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Unwrapping Students’ Winter Traditions and Favorite Holiday Activities

By Maggie Pasztor and Arthur Michelstetter

Staff Writer and Verbatim Editor

December 14, 2023

Holiday breaks are an enjoyable time for all of us, a time for students to relinquish their scholarly duties and engage in festive activities. However, as the years go by, we all start to wonder what festive activities are available around the Westfield district. Are you looking for ways to express your holiday spirit? These fellow WHS students have recommendations for you to ensure an entertainment-packed break.

Photo courtesy of Carmel Christkindlmarkt

Light up the season - There's a wide variety of experiences awaiting visitors to the yearly Carmel event.

Carmel’s Christkindlmarkt

In 2017, the Christkindlmarkt had its debut in Carmel, and since then, it has stolen the hearts of many. Filled with authentic treats and activities specific to Germany, students agree that the Christkindlmarkt has become an annual must. 

“My mom thought it would be a really fun thing to do and mentioned they have fudge, and I was like ‘They have fudge, sure!’ It reminded me a lot of what you would think the North Pole to be but not in the North Pole. The vibe it was giving… Christmas. Everything felt warm even if it was cold outside,” sophomore Carter Kinnett said. 

Not only do they have these incredible treats, but it too is a great way to learn more about German Culture and how this holiday is celebrated in other parts of the world. 

“I actually moved here from Munich, Germany a year ago, and there it is very traditional to have Christkindlmarkts,” senior Elle Lippert said. "Traditional things are Karloffelpuffer with applesauce, or things like hot chocolates and Glühwein which is a well-known warm alcoholic punch. We also have wooden decorations and those little fine arts things that they craft. A very fond memory of mine is that as a child they also had these little huts where there would be someone reading these little books to children; you could just go in there and while your parents would stroll around, you could sit in there and listen to Christmas stories.” 

Six-inch ribbon curls! - Buddy the elf, what's your favorite color?

Christmas Music & Movies

One of the most notable changes during the holiday season is your dial on the radio. Christmas songs—traditional and modern—spring onto the stations and into the grocery stores the moment the clock strikes midnight on Black Friday.  After this time it is deemed acceptable to listen to all of the Christmas tunes you desire.

 “An appropriate time to start listening to Christmas music [is] when the radios start playing it,” junior Kennedy Brown said. 

We asked around for everyone’s favorite Christmas song, too! There are several to choose from— “Joy to the World,” “Last Christmas,” and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” but there was one standout. Mariah Carey. “All I Want For Christmas Is You” is an absolute classic, catchy, and unforgettable.

“It’s been in my memory since I was little, I was hearing it in the Christmas season and I guess it stuck with me,” freshman Finn Ryan said.

Expanding on the artistic Christmas scene, we asked several people what their favorite Christmas movies were, and the unanimous response was Elf.  

The movie is already a modern Christmas classic; junior Matthew Thompson said it’s “because [of] Will Ferrel. That guy is insane and there is nothing that can top it. Will Ferrell, he can beat a guy in a fight, and any other Christmas movie actor. Grinch, grounded, that one guy from Christmas Story, grounded.”

Elf is not the only Christmas movie that catches people’s eyes.  The Grinch is the favorite Christmas movie of Junior Asha Adhikari.  She specifically likes the visual aspects of the movie.

“I like the story of how his heart grows,” she said, “and I think the costuming is really cool. All of Whoville is nicely done.”

Warm & cozy - Many students enjoy the tasty treats that accompany the holiday season.

Drinks and Treats

Changing lanes, seasonal drinks like pumpkin spice lattes, bring holiday cheer to our taste buds. 

The holidays’ staple is obviously hot chocolate, liked for its versatility as sophomore Parker Hiple explained, “You could put peppermint, you could put caramel, it could just be plain, you could add anything you want to hot chocolate…I think people hate on it sometimes because it’s kind of traditional and boring and there's other stuff you could get from available places but I think they should give it a shot and add their own twist to it and see if they like it the way that they make it better than other places.”

She's a beaut! - Many lifelong memories are made during the holiday season.


Everyone has their unique family traditions that not only shape Christmas but also make the time of year so enthusing and special. 

“Getting the Christmas tree is my favorite tradition,” freshman Samara Lane shared. “My family used to have this tradition when we lived in Kentucky where we would go to this Mexican restaurant that had a Christmas tree farm in the parking lot. After dinner, we would go pick out our Christmas tree. We still have multiple years of photos by the trees.”

 These annual memories are what so many people look forward to. Furthermore, Christmas is the perfect opportunity to meet up with loved ones.

 “My favorite Christmas tradition is when my extended family and I get together and do another Christmas because we don't see them a lot," sophomore Carter Kinnett said "My favorite part is just seeing everybody again. Love your relatives, even if they are crazy!”

Everyone spends Christmas in very different ways, and there are many suggestions to enjoy the holidays lying around.  The season is about spreading joy and cheer, so take time to try out what other people suggest and make suggestions of your own to your friends!  We hope you all have a joyous and wonderful winter break!

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