MU
Oak Leaves

December 9, 2016

Hanukkah-Christmas



Students Look Forward to Holiday Season


Cass Ratliff


Manchester University students, staff and faculty are getting excited for winter break starting on Dec. 17, 2016. As cold weather moves in and break gets closer, so do the holidays.

Some people are looking forward to celebrating Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, over winter break.  “I like everything about Christmas,” said sophomore Lauren Rodts. “There is nothing to dislike about it.”
 
Christmas sweaters are especially appreciated as a Christmas celebration. “I get to wear ugly sweaters without judgment,” said Delaney McKesson. “What other time of the year could I wear a sweater with bells on it and no one would question it?”

Christmas movies are a  popular pastime during the holidays. “Every year my family and I watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ on Christmas Eve,” Rodts said. “And, I think I’m going to continue that tradition myself.” Traditions are comfortable and people like to stick with what is familiar to them. “Every Christmas we all stay in the house all day and wear our pajamas,” McKesson said. Both students were raised in Catholic families and have celebrated Christmas as a part of their faith since they were born. 

Other people are looking forward to celebrating Hanukkah, an eight-day celebration of the rededication were the Jewish Maccabees were successful in a revolt against the oppression of Greek-Syrian rule. While according to professor emeritus John Planer, Hanukah is a “minor holiday,” it is a family holiday celebrated with the lighting of the menorah and the giving of small gifts. One candle is lit every night until all eight candles are lit. Prayers are sometimes said before lighting a candle. 
“Other common traditions include things like playing a game with a top called a dreidel, eating latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly donuts) and giving presents,” Seth Mayer said.

During Hanukkah, people enjoy spending time with family. “After each member of my family lights their own menorah, we usually turn the lights off and sit silently for a minute to look at the candles,” Mayer said. “It's my favorite part of the holiday because the light of the candles reflecting in the window can be very beautiful, and I appreciate sharing a quiet moment with family. I'm not sure whether that's something that other Jewish families do, but it's something we've done for as long as I can recall.”

Whether Hanukkah, Christmas, or another holiday is being celebrated by people this winter, looking forward to traditions, family and a break from school is universal among all.