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

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

Thanksgiving Dinner
By Jahi Jackson

Every year it’s a tradition for my parents to host Thanksgiving dinner at our home on the Northside. It’s mostly my father’s side of the family who attends, but my mother’s side comes over sometimes.

Every year my family comes to have a good time and laugh and joke around. Some things we do for fun are play football in cold wind and the wind stings my ears and hands. Another thing is watch TV and college football games and play video games for fun.

During Thanksgiving my mom and dad cook the steamy, hot, stuffy and greasy chicken. My Aunt Dionne cooks the yellow jello and sticky mac & cheese. Before we serve dinner, my little sister blesses the food; the little kids eat first and grown-ups eat last. After everyone eats their food all you hear is laughter and joking around.

The last thing we do is have fun, because who wants to have a boring lifeless cookout. Sometimes, my cousin Chucky is life of the party, and sometimes we do what we want to have fun and a great time.

That’s why I picked this tradition because it brings family and fun together to make a great time that’s why if you were there you would have fun and this is the Jackson Family tradition no one else’s.        


The Good Ole Days
By Kevin James

Traditions are important because they make our love grow. I enjoy them because you get to have fun and spend time with your family. I enjoy Halloween, Christmas, and New years because they are the best traditions ever.

On Halloween night my mom and I put up the decorations. After the decorations, we get into our costumes. I always pick the scariest costume. Then, we go around the neighborhood and trick or treat. We always go to the Smith’s house because they give us big candy. Next, we go home and turn off all the lights while we eat our candy and watch Friday the 13th. That’s why I enjoy Halloween.

Before Thanksgiving, my mom and I shop for a turkey, mash potatoes, and corn. On Thanksgiving Day, we have to hurry because our family is coming over. We always forget to stuff the turkey. When we are done stuffing the turkey, people are there and we have pop and lemonade to drink. We have a big backyard, so the boys go outside to play football while the girls play jump rope. After dinner, we go to church. That’s what our thanksgiving is like.

On Jesus’ birthday we watch a Christmas play. As soon we get home we go outside and play snowball fight. After the fight, we sit next to the fire place and my mom makes some sweet, delicious, hot chocolate. Then mom makes sugar cookies and we decorate them. After we are done, we eat them. I say, “It’s the best Christmas ever.”

Those are the best holidays in my life. Every time one of them comes up I always get excited. I say A-men and do a prayer, because my family is so important. I pray for a good holiday for them and people everywhere. This time of year will always be my favorite because school is out and that gives me a lot of time to spend with my family.

Holiday Tradition: Serving up Sweet Potatoe Pie
By Lillie Briggs

Every year the Briggs’ family has a special Christmas Eve tradition, where two talented ladies bake their famous holiday sweet potato pie. When my grandma makes sweet potato pie, it feels like she accomplished something really great, by making the best sweet potato pie ever.

My grandmother and mother both love to cook, and now they passed that talent on down to me. On Christmas Eve, my grandmother and I bake our “famous” sweet potato pie.

My grandmother (the best grandmother known to life) and I wake-up and prepare the ingredients needed to make our famous sweet potato pie. Sorry, the ingredients are a secret! When she’s done mixing it she lets me taste it to see if it is good or not so good. When we are finished, we mix it everything until it is really lumpy, and pour it into a pie plate. Next, we cover it up in aluminum foil, a put it into the oven, and let it bake to perfection. About a half hour later we take it out the oven and we let it cool down. Once it is cool we slice it up into ten pieces depending on how many people are there.

When it all said and done we ask everyone, dif they enjoyed the sweet potato pie that my grandmother and I made together? Then, if there is any left, we ask them if they want another piece of our famous sweet potato pie, and they all say yes. Sometimes, we have to make another sweet potato pie. It is really nice to get together and spend time with our relatives and get to know them better. When everything is over, everyone starts to gather up their belongings and leave. When everyone leaves we say to ourselves, we really had a good time!


Thanksgiving Dinner with Granny

By Michael Allen

Thanksgiving Dinner, on my mother’s side of the family, was always served and celebrated at my Nana’s house when she lived on Elsdon Street in the Northside.

On Thanksgiving Eve I spend the night at my nana’s house, so that on Thanksgiving morning, I can wake up and help her prepare the food before everyone comes over. All of the family on my mother’s side come to my nana’s to enjoy the turkey, ham, and a lot of other good foods, but my favorite is my nana’s corn bread! The food is set out in the kitchen and the kids are allowed to serve themselves first, then adults can make their plates. Everyone runs to make their plate because they are starving because the aroma of the food has been circling throughout the house.

Another part of our Thanksgiving tradition is the after dinner kickball game. The kids and the adults head down to P.V. Park and start up a game. The adults watch the football game, and I can hear them screaming all the way from the park. When the games are over, we get seconds and all the adults begin playing cards and video games like Madden10/11 and baseball, hockey, and basketball.

When the day’s over, everyone makes their take home plates. Some of my cousins get to sleep over. We all stay up all night and get some food and run upstairs. If we’re asked to help them clean up and we stay upstairs and hide out until the cleaning is over. This is a special holiday because it has been going on for many years, and I hope it will go on for many more years.        

My Holiday Traditions
By ReOnna Durham

Traditions are important to me because they bring everyone together. It keeps everyone updated on family things. I enjoy traditions because I can have fun. Everyone cracks jokes and it makes me happy to see them. The traditions I’ll be writing about are Thanksgiving, church events, and Christmas.

First, Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. For Thanksgiving we have a big dinner. We got to other people’s houses to eat. I help cook some of the delicious food. We usually get dressed up to go to people houses to eat. Then we dress up for church. In church, we hear a sermon about Thanksgiving.

The weekend after Thanksgiving, we have a church function. It is called Youth Explosion! A youth explosion is where we celebrate the youth. It is something fun for the church too. We have a blowout concert with famous gospel singers and rappers. Dancers come, the dance team dances and my church chorus sings. There is also a sermon.

Lastly, I’ll be talking about Christmas time. Every Christmas Eve we open one gift at midnight. My sisters and I get money to buy things for each other. I get my mom a gift from all of us. We also make cookies on Christmas Eve. My sisters and I wrap the gifts we bought. I always help cook for the holidays. The food that I help make is sweet potato soufflé’, greens, chitterlings, turkey, and other good foods.

My family traditions are important to me because they bring everyone together. It  keeps our family tight. My family means happiness, closeness, and specialness to me. This time of the year makes me happy because everyone else is excited and happy.


My Traditions Story

By Tayja Williams

Traditions are important because you get to see your family and a chance to be yourself. You get to hang out with the people you know and love. You also get to eat lots of good, good foods like corn, chicken, macaroni & cheese, ham, and turkey. I enjoy traditions because you have nothing but fun, food to eat, time to dance, and nice conversations with your loved ones. I enjoy Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas more than the holidays during the rest of the year.

One of my my favorite holidays is Halloween. On Halloween all of the children that celebrate Halloween dress up in scary, nice, mean, good, or bad costumes. Then they knock on people’s door and whoever answers gives you candy to take home and eat. However, the best part about Halloween is when your friends have Halloween parties. Halloween parties are fun because you bob for apples and get gift bags.

My second favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. I like Thanksgiving because my family comes together and gives thanks for what we have. I think people should really realize what they have and be grateful because some people don’t have anything at all. Some don’t have food to eat, a home to live in nor clean clothes to wear. That’s why people should not take anything for granted.  So know I know why my grandmother always tells me to eat all of my food. It’s because someone doesn’t have food to eat.                                                                                                

My next favorite holiday is Christmas because I get a chance to help my grandmother cook her good turkey. I also get to play outside in the snow until I get frost bite. Another reason why Christmas is my favorite holiday is because we get a very long Christmas break. That means no school. With all of the children off on break, you get to call your friends, make snow men, and drink lots of hot cocoa to warm up.                                                                                                  

I enjoy traditions because they have everything to do with family. Family is important to me because when you’re sad your family is there to lean on. I also think my family is important to me because my family loves me just like I love them. However the best thing about my family is that no matter what happens, we still have each others back. I enjoy this time of year because it reminds me of how good life is.

Traditions
By Tyeric Durah

Traditions are important because they allow you spend time with your family. I enjoy traditions because I have fun with my family.

One of my traditions is that on Halloween eve I always carve a pumpkin and then we bake them. However, before you bake them you have to clean off the pulp because sometimes it sticks on to the seeds. Then that’s when you bake them. We always go to my favorite house where they pass out hot apple cider.

My second tradition is that every year on Thanksgiving Eve my grandma and I stay up late to make sweet potato pie, the turkey, the chicken, potato salad, the macaroni tuna salad, and the deviled eggs. The next morning, ever one comes, eats and says thank you to my grandma and I. Then when it’s over ever one goes home, but they all get to take a pan of sweet potato pie home thanks to us.

My next favorite tradition is every year on Christmas Eve, we bake cookies. Then we decorate them. When we are done, we decorate the trees with popcorn, little bells, ribbons and ornaments. On New Year’s Eve, my mom always buys us kid champagne and she also makes snacks for us to eat while we wait for the countdown. Then, when it is time for the countdown we all countdown and my little brother and I go outside to play with the other kids on my street.

The reason my traditions are important is because they were passed down by generation. My family is my life and I will always love them. This time of year makes me happy because my family spends time with everyone.