Holidays come in all shapes and sizes


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Staff writer Eva Trujillo ponders “Chrismukkah”, blended holidays, and respect for people’s traditions and observances.

Eva Trujillo, Staff Writer

The winter months are a plentiful time of the year for my family, a time filled with joy and presents. I grew up in a multicultural household. To me, it seemed as if everyone set up a Christmas tree, everyone would light the menorah and everyone would wait for Grandfather Frost to arrive on New Years’ Eve. 

My naive childhood mind could not comprehend the different traditions people had; to me, what I did was identical to what everyone else did. If Hanukkah fell on Christmas, we would celebrate “Chrismukkah”. If Hanukkah fell on Thanksgiving, we would celebrate “Thanksgivukkah”. 

Finally,  five-year-old me absorbed that not everyone celebrated Hanukkah and Christmas. In fact, my friend celebrated Kwanza, a holiday with which I was unfamiliar. I remember that I went to her house and was able to participate in it, a window opening into yet another cultural and community tradition. 

While small, I was fascinated. That experience of experiencing Kwanza opened the door to philosophical pondering. I began to comprehend the idea of people living an alternate life to mine, and that was incredible. Who would have believed that a child would come to the realization that every person’s experiences and lives are unique through the winter holidays?!

I have kept that wonder of discovery and respect for traditions with me in the ten years since. While the holidays are a time of fun and relaxation, it is important to reflect upon our lives, our traditions, our beliefs and those of others. 

We might become interested in learning about the customs that others engage in. We must take the time to work on ourselves, explore and widen our intellectual horizons. Meanwhile, let’s enjoy a well-deserved break and the welcome of 2023.