Winter traditions excite students


Abby Traum

Lillian Ridinger (left) and Jason Zummallen (right) answer questions about their family’s traditions while at lunch.

Abby Traum, Staff Reporter

Between fall and winter break is an exciting time for students, and their families. Winter brings many traditions that differ between families, and students at West were happy to share their traditions for the new season.

Kyra Doherty (10) said that her traditions are, “Decorating my house for the holidays, and my family likes to set up a Christmas tree together.”

She claimed to love decorating the tree with ornaments and lights to “get festive”. She also mentioned how they decorate the outside of their house with lights and wreaths and blow-up Christmas-themed characters.

Sophomore Jason Zummallen and sophomore Sara Nelson have very similar traditions. They both exclaimed that their favorite winter tradition was making cookies with family.

Zummallen explained that it was an unannounced tradition of his family’s, and that it “sort of just happens” every year.

Many students talked about getting ready for christmas and the upcoming holidays. Lillian Ridinger (10) even said her family’s biggest winter tradition was “going to pick out a tree and cut it down, and then bringing it home to set it up and decorate it.”

Ridinger admitted that, “It’s a lot of work, but with my family it’s fun. Plus, when we are finished it is super worth it.”

Students’ winter traditions seem to be festive and primarily family-oriented. Certain countries have old traditions or tales going into winter that are much different.

In Austria, instead of a ‘Santa Claus’, they have ‘Krampus’. Krampus is said to visit during winter to “punish naughty children”. Due to this tale, many people in Austria and all over Europe dress up as witches and devils to participate in the Krampuslauf (Krampus run), which is said to involve getting drunk and carrying torches while dressed up to scare people.

La Quema del Diablo aka The Burning of the Devil is a tradition in Guatemala where families burn paper mache devils. The whole idea is to burn away the bad from the previous year. It takes place on December 7th and has been celebrated since colonial times.

According to, winter was actually voted as high school student’s least favorite season with only 17.6% of the votes favoring it. Even with that statistic, students show lots of love toward winter and its many holidays.