Chagrin Falls Christmas Traditions

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Delphine Despres

With Winter break approaching, CFHS students begin to engage in Christmas traditions with friends and family. These traditions are unique within each family. 

Senior Matisse Despres elaborated on his Christmas eve tradition. 

“Each year my family and I watch a Christmas movie on Christmas eve to set the tone for the next day. My mom always gets to pick and most of the time it’s the grinch. My dad also makes eggnog for the whole family,” he said.

With the excitement of the following day, many can’t wait to open their gifts. 

Senior Julia Santamaria explained the joy.

“Every year on Christmas eve my dad reads the night before Christmas to the whole family and he tries to make us laugh throughout the whole book. After he’s finished we get to open one present before we go to bed. It’s a way to set the mood for the following day,” she said.

Once the excitement of Christmas eve is over, many lay awake waiting for the traditions of Christmas day. 

“On Christmas day my family and I sleep in until about noon. Before we open presents we make crepes and cover them in chocolate. As we eat them we open the gifts and play Christmas music. After it’s all done, my family and I facetime our relatives from France so we can say hello and wish them a merry Christmas,” Matisse said.

However, for Santamaria, Christmas morning starts much earlier.

“My parents and I wake up at 6 am and scream at my sister until she rolls out of bed so we can open presents. Once she finally gets up, we look through our stockings and find the matching socks that we wear all day,” she said.

With the never ending joy of Christmas, it’s hard to pick a favorite part. However, for Junior Tommy Conway, there’s no contest.

“During winter break my family and I travel up to Michigan to spend Christmas with my cousins. It’s usually cold there so we all play pond hockey on the frozen lake. There is a Christmas day tournament and the winner gets the Conway cup,” he said.

Yet, for Santamaria, staying inside with a warm fire is her happy place.

“My family and I love decorating the tree while we play Christmas music and sit by the fire. Afterwards we each get to decorate a gingerbread house and display them on our kitchen table until Christmas day,” she said.

With all the joyful activities each family engages in, the Despres family enjoys the simplicity of it all.

“The best part of Christmas is to just sit by the tree and open presents. I love seeing my family’s faces light up when they get something they’ve wanted,” Despres said.

With all these festivities comes food. Conway elaborated on his favorite Christmas day meal.

“My mom makes glazed ham and twice baked potatoes along with a side of Christmas cookies for dessert,” he said.

Once Christmas is over however, the joy seems to fade away. Conway explained the feeling he gets.

“Once Christmas is over it’s super sad because I go back home and don’t get to see my family until the following year. But the opportunity to spend Christmas with my extended family is really special,” he said.