How do Urbana students celebrate the holidays?


Madison Ehrhardt, Reporter

Imagine it’s Christmas Eve, and you are surrounded by your family doing a gift exchange, because that is your family’s Christmas tradition. During quarantine, many people were not able to see their families for the holidays, so they were not able to celebrate together, but now since everything is sort of getting back to normal, those traditions can resume again. In fact, the average American travels 275 miles for Christmas according to data from the U.S Department of Transportation. Everyone’s family has different traditions for celebrating Christmas Eve and Christmas day, so let’s hear some students’ traditions!

Leading up to Christmas, Reagan Mckenney(10), her dad, and her brother always go paint pottery, and then she gives it to her mom and grandmother as a Christmas gift. Before Christmas, she also goes to Jefferson Bakery on the way to get a Christmas tree. Reagan said, “And for Christmas dinner, me and my family always make a menu of anything that we want for dinner, even if it’s not normal Christmas dinner food.”  

During Christmas, Hannah Jeffries(10) and her whole mom’s side of the family goes to her grandfather’s house, and they open presents and spend time with each other. Every year, her grandfather gives each of his grandkids a letter giving them a hint about what ornament he has given them. After they read the hint, they have to go find the ornament on a large Christmas tree. And for Christmas day, they only eat cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

During Christmas Day, Greta Snyder(9) and her family all eat stuffed shells together, and they give gifts to her extended family. She said, “We also do this Christmas pickle tradition where we have these pickle ornaments that someone will hide in the Christmas tree, and whoever finds the pickle among all of the other ornaments wins the game.”

Another student, Ava Duerr(10) has a tradition that is called St. Nikolas Tag. It is a German Christmas holiday where Ava and her sister put their boots outside of their bedrooms, and St. Nick will give them gifts in return. Alongside St. Nikolas Tag, her and her family eat food, give gifts to each other, spend time together, and last but not least, sled. 

Junior Alanna Tate said “Before Christmas, me and my family spend time going out to a farm and buying an actual Christmas tree, and then on Christmas we all go to church together.” 

Last but not least, Addison Planz(10) and her family celebrate by doing this feast on Christmas Eve called the Feast of Seven Fishes. This is where they have 7 types of fish and seafood. Her and her family also celebrate by making her grandma’s coffee cake recipe and eating it on Christmas morning.

For my family traditions, my mom, my sister, and I all bake Christmas cookies together a few days before Christmas. On Christmas Eve, my whole family comes over to our house, and we have dinner, and then we do a gift exchange as one of our traditions. 

Urbana students clearly have a lot of different ways their family celebrates Christmas, so enjoy the holidays!


“11 Christmas Facts and Traditions That Connect the World.” FamilySearch Blog, 19 Dec. 2016,