At Grayslake Central High School students and staff celebrate various holidays and traditions throughout the winter season. But one question remains among everyone. “When is the appropriate time to start celebrating the holiday season?” From decorations to music, to store advertisements, the holiday season in the United States is filled with spending time with family and friends and showing gratitude through gifts. When English teacher Lauren Tracy was asked about what holidays she celebrates she stated “I celebrate traditional Christian holidays like Christmas, I’m also half Jewish so I celebrate Hanukkah.” Some of her traditions include getting a tree, locally, after Thanksgiving and lighting the Menorah a special candelabrum which includes nine spaces for nine candles, with her family. When asked about when she typically starts celebrating the holiday season Tracy replied with “I pretty much celebrate the winter holidays the day after Halloween.”
Through a poll posted around the school, students revealed their holiday traditions. Senior Aidan Young stated that he starts his celebration on the actual days of Christmas Eve and Day. “I celebrate with my family on the actual day of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We open presents at my grandma’s house on Christmas Eve before we open our family presents on Christmas morning. We also typically go to Illinois State Beach for brunch on those days.” Junior Leila Sheffey talked about her and her family’s love for the holiday season. “We celebrate as soon as possible because we love the holiday season! We enjoy driving around to look at Christmas lights around different neighborhoods; we love to watch new and old Christmas movies on Netflix, and always make sure we have hot chocolate and make fun desserts. We also visit family, but due to COVID-19 we safely video call them through Zoom.” Senior Sophie Goemans said they celebrate Mid December; when asked about their traditions they replied with “My family does a surprise book exchange almost like Secret Santa. On Christmas Eve, we open them up and read together and eat chocolate.” Sophomore Sudiksha Peramanu talked about celebrating the holiday Diwali, a five-day festival celebrating the victory of light over darkness in the Hindu religion, says “We celebrate by decorating with lights and eating food.”
From the variety of traditions and holidays celebrated during the holiday season among the staff and student body, there were many curiosities on when was the “appropriate” time to celebrate the holiday season. Ms. Tracy stated, “Whenever you want, I don’t necessarily think there’s a right or wrong time. I think it’s kind of funny when people are celebrating Halloween and Christmas at the same time. I think it’s more fun to celebrate. I mean, we’ve all had kind of a tough couple of years. So any opportunity to celebrate, I say, why not? Just go for it!”
When asking the students their opinion on when was the most “appropriate” time to celebrate the holiday season, the views were mixed. Some students believed that the holiday season should start after Thanksgiving. As freshman Robbie Keating’Frank said, “I don’t think it’s appropriate to celebrate before Thanksgiving.” Senior Juliana Dominy also agreed with his opinion when she said, “It’s a bit tacky before Thanksgiving, but people can have fun, I guess.”
Other students believed there is a specific time you should celebrate the holiday season. Hawk Gamez, a junior, stated “I think it’s a good time to start celebrating in December.” While Eliza Piggott, a sophomore, believed that people should start celebrating exactly September 16th. “Yes, I think everyone should start celebrating on September 16th.”
Most students believed that there wasn’t an “appropriate” time at all, and encouraged celebrating whenever people felt like celebrating. Cayla Pierce, a junior, said “To each their own. As long as it doesn’t hurt someone and it’s not illegal, go for it.” Sheffey enthusiastically stated “Absolutely not! Keep your decorations up all year or not, it’s cool.” Goemans did think that it was okay to celebrate whenever but had an opinion on the holiday
season from a retail worker’s point of view. They stated, “I think it’s alright to start whenever you’re personally in the mood. But as someone who works in retail, I definitely wish the store would wait a little longer to bring out the Christmas music.”
At the end of the day, the students and staff here at Grayslake Central High School have mixed opinions on whether or not there is an appropriate time to celebrate the holiday season.