Christmas Tradition
by Jarod Schneider

Christmas has always been a common point of unity in my family. Every year, my parents, siblings, and I meet with my grandparents and go to Christmas Eve church services before heading home for turkey and opening one –- maybe more than one -– present. I admit that my family has never really had any substantial financial issues concerning Christmas gifts, and thus they are a big part of the holiday for us. Although this does not exactly make for a heartwarming story of how one year Mom and Dad managed to scrape together enough to buy us one or two gifts, I still feel that we have a wonderful family tradition that, admittedly, is rooted in the materialism of the holiday. Nevertheless, my siblings and I are eternally grateful for all of our gifts; we always make sure to let our parents know just how thankful we are for what they do for us. On a related note, another major part of our Christmas tradition is abundant outdoor decorations. Every year, my father and I take turns heading downstairs to reset breaker after breaker blown from someone firing up a vacuum on the same circuit as 700 or so lights and a few inflatables; this is a comical scenario each year. On the morning of December 25, my siblings, in accordance with tradition, rush out of bed at dawn –- or a few hours before dawn -– to run out to the living room to greet our gifts and stockings, waiting for us to open them. In all, our Christmas is not unique, but it is still important to us in its own ways. The holiday will always hold a special place in our hearts as a time of unity and thankfulness.

schneider family
AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: I am on the far right of the photo next to my father. We had just returned from church services on Christmas Eve 2014 in the photo, except my younger brother (far left) had already changed. We are standing in front of our Christmas tree in our dining room.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jarod Schneider is a student in the 11th grade at George Walton Academy in Monroe, Georgia. He has a large interest in computers, games, and technology. Jarod is currently taking AP Language and Composition, which assists him greatly with his writing. His family is heavily into Christmas celebrations every year.