what I do.

In October we shop for candy and costumes for Halloween. I only celebrate Halloween because I like to “cosplay” which means to dress up like other people or things. Candy’s not that big a deal for me because I barely eat it. During Halloween we visit different neighborhoods and visit a few houses. After Halloween we go home and just chill. Basically, walking for almost two hours will get you tired and sleepy.

Now in November, we really don’t do much except to get food and stuff. But on Thanksgiving we eat, of course. My family cooks a lot of food, most of which I’m not a fan of so I just eat a little bit of stuff and occupy myself by going on the computer, watch TV, etc.

After Thanksgiving or even before that we start decorating for Christmas, which by the way is my favorite holiday. We don’t use a lot of Christmas lights. Why? Because later on you’ll have to take them down. So don’t “over decorate.” We spend most of that time getting presents during Black Friday. After that of course we wait until Christmas. On Christmas Eve, we always open one present. Of course on Christmas day we open everything, we also cook, play around, and have fun too. Either way we always have a good time.

In conclusion, traditions are important because they keep your family together and do the things you love with them. I enjoy times like this so I can spend time with my family. When I think of my family traditions I think about things we do every year because it’s fun! My family means everything to me. Without them where would I be right now?