Christmas is a time for coming together with family and friends to celebrate the holidays. With the spirit of giving and love in everyone’s heart, the holidays with loved ones are usually filled with cheer, beautiful decorations, lights, presents, and hot chocolate. However, when you’re like me, and have families from different parts of the world with other customs and traditions, Christmas usually ends up a little differently every year.
Each year we have our usual gathering with family on Christmas Day. That’s when we wake up early to open presents, give thanks for everything that we have and celebrate Jesus’s birthday. After opening presents, we lounge around with a Redbox movie or our favorites from ABC Family’s 25 days of Christmas. Every year we always have to watch our family favorites, the classic Charlie Brown’s Christmas and the animated A Year Without Santa Claus. Since there is a movie theatre right down the street, we usually pop in to see the most recent family film, so basically my family loves watching movies. We always make a nice lunch for everyone and blare Christmas music all throughout the house. It’s always been very relaxed and casual for the Baker family, but it’s probably because we were out at another party the night before.
With one side of my family descending from Hispanic heritage it is more common to celebrate on December 24th, rather than the American tradition of the 25th. There are more than 20 members of the family and we usually have a Secret Santa-like gift exchange so that everyone gets a gift. After dinner, we usually go outside to take pictures, light sparklers and hit the piñata with the younger kids. Everyone always has a great time and it has always been interesting to me to see how other people in different parts of the world celebrate what we, in America call Christmas.
I absolutely love spending time with both sides of my family and although the traditions are very different, it has given me another perspective on the world. And in the end we all celebrate for the same reasons: love, the birth of Christ, and giving thanks for everything in our lives.
Teen Talk columnist Christine Baker is a senior at McKinney High School. Watch for her column on Fridays.