Holiday Traditions at the Cape

Whether it be celebrating Hanukkah or gathering around the Christmas tree to open presents, traditions are what make holidays special. Students across CHC celebrate the holiday season in a number of diverse and unique ways.

Molly Hooks, a sophomore, celebrates Hanukkah. Her mom’s side of the family is Jewish, which is how she was raised, while her dad’s side is Christian. What she does around Hanukkah is she and her family have a Hanukkah party. Her family makes latkes, which she describes as a “potato pancake.” One year, they had a bit of batter left and she wanted to know if they could make one giant latke and flip it.

“I wanted to see if they could flip [the latka], because you have to flip it to cook it all the way,” Hooks said. “So that’s a pretty big tradition that we have now.”

One of her favorite memories is one that happened on Christmas. It was a couple of years ago on Christmas morning and Hooks said she went into the living room and there was a surprise big bean bag chair in the room.

“I wasn’t supposed to know that it was a chair,” she said. “But it was kind of obvious. I knew it was for me but I had to act surprised when I opened it.”

Another memory that she has is that last year, on the eighth night of Hanukkah, which is when she usually gets a big gift. The other nights she got smaller gifts such as a pair of socks or little trinkets. She said that she got a phone on the eighth night.

“I got a new phone, which was really cool cause I didn’t have the best phone – not that I’m ungrateful,” she said.

Blake Griffiths, a sophomore, has a different tradition that he celebrates every year. Every Christmas Eve, he and his family try to go to a specific restaurant. Another thing that he does is sled down golf courses when it snows. 

“And if it snows enough, I live near a golf course and it’s got a lot of hills,” he said. “Typically we end up trying to sled on those before it melts.”

Mrs. Kate Valles, U.S. history teacher, tells her tradition next. She said her family is tired of traditional Christmas foods. What she and her family do instead is that they have a huge Italian spaghetti feast. This originated in her family years ago, even though they are not Italian.

“We get super dressed up,” she said. “We will pull out our best evening dinner wear, and have a big, messy, fantastic Italian meal with opera playing in the background.”

One of Mrs. Valles’ favorite Christmas memories is when she was little and her brother and sister would wake up super early in the morning and go to the living room, wrapped up in blankets, and wait until they woke up.

“Well, we had to wait for mom and dad to have their cup of tea first,” Mrs. Valles said. “It was just a really special time with the lights, and it was all dark, and there would be snow outside.”

Mrs. Valles says that she wholeheartedly decorates for Christmas. She says that she likes to go all out for the holidays.

“So I call it a Christmas bomb that goes off in my house,” she said. “We have not done it this year because we have just moved and I can’t be bothered to get everything out, but we do like to really kind of go all out.”