Student Voices: ‘Tis the season for holiday traditions

Student Voices: ‘Tis the season for holiday traditions

by Humphreys Middle School Students
Stripes Korea

Editor’s Note: Students from Humphrey’s Middle School are quite poetic when it comes to holiday traditions. Take a look at what they have to say!

Tết
By Tran Pham
Everything starts bright and early.
Before you can hear the sound of birds chirping.
And only the sound of obnoxious snoring.
We wake up earlier than usual.
And belt straight to the kitchen.
Mung beans, soy sauce, rice, sweet rice.
Oyster sauce, fish sauce, banana leaves, rice paper.

Lumpia, potato flour, noodles, and so much more.
They all fill the countertops.
Blending together to create the most scrumptious smell.

Like the smell of an Asian food store.
Or street food on a humid day.
Pots and pans all clattering together.
Creating a nostalgic sound.
While the dishes we make might not be a michelin-star level.

They are the best of all.
Mouth watering, delectable, flavorful goodness.
Sweet, sour, bitter, spicy, or savory.
Only once a year will we get to feast on these dishes.

Only in winter.
At the start of the new year.
Snow, or rain.
Sun, or clouds.

We always celebrate the day, that is February 12.

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White Powder
By Kalan Castro
It is so cold my hands are frozen.
My face is numb.
The lift has a great view.
Up I go, down I go.
Bend my knees and lean forward.
The thrill is exciting, and I want more.
There’s no greater feeling than being on a slope.

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A Family Tradition
By Ethan Cohen
My family used to go to my aunt and uncle’s house for Thanksgiving
Now that there is Corona we can’t do that
When we would go
We would play in the big basement with a Wii
We would play all kinds of games
We played hide and seek, sharks and minnows
And yes, the basement was that big!
On the Wii we would play Mario Brothers,Wii Sports
Wii Olympics and more
I just don’t remember them all
The food was so good
Because almost everybody who came would bring something
And if they did not
They just came for the food
And they were probably not invited

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Three Kings Day
By Elizabeth Rodriguez Ortiz
Today is Three Kings Day
Children running down the stairs
In hope of finding presents
for everyone to share
People coming with lots of things
Treats, instruments, and drinks
People tapping their cups
Clink, clink, clink
My mom preparing the sweet rice 
While the kids are fooling around
The smell in the kitchen
Cinnamon, cloves, honey and ginger
Cousins, aunts and uncles ready for the fiesta
Craving for some coquito to start
People come as a surprise to bring the parranda
I can feel it beating in my heart
Wonderful plates have been served
The table is full and the smell is inviting
Pork, gandules, pasteles, tembleque, so appetizing
This is the holiday that we deserved
Feels warm and lovely when family reunites
Beautiful are the colors of the shining lights
Pleasure, joy, and happiness all around
My new born brother, Juan Andres, is coming to town

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The Last Day of Snow
By Kenneth Bowden
We wait patiently, I wait patiently, my sister waits patiently.
Together we wait,
Early in the morning,
In the car, we are together, we laugh, play, and sing. When arriving, to our disappointment, there is no snow, only cold and crows laughing.
We walk back turning only to look at the blushing maple tree that listens to the song of winter
But then to our joyous eyes
We sing and play; and dance in joy
At last! Snow!
Heavenly, white, crisps of ice fall upon our tongue
In the grassy field, covered in snow
We look up at the sky, how beautiful it is indeed.
At the departure of the sun, we watch as the sun goes down
Surrounded in the beautiful aroma of the trees
And in the music of the birds and crickets preparing to sleep.
We drink hot cocoa 
And look at the stars, magnificent indeed
Milions, billions, trillions, and plenty more.
Then, we leave
In the car, passing the gray horse,
Looking at the grassy field 
We say bye,
to the horse, to the crow, to my home, to the place we haved lived in for years.
So then, to our sad but excited eyes
We move to another country.

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A great, amazing, wonderful dream
By Isabella Borres
On one cold day of February, I woke up to see the shining sun.
It was quiet in the house, nobody was awake.
I got in my finest (but not too fine) clothes.
It was a red flowy dress with golden dragons that sparkled in the light.
By the time I got dressed, my whole family was awake.
I started making my lantern early.

I used straws, tissues, paint to make the lantern.
I folded, gled, and taped the lantern until it looked just right.
I asked my mother if I could paint it.
She nodded, and I gathered all the colors of the rainbow.
I opened the flashy doorknob and rushed outside.
I began painting colorful images on the unique thing.
When I finished it looked like a golden star.

Before we went to the festival, we ate a delicious lunch
With cold strawberries, pan-fried rice, and juicy shrimp.
My dad grabbed the candle bag and we drove off as the sun said goodbye.
When we got to the church, everyone was there
With their wonderful lanterns in their hands.

The leader wearing a tall hat gathered us in a line.
Candles were lit, fires glowed, and some rose up to the sky.
My lantern was different though, it was meant to be carried around.
The people that had lanterns like mine were the ones still in line.
We began the long trail with sparkles in our eyes
As we looked at the radiating lanterns.
I held mine with pride, and you could see I was the happiest kid there.
My star was so big and bright, I thought it guided us through.
And somehow, that gravel always got into my shoe, even though I 
Emptied it continuously.

When we made it back from our walk with the strangers and their lights,
Sometimes they would toss out candy to the kids.
My parents always held me back so I would be able to go to sleep that night.
It wasn’t that bad though, because they let me pick out some.

And in the morning when I woke up, I remembered the night as if it was a dream.
A great, amazing, wonderful dream.

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The November Bonfire
By Tadhg Riff
I get off the bus,
Walking down the road,
With one job in mind,
The man we have to load,
With straw, and hay,
Night time is coming,
And all shall be running,

We arrived on a hill,
With a great big fire pit,
We set up and stacked the wood,
So that our mannequin could fit,
The food spread out,
But i could not have some yet,
Which made me pout,
My friends and i ran to the woods,
Closer to the bridge, the road,
And farther from our safe car hoods,

We split up in our imaginary world,
And started a silly role-play, 
An hour went by,
The sky black and grey,
We went up to the fire,
And the smell of food went higher,

I went to the food,
My mom telling me to eat the soup,
I took some bread, chips and hot choco,
And i hid in the group,
I quickly ate my food,
My mouth filled with flavor,
I found our mannequin,
And did it a “favor”

I gave its face emotion,
Sharpie pen in hand,
But my sister had other plans,
She took a pen,
And scribbled all over,
Making our mannequins face,
Much bolder,

I tried to make him sad,
For the occasion,
But my sister,
Started a invasion,
She drew all over my masterpiece,
Making his face,
Look like he wanted to be burned,
Right now in the fireplace,

My friends and I ran again,
Down the hill,
To our imaginary world,
To make our world fulfilled,

Playing in the woods,
Two friends nearby,
I thought of our mannequin,
And how he might cry,
The parents called,
And our excitement crawled,

It was time,
To make our mannequin ash,
We all where excited,
and began to dash,
Later that night the mannequin gone I felt the heat of the fire,
Tonight will soon be gone.

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Christmas Eve
By Major Powell
As I sip my cup of cocoa, I think I better go to bed.
But a million-billion things are swirling in my head!
I wonder what I’ll get! A new toy, coal, or sheep?
I’m so curious, and I just can’t go to sleep!

I don’t know what I’ll get, but I really want to know.
Maybe I could see when Santas left my home.
Maybe I could sleep under the tree.
I could sleep next to the chimney.
And when the man would get here, I could be waiting for him see. 
Then I could steal the gift from right under the tree.
I could see what I would get tomorrow, to give myself some sleep!
Happy I would be, as I was free from my curiosity!

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Christmas Traditions
Derek Snyder
Presents ‘round the tree
More lights then you can see
Ornaments and balls
Decorations in the halls.

Ice on the street
Freezing on your feet
Snow on the ground
Going all around.

Pajamas on Christmas night
Blankets wrapped around you tight
Cookies for our friends
The cards our family sends.

Buddy the elf
The elf on the shelf
Wrapping paper on the stairs
Everyone looks crazy but nobody cares

Wrapping paper flying
All of us are trying
Cinnamon rolls for breakfast
Wish that this could last.

Play with the new things
Ham and chicken wings
CHRISTMAS IS NEAR
THE BEST TIME OF YEAR

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The Little Plastic Men
By Dylan Layman
Oh Christmas is here,
A season of joy,
That one time of year where every child gets a toy,
Whether a rock in a sock or some good old Christmas cheer,
Everyone will get something this year,

Watching all of this from their house made of bread is a family of gingerbread men,
They watch it all from those all seeing eyes,
Every fun little thing and every surprise,
Every night they move somewhere around ten,
That fun little family of plastic gingerbread men

In late November we build their house,
Brick by brick we make it shout,
Built from colorful Legos their home is complete,
Now the family can live feeling jolly,
The husband and wife now have a place to kiss under their holly

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Our Trip to Arizona
By Jayden Kim
We go to Arizona every 4 summers or so,
There it feels like an oven,
We get to see our relatives

My grandmother’s cooking smells like heaven, 
Spices-Asian food
My family always goes to the pool,
Swimming in the water is like being in a slushy

We have fun and go to parties,
And celebrate July the 4th
Then when we have to leave,
My family prepares to wait for another 4 summers or so

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Excitement
By Aiden Flores
Excitement.
The Christmas feeling
when we’re hanging the lights
On the tree
spreading cheer.

Happy.
Hanging out with my family
Baking all kinds of cookie
Eating them as they cool
My little brother gets
Super happy and excited.

Surprise.
One present on Christmas Eve.
Christmas morning
I wake my parents and
Mom calls other family
So we can all be live
Across the miles.
Opening gifts slowly
I am thrilled to find
What is in the boxes.

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Fasching Day
By Alexander King
Standing in line hand by hand
While the cold wind is blowing
Everyone in town wearing colorful outfits
Hoping to scare the wind away
Bands marching up the road
The drummers drumming loudly
Dancers dancing to the music
The children singing songs
When winter turns to spring
All people of age get together
They clear the path to better days 
In hopes to spread happiness

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SHICHIGOSAN
By Chiyo Harris
As it starts to get cold
we fly to Japan
and wear our beautiful kimonos
and walk to the studio to take some pictures.
3,5,7 are the ages celebrated
we go to festivals and restaurants,
sharing about ourselves, laughing
as our kimonos flow behind us.

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The Mandarin Tradition
By Trinah Samson
The excitement of New Year’s Eve
Brings me and my family joy
We are all excited for what’s about to come

We prepare during the day
To get ready for the countdown

The last minutes are super nerve wrecking,
But we start to countdown from ten
With excitement
Then, the countdown starts

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1….
Happy New Year!!!!
Woohoo!!!!

We all start to jump around and celebrate,
And get mandarins to throw around the house
So we have a lucky and fruitful year

Me and my whole family really enjoy this tradition,
And it is very important to us
We also get to have super fun while we are doing it
This is my unique and fun family tradition

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CHRISTMAS MORNING
By Reid Brockmeier
I wake up and rush to my parents and siblings room
We all rush down stairs
We all stare in amazement
We all wait for our mom and dad to come down
We all do our tradition of who gets to wear the Santa hat
We all do rock, paper, scissors
We all want to win so whoever does gets to pass out the presents
We all get presents and open them
We all play with the stuff we get
We all watch the Elf movie
We all eat some amazing dinner food
We all exhausted from having a incredible
We all go to bed and dream about the next Christmas

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Counting Days
By Tripp Avriett
When my dad deploys
We get into the car
And go to the bank

We deposit 365 coins
And buy a jar
We head home

Day by day we put a coin in
Week by week 7 coins go in
And when he comes home
365 coins are in

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The Day of the Candles
By Juan Hernandez
When the day comes El Día de las Velitas
(The Day of the Candles): December 7th
We put candles everywhere and then
Sometimes you can go outside and see
Hundreds of candles on every house

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NEW YEAR
By Seychelle Lor
Early morning, on December 26,
I remember the sun rising hot up on my face
Waking up to the rooster cocadoodling loudly
I remember that today is Hmong New Year!
I put on my beautiful, pink, shiny, beaded, silver traditional inborderis dress
My family drives to the New Year Festival
I see my Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle, Auntie, and cousins and many people
I see teens lining up in many rows, to toss a ball at the person in front of them
I hear many Hmong songs playing
I also see many people performing on stage
Everybody there is wearing Hmong clothes
As I walk, I smell food
Chicken, Vegetables, Sausages, Sticky rice, rice cake, fish, soup, mushroom, fruit, and all of the
yummy foods that we eat are there on stands Finally - I come home with a filled stomach, and a happy evening!

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The Night of Christmas Eve
By Aubree Carter
Every night on Christmas Eve 
We bake cookies and design them
It looks like the oven is surrounded by kids
It tastes like a big present waiting to open
It feels like it is already Christmas day
It sounds like joy all around
It smells like the happiest house in the town
While we wait, we will drink hot cocoa
It's like my mouth is swimming is sweetness
We hold hands around the Christmas tree
While we breathe sweet songs in the air
We kids go to bed and hope
We all have sweet December dreams about
Christmas Day

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Secret Santa!! (It’s a Secret!!)
By Nataley, Demapan
After Thanksgiving Day, 
We look forward to a raffle,
To see who we get
To pick presents for a special someone.

On Christmas Eve,
We all sit for dinner,
As we laugh and play,
And we play Christmas songs away.

When 12:00 hits,
We are all excited,
For there will be presents,
For each other. 

Who is it from?
You may ask each other,
But all of you know,
It’s a secret,
You can’t tell each other.

But when Santa is revealed,
We start to laugh,
As we know that we are all in fact the secret Santa.

As we start a new beginning,
We start to wonder who we will get next,
For us to buy our presents.
But for now, 
All we can say,
Is that it’s a secret!
So shhh, and behave!

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The Easter Egg Hunt
By Ansley Godfrey
Good morning, it's Easter morning!
With the wind blowing on my face
People arrive with candy and chocolate stuffed eggs
Parents go and hide the eggs in places

As the kids get ready to run for their lives
Mom says 3..2..1… Go!
We run as fast as we can
Go find all the eggs,
Sometimes I even find a golden egg!

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CHRISTMAS FAMILY BREAKFAST
By Natalia Kennedy
Every Christmas morning, once we finish opening presents
We head to the table to have our breakfast.
It’s always big, with lots of food and a mix of different foods
There’s American food, Thai food, and much more
All the food being cooked, smells so good
After we finish all the food, we can agree that this was a great Christmas.

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TRAVELING EVERY HOLIDAY
By Emily Dubose
Precious views in fancy hotels, as for the sweet smell of the fresh food in the food court..
Arcade games sounds with children screaming with amusing rides..
Water rushing down the slides as the waves swift and swaves with the wind..
Engines of the car.. Sibling fast asleep
Coming back to a place I call home..

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Thanksgiving Feast
By Julian Cho
On the evening of November 26
The sizzle of food on the pan
The pops of boiling water
The clinks of forks and spoons

The sound of laughter from my family and friends
And the soft sound of the evening wind
All the people around the dinner table
Feasting on delicious food
Makes me thankful for everything I ever had

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CHRISTMAS FEAST
By Emily Aguiguin
Every Christmas Eve
We have a big feast
The food smells so heavenly 
And looks like it could be in a magazine
The food is filling
But I always end up wanting more
I hope this tradition lasts forever
Maybe even when I grow old

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TRIP WITH FRIENDS
By Miguel Willewaldt
Every year mine and my friend’s family go to a cabin
near a humongous lake,
playing board games, video games, swimming,
boating on top of the lake,
A hot tub for relaxing,
playing with dogs, 
Maggie is 12, 
Scooter,
and Rocky who is 2,
friends and family

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Three Magic Kings Day
By Adeliz Walker Gonzalez
Every January the 6
We open gifts
We go to the tree
To see gifts 
Some for Mami,
Some for Papi,
Some for sis,
And some for me
Never go to school
This day
Is important to me
And my family
We do this every year

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CHRISTMAS TIME
By Alexander Sweeney
Every Christmas we go over to our loving grandparents
Every Christmas we gather with the whole family
Every Christmas we can hear loud footsteps, voices, and laughter

Every Christmas we eat our delicious dinner
Every Christmas we open our amazing gifts, first the youngest opens their great presents
Every Christmas we keep on going up the wonderful family tree until we finish

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My Dessert
By Brandon Ow

Every year, it’s a birthday,
Every year, we talk and laugh,
Every year, there’s a special day,
Where I choose my dessert,

On a special morning, I start to shop,
Looking for the perfect cake,
I go home and celebrate, 

We get ready, with plates and forks,
We sing a song, and have a blast,

The cake is as white,
As a fluffy cloud,
The cream sings, in my mouth,
As we all eat, and tell stories,

We play games, and have fun,
The day goes on and on,
Hoping that it will never end.

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BIRTHDAY TRADITIONS
By Blake Martin
So when it’s someone's birthday in my family we would make their age into the pancakes
it is very fun
my dad usually makes them and he usually puts
a lot of hard sprinkles on the top of the pancakes
The sprinkles are like pop rocks
we open the cards 
Next open the presents
This is one of my favorite family traditions

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Fondue Christmas Dinner
By Nora Harden
I wake up from my afternoon nap,
Christmas snow softly falling to the ground,
The smell of cheese staining the air
I rise to see my family waiting,
gathered around the table,
The hungry faces of my siblings
On the assortments of food,
I sit and we began feasting on our delicacies
The melted cheese smothering our cuisine,
Christmas air flows through the window,
We sit and enjoyed our feast

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“Do you Wanna Build a Sandman?”
By Alexander Gillen
In Hawai’i on Christmas day
My family and I go to a sandy beach
And collect lots of crunchy sand and
Dark brown nuts
Dry leaves and brittle driftwood 
We pile the sand up into flat levels
We make them round in the middle
And make the levels smaller as our creation gets taller

We arrange the nuts to form a mouth and eyes,
Align the fragile leaves to form a necklace
Add stubby driftwood arms to the sandy body
And a Santa Clause hat to the top of the head
Now we have a Sandman!

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Birthdays
By Luca Floyd
Every year five times, 
there is a big celebration in my house
For me, my sisters, mom or dad
The night before my birthday
My family decorates the whole front room
In the morning when I wake up
Everybody will sing
The front room looks like a theme park
I can choose what kind
There will be a wonderful homemade cake
And presents just for me
My heart is full of joy
Later that night the birthday kid
Gets to choose a movie
Mom will make popcorn and dad a special drink
We all sit together on the couch
And watch
Best day ever!

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Christmas Morning
By Nasim El-Delik
Oh boy, oh boy, Christmas is here
We all wake up at 7:00 AM, and open up our presents
Every Christmas, I'm always so hungry I can eat a horse
Christmas breakfast smells like cinnamon, and hot chocolate
Oh boy, there is the Christmas cake
Oh boy, the Christmas cake is so big it is the size of an elephant
As the Christmas tree lights up, we all sing Jingle Bells

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Holiday Travel Trinket
By Natalia Edwards
Mid November, it's almost that time of year,
The time when our family celebrates Christmas by traveling,
When we would travel to places we’ve never been,
To see new things we’ve never seen,

Wherever we go, we get a bottle opener,
Even though collecting bottle openers might be uncommon,
They represent our joys amongst our traveling,
Our bottle openers remind us of the time we’ve spent.
After years, and years of travels,
We look back on what we’ve collected

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My Family’s Regular Call 
By Natasha Cline
I would awaken to the sound of talking
I come downstairs, awaiting to see what happening, what could it be?
Once I have reached the place where the noise is coming from
I see my mother and father happily talking on the phone with my grandparents

I happily await to talk to them
For it’s always a pleasure to hear their voice
They always greet with cheer
I hear about their life, and they hear about mine

Every time I see them, I remember memories
We’d go to San Francisco
We’d go to Las Vegas Amusements
We have fun with cousins, aunts, and uncles

Those moments that we have spent together can’t be replaced
We will never get those memories back
Yet, we can make new memories.

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Day of the Dead
By Jayven Carrion
While your family celebrates the day of the dead in your house I go to this place with my family at this place you can make masks, ribbons, and eat at a buffet
My favorite is making the sugar skulls then putting frosting on them
We went for 2 years then I moved here
I hope there is something here fun for the day of the dead

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Ice Cream Cake
By Zachary Aviles
On my birthday we always make ice cream cake
Mom makes it super cold like Antarctica
When I eat it - it melts in my mouth like an ice cube in lava
It's really savory and taste like heaven
when were done we always play,
And watch movies till the end of the day

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New Year’s Resolutions
By Olivia Ahn
On the night on New Year’s Eve,
When my family and I come back,
Smiling and panting,
We get out a jar, sealed with old resolutions,

We pick out last year’s resolutions and see what others wrote,
Then we get out tiny slips of paper and pens,
And we start writing new resolutions being careful to not show anyone

We fold the slips of paper and slide them back in the jar,
We seal the jar shut and my father takes the jar and puts it on our counter

In those moments,
We remember what our younger selves wrote, and remember the adventures of the year
The clock strikes twelve and a new year starts...

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The Christmas Eve Anniversary
By Jessica Hilburn
Decorating with baubles and glistening lights
adjusting the silky carpet,
making luscious snowman sugar cookies.

Light's glittering on the christmas tree,
steam arising from hot cocoa
as the milky marshmallows float
laughter filling the atmosphere

Gathering around with family relatives
pampering each other with gifts, while
snowflakes descend outside
“Merry Christmas!”
Echoing, and echoing, and echoing..

Relatives exiting through the entrance
bidding our farewells,
closing our eyes
and drifting to sleep.

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Birthday Breakfast
By Hannah Newson
The sky have streams of pink and purple
The suns bursting out of the clouds
It’s July 27th my birthday I
Wake up to the smell of waffles
The birthday breakfast that I chose
It's a tradition in my family
I walk down stairs and hear the sound of
My mom and my brother talking
When I get to the bottom of the stairs I hear
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”

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Staying Up Til Midnight
By Dania Torres
Grab some cocoa, feeling warm and fuzzy
Grab a blanket time to get cozy
Smell the fresh baked cookies out of the oven
Be careful they’re piping hot!
Grab some movies
Get ready to hear that familiar...POP! POP! POP!

Make sure to stay awake
First Movie: All warm and ready
Second Movie: Eyes are starting to get droopy
Third Movie: Light snoring
I looked to my side, my siblings are out
 I look to my parents, both asleep
I’m the only one awake

Surrounded by the voices of the TV and the faint ticking of the clock
My eyelids start to feel heavy
The clock strikes twelve, like in the old Cinderella story
My eyes dart open, it’s time for a present!

We head to the tree
We each grab a present, ready to tear it
Wrapping paper everywhere, like scattered snowfall
Back to snoring my siblings go
Next is my parents, sleeping right next to them.
Hugging tight, keeping warm, and staying close

The last ones me,
I’m usually the last to wake, and the last to fall asleep
As my eyes start to get heavy
I look at the Christmas tree
Standing there with all its glory, and its beautiful golden twinkling lights
As I remember all the memories under that same golden light
The good the memories
We’ll always have each other back 
I finally let my eyes drop, sleep consumes me
For I know when I wake up, my family will still be beside me

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Summer Trip ~ Philippines
By Aidan Buan
Grabbed the luggage
Threw it in the Trunk
Sleep in the car
While driving to the airport
Arrived to the airport
Bring out our luggage
Put it in the cart
Bring it to the Sticker Person
Sit at the benches
Near the Jet Bridge
Got on the Plane
Slept on the Plane
Arrived to Manila
Got off the Plane
Slept at my Aunt’s House
Shop for a few days
It was a very hot day
I didn’t even want to get off the bed
I was busy, watching TV
But couldn’t get rid of the heat
A few more days past
We getting ready
To go to Dipolog
We slept, and woke up
Called a uber
Threw the luggage
In the Trunk
Traffic is terrible
So, I suffered
Spend hours of waiting
Arrived to the airport
Repeated the same things
Got a plane to Dipolog
Sleep until we arrived
Arrived in Dipolog
Took a Tricycle
The Pilipino version
Threw the luggage in the truck
We arrived at the house
Where we will be living
Spend time with family
Stay for a few weeks
Celebrate traditions
Or Birthdays
Go fish on a raft
Or cook on the raft
Internet is bad
But it’s fine
The heat of the sun,
Gone insane
After one month
Gone to the airport
Repeat the same things
Again, slept on the plane
Made it back to manila
Out of airport
Got on a taxi
Back to my Aunt’s house
Slept for a few days
Complained about the heat
Began to go Insane
Called a uber
Threw our luggage
In the trunk

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A New Time, A New Year
By Anthony Price
When I was sleeping in the land of slumber an air of tteokguk came flying to my room and told me to wake up. As I woke up smelt tteokguk in the air, a light bulb brighted telling me that the new year had come.

As I floated down from upstairs to downstairs like a kingfisher diving to catch its fish, I saw my mother making some side dishes on the side. As I came up to her asking her “what was going on ?” She told me that the new year came.

My mind came into a blowout, it was the New Year and new time. As I got ready for the day I threw away my last year self and became a new year me. With a new mind. My other relatives came down from Incheon to Pyeongteak to have the new year party.

As we sat down with the food that mama made from her heart, the family sat down and started to chow and talked about what happened over the years.

Then the best part came. The children and the adults bowed down to the elders. Mostly the children got the money because we are like the baby lambs to the older rams and ewe. The best part about seollal is getting together and getting money. Money is like gold to every child in the world.

Saehae Bok Manhi Bad Euse Yo

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Christmas Party
By Kaylee Putman
Every year at a warm place, we bring something to cherish,
For someone who gave birth to us and then has perished.

We play a little game and pick random numbers out of a bag,
And once we get the toy, we choose the option to brag.

We laugh, we scream, we dance! 
Someone in the corner got to yell out,
“You can’t stand a chance!”

We wait for a while after the game,
The turkey is here, It feels like a flame!

After dinner I feel so stuffed…
Then the desert came, out with the pie crust!

We got to play more fun and activities,
Then after a while we got to do more festivity!

It’s getting dark and late,
But the time doesn’t matter, I guess we migrate!

Finally alas, it’s time to go home,
We say our goodbyes and then we roam.

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The game of White Elephant
By DiAngela Carrillo
Christmas, a year of giving.
A season of white snow
White as the name of White Elephant.
A game played at my uncle's house
Before Christmas day.

Commotion floods in the room
As someone opens box of fruits.
One by one, family members sit around the tree
Rising to grab the beautifully wrapped presents waiting to be picked..

Laughter and Spanish are heard from all around,
as some peculiar gifts are revealed.
Stealing and unwrapping gifts slowly comes to an end
As the clock soon strikes 12.

Finally Christmas day arrives.
The real gifts are handed out to family.
Gracias and laugher are shared with relatives for the wonderful gifts
And it's time for them to go home.
Another year awaits and so 
Another year of the game White Elephant.

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Christmas Eve
By Lauren Eelkema
We all sit in a circle
The whole family is here
Our smiles fill the room
It's not Christmas yet
But that doesn't change the mood
Our family piles gifts around us
Some reach the roof
Our eyes glisten and dance
But were not allowed to move

It starts with the youngest
So it will be a while before it gets to me
All eyes are on her
As a  smile breaks through her teeth
She starts to unwrap
Only allowed to do one
She hugs and gives thanks
As the next turn has begun

Smiles and love are passed around
As some of us stand and reach out for hugs
Others sit full of laughs and prayers
Nonetheless we are thankful to be there

When all is done
And everything is picked up
We put on pajamas
And give our love
It is time for bed
But the fun is not over

With all the kids grouped together
And the parents outside having fun
Some of us tell stories
And others rush to bed
We know what comes tomorrow
So eventually we lay down our heads

When the morning arrives
and we are wide awake
We rush downstairs
Opening our stockings
With smiles to share
We see what santa has left

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Traditions: All Things Thanksgiving and Christmas
By Charlie Iuchs

Watching the leaves change into beautiful Autumn colors,
Eating candy corn, baking pumpkin bread, and fresh pumpkin pie,
My sister getting the bigger end of the wishbone every time, 
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade shining on each T.V. in the house,

Gathering bread into a pot to dry out in preparation for stuffing,
Pumpkin creamer filling the top shelf of our fridge, 
Eating homemade cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes with turkey,
And going Black Friday shopping with my mom and sister!

Matching PJs, ugly and itchy Christmas sweaters,
Finding that the elf has gotten into mischief while my sister slept,
Opening presents at five different times from all of the family,
Flour all over ourselves and the kitchen as we bake pineapple cookies,

Millions of cartons of eggnog and candy cane wrappers scattering the floor.
Lighting our Advent Candles every Sunday until all four are lit,
Snowball fights and building snowmen as soon as the first snow has appeared,
Watching Christmas movies till the New Year and finding that we still have more!

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Holidays
By Eshan Khan
The warm buttery ham filling the table,
Its delicious flavor,
Tasted by the relatives who have come.
The smooth gravy,
It covers the pillowy mounds of mashed potatoes.
When all of that is placed,
Eaten and drinken,
And much gratitude has been paid,
Another holiday awaits.

When the waiting is finally over,
When the holiday of bells, love, and family is here.
The cold wind is blowing through my skin.
The aroma of peppermint covers the world around me.
Seeing family brightens the day,
The love and happiness that they show,
It is the best present of all.
Unwrapping presents,
It brings amazing joy.

New years,
It symbolizes a fresh start,
A new you.
After the countdown,
Resolutions are made.
Many want to do something,
But empty words are revealed.

Spring is herear,
It's an amazing time,
The flowers are blooming,
The grass is green,
And the Sun is shining and heating my skin
With this season, 
another holiday is celebrated,
Easter.
We think about the resurrection of Jesus.
Easter hunts are beginning,
Everyone is searching for the golden egg.

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Friday
By James Sikes
Covered with grease, our pizzas are,
Lots of pepperoni, nothing bizarre.

We wait all week for this family tradition,
No one complains when Mom does the dishin’.

Mother likes olives, my sister does not,
So we get half-and- half and like it a lot.

When the boxes are empty and our bellies are full,
We sit on the couch and watch movies that rule.

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Christmas Dinners
By Lily Page
Mom slaving in the kitchen
Dad hard at work outside.
Brother is playing
And I am waiting.

Ding Dong goes the doorbell
Family coming inside.
To find our decorations 
Neatly organized.

We wait a little while longer 
Until dinner is ready.
Then we will feast 
amongst everyone so merry.

We tell stories while waiting
jokes sometimes too.
Me quietly sitting
Waiting for the food.

Mom brings the food over 
Everyone rushes in.
We talk, We Laugh 
Over and over again.

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The Christmas Celebration

We always celebrate
The Christmas year together
Either with friends and family
Or just with each other
We give gifts, presents, and love
We bake, we cook, and eat
We wrap the presents
And tie the ribbons
We sleep on Christmas Eve
Excited for Christmas day
We wake up out of bed
And run downstairs
To open the gifts and boxes
To see what surprise lays underneath
The sparkly, shiny box
And after we are all done
We clean up and get ready for breakfast
And go through the day
Thanking the people for their gifts
Then having a good night's sleep
To end the day for the start of tomorrow.

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Christmas Morning
By Liam Rairdon
Parents shouting “Merry Christmas!” before sunrise
Sleepy, but excited I wake up to a big breakfast
Pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs and orange juice

Everybody gathers around the Christmas tree
I read the names off of the presents
 Everyone’s pile grows

Gifts opened all together 
Pictures to capture the memories
Wrapping paper is everywhere
FaceTime with family to give thanks

Rushing to try on new clothes, shoes or play a new video game
Every gift is a blessing given by a loved one
Another great year of Christmas memories.

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Midnight Presents
By Joshua Samson
Sun sets over the Aloha State.
We walk out of the house,
On Christmas Eve, while it is still hot out.

We get into our car, only 10 minutes down the highway.
We are looking at the ocean, just a few miles down.
I see our turnoff, it’s right there.
Down Kunia road, we go.

We arrive at a house.
Extended family owned for many years.
We walk inside, now 4 pm,
My cousins come to greet us.

One year, played Minecraft,
Another year, played Just Dance.
Two years ago, we played Fortnite.
At 6 pm waiting for the rest.

All of our ʻohana come together,
To say grace to the God
Who had given us the food,
To celebrate with our loved ones.

Presents clutter the tree,
Like a mountain of wrapped boxes.
It’s nearing midnight, but not yet!
We still have 4 hours left!

As we play games and chat amongst ourselves,
The sun is long gone.
Now there is only starry darkness filling the sky,
And it is still hot outside.

Midnight is only minutes away.
We gather all together.
To wait until
The clock strikes twelve.
The clock finally strikes twelve,
It’s finally time!
Each household gets their presents.
To unwrap together.

One may get a new playset,
Another one may get a new game.
I get presents, too.
Plus, I always get one from my parents,
Something I always want.

One year, it was a Nintendo Switch.
One year, it was an Xbox One.
One year, it was a 2ds XL.

But there is a year that I will always remember.
I remember 5 years ago,
I was given a gift that would change my life.
I was given the computer that is writing this poem.

The cousins play with their presents,
While I play with them,
My presents closed, new condition,
Eagerly waiting to be opened at home.

As we depart the house for home,
As we arrive back home and sleep,
At 8 am the next morning, I play with my presents.
Enjoying with a freshened mind.

Now that Christmas is done,
Seven days, there’s New Year’s Eve,
I’ll return to the house,
Where I’ll celebrate once more.

Now in 2020,
I still remember,
The times back home,
We used to celebrate together.

I still look through the storage,
Seeing my old Christmas gifts.
A reminder of what,
We used to celebrate back then.

Years later, I will return.
To the place that I have left.
To celebrate what we once did,
Something I will never forget.

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By Joy Bryan
Christmas is the time where I make hot cocoa for myself 
And get on the desk to read or write
And set up my tiny Christmas tree
And the time where my mum orders things on Amazon and my brother eats all the cookies
The time where I get a break from school and study
And we get to FaceTime all our friends and family
Christmastime is the time where back in Virginia we would go to the Christmastown in Busch Gardens to get new mugs
And I would tell my little brother that the red light in the sky 
That’s actually an airplane is Rudolph
And we get together with all our friends and family 
And I would stick that adorable little sweater that says “First Christmas” on my dog, 
Laughing when she couldn't see over the hood.

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Gore day
By Nicolas Gore
The day is finally here.
We jump into the car, head for the nearest store.
Dad gives a hundred dollars, maybe even two, to us all
To spend as we like.
The funnest day of all.
It comes but once every year and which we call
Gore Day.

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ByJordan Palmer
My family wakes up
Early in the morning
Mom starts cooking
While grandpa is preparing
I help set up the tables 
As he sets up the plates
This is Chuseok

My grandpa and I
Go on our knees
Getting ready to do the traditional ritual
We stand up and begin to pray
And then we go into a specific position and lay.
This is Chuseok

After we do our traditional ritual
We begin the feast
We all gather around and eat.
This is Chuseok

At the end of the day
We all say our goodbyes
And say “I’ll meet you another time.”
As my grandpa drives away
Full and satisfied
We all wave goodbye
This is Chuseok

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A day of Sundays
By John Stone
Every Sunday, I wake up happy
because even though I have to
go to school I Get to have
a nice cold delicious scoop
of frosty ice, hot fudge,
and a cream that looks like
Something you should shave with.
My family and I would hop in
the car, talk and play around then,
we would go into a store and buy the
ice cream. We arrive at our house and unpack
Then we make bowls of that nice frosty cream
And watch movies and play board games. We
Call this Sunday Funday because it’s the one
day of the week where we can have max family
time and a sweet treat.

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By Genevieve Thompson
The day after Thanksgiving,
Our bellies still full,
Christmas decorations come out
While the hot cocoa cools.

We bundle up and jump in the car,
Tell Dad “remember the rope for the tree!”
Walking through the forest to pick the right one.
This one, no, that one, which one would it be?

On December 5th please remember to leave
your shoes outside your front door.
St Nicholas will put treats and a note for those who’ve been good
And nothing for kids who did not do their chores.

December 13th is Saint Lucia Day!
We make pulla and gingerbread cookies
The girls put on their white dresses and candle crowns
While balancing trays filled with goodies.

Candles are lit and carols are played
Mom says come, the dinner is here,
After we eat we go to the living room
And watch The Christmas Story with laughing tears.

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By Nevada Williams
My family gathers for Thanksgiving
It’s kind of like a potluck.
People bring games and food.
Mom makes dressing, turkey, and ham.
Relatives bring cakes,
Kale and collard greens mixed with ham,
Beans and rice,
And everything nice.

Gathering around the table
Everyone holds hands
And prays
Thanking God for the blessings.

I take my food
Mix  it all together
And eat way too fast.
I feel a bubble in 
The middle of my throat.

Some stay on the couch
Watching football
Some stay in the kitchen
Talking and laughing
While the kids play outside
And enjoy the day.

But wait.
At the end, we take a picture
Of the whole family together.

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Elf on the Shelf
By Teagan Collins
I’d like to introduce you to my little friend
Every year to our house he will attend
We call him Trigger our elf on the shelf
Into our house, he comes very stealth
Every day he reports back to Old Saint Nick
If you do good you will have your pick
He has a flight jacket for flying to and from the North pole
To watch us during December is his goal
He is mischievous and sweet
He is our family treat
He is our elf
We love him very much
This is our elf on the shelf.

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ByJulio Noriega
Christmas Eve with family at my grandparents house
Hanging out and messing around while we all 
Cook my favorite Mexican food--tamales.
When the sun falls, we all sit around a bonfire
and eat the deliciously amazing food
Which brings me joy.
Full and lazy, we go inside to watch a movie. 
Spending the night, we awake to the morning
Opening gifts from aunts and uncles, grandma and grandpa
One by one we are so excited.
Leaving now to dash over to my other grandma
Spending time and the rest of the day with her.
Having great fun and feeling grateful for it all.

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Christmas
By Ngozichukwu Mika Okpokwasili
Waking up going outside and smelling that fresh air
It’s Christmas-- a happy day

With the manger under the Christmas tree
Sheep, Mary, Joseph, Three wisemen,
All looking up at me.

Prime rib, collard greens, mashed potatoes, corn bread, spiced mushrooms
All so good
Full now but more for later

Apple pie, pumpkin pie, and cake
Drinking hot chocolate
Wrapped in blankets

Reading mini- books about Jesus 
Eating jelly beans and watching Christmas movies.
Scrooge having a change of heart

The day has been good
Now it is time to end.

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