Christmas is all about family

Social studies teacher will make new traditions this year


Photo submtted

For the Carters, Christmas is all about family. Social studies teacher Mrs. Allison Ferrara Carter said traditions are part of her annual celebration.

Lilly Art, Reporter

There are countless aspects of the Christmas season that people look forward to, including gifts, decorations and music. For U.S. and World History teacher Mrs. Allison Carter, the holidays are about spending time with family and celebrating traditions. 

Carter has a large Italian family, with more than 30 aunts, uncles and cousins. Her family gathers during the holidays to participate in various traditions that have been around for many years. “Italian families take Christmas very seriously,” said Carter. 

She describes family gatherings as extremely noisy. She said, “It can get so loud, that sometimes you can’t even hear yourself think.” There is always a lot of food, and everybody loves to get dressed up. Some of their traditions include family meals, cookie baking, gift exchanges and movie watching.

Carter said she loves all of her family’s Christmas celebrations, but her favorite takes place on Christmas Eve. She attends her church’s Christmas Eve candlelight service with her family, and then they gather at her grandparents’ house to share a meal. Some of her favorite foods that are served include meatballs, ciabatta bread, bruschetta and their homemade lasagna. 

After the prayer and meal, all of her cousins participate in a Secret Santa gift exchange, and all of the parents do a white elephant gift exchange. 

On Christmas Day, everyone meets at her aunt and uncle’s house to celebrate. Another tradition they have involves a movie at night. Everybody takes a poll to decide which movie they would like to see, and they go out to see the movie in theaters that evening. 

The meaning of Christmas is celebrating the birth of Jesus and celebrating God becoming man.”

— Mrs. Allison Ferrara Carter

On the morning after Christmas, everyone leaves for Florida, where they vacation with each other for the remainder of winter break. 

The holidays are an exciting and busy time, but it is also important to remember the true value of Christmas. Carter said, “The meaning of Christmas is celebrating the birth of Jesus and celebrating God becoming man.” She said Christmas is important because it is also a time for being and spending time with family.

Last year, Covid-19 prevented many of their traditions from taking place. Masks were worn at gatherings, and plans had to be canceled. This year, Carter and her family will be able to celebrate face to face without masks, and they will be able to enjoy Christmas more normally again. 

Carter was also recently married. So in addition to her own family’s Christmas traditions, she is also going to be celebrating Christmas with her husband’s family, and she said she wants to embrace her husband’s holiday traditions as well as her personal ones. 

When she is spending time with her family, Carter likes to put her phone away and focus on what is important, her loved ones. She encourages others to do the same during the holidays. Christmas is a time of unity, joy and gratefulness. It is not only a celebration of Jesus, but a celebration of what He gave to the world. 

Carter said, “Be present, enjoy where you are, enjoy the moment and really take in the people around you.”