Day 12: Holiday Traditions


By Hiba Samdani, Co-Editor-in-Chief, and Prashi Agarwal, Bailey Kreszswick, and Vaishnavi Sriadibhatla, Staff Reporters

Student Carolers: Spreading the most holiday cheer

By Bailey Kreszswick, Staff Reporter

While the winter season signifies Christmas music, every year, the hallways of ’Stoga are filled with a unique musical twist. Teachers from different classes encourage their students to carol in the hallways, singing songs that are parodies of well-known holiday music. 

One of these teachers is US History and AP Psychology teacher Michael Palmatier, who incorporates information learned from class into his parodies. Caroling offers a fun way for students to retain material, while relaxing the day before winter break.

“Nobody wants to work on Friday, December 23, right? So, let’s do something fun and goofy. And, kind of make it about history but in a fun, light-hearted way, as well,” Palmatier said.

In general, students look forward to singing for teachers and students all over the school. In addition to Palmatier, Chemistry teacher Derrick Wood also asks his students to sing for teachers. Wood also likes to include chemistry terms into the lyrics of the parodies.

“I enjoy seeing the reactions of different teachers because typically I don’t tell them we are coming, and then they get a surprise caroling.” Wood said.

Instead of preparing for a test or mid year review, students get to enjoy themselves, by relaxing and spending time with classmates.

“So, I think it’s just a fun way to try to, you know, try to slip in a little of the holiday experience, but make it about what we’re studying. Right. It’s fun” Palmatier said.

Outside of classrooms, some clubs sing as well. Notably, The Shine for Christ club sings in the main lobby. 

“I just think it’s fun, and I really like the sense of community that we build in the school,” Palmatier said.


GMS celebrates holiday spirit with a secret non-denominational gift-giving tradition

By Prashi Agarwal, Staff Reporter

Around the time of the holidays, many groups engage in special activities to celebrate the holiday season. The Good Morning Stoga (GMS) group at Conestoga does a “secret non-denominational gift-giving” right around winter break, a term used to make people of all backgrounds feel welcome in the tradition. Each member chooses someone random from the crew to get them a gift around $25. The members write down their top three preferences for gifts, to provide an opportunity for everyone to get a present they would like to receive. The tradition provides an opportunity for the crew of GMS to get closer to each other.

“[The tradition] is just an awesome way for us to bond and become a tighter knit team,” said Sarah Park, a senior organizing the gift-giving this year. 

The crew will be exchanging gifts on Dec 22.


Cosmopolitan Celebrations: Winter Traditions from Around the World

By Vaishnavi Sriadibhatla, Staff Reporter

Alessandro Lucchi 

Trento, Italy 

Q: How are the winter festivities in Italy different from the ones celebrated here?

A:“In the U.S, they start very early. In Italy, we start preparing around the 12th (of) December. Usually in Italy, we do less decoration. We only have a little tree in the house, not too much. And yes, I think it’s less visible.” 


Aimée Larson 

Geneva, Switzerland

Q: Are there any additional festivals that you celebrate during this season? 

A:  “We do something that’s called La Fête des Rois. So it’s a pie, and we put a little statue (in the pie). And then we cut it, and the youngest of that group that’s there goes around the table and says who gets the different parts or pieces. And, well the one who gets the little statue gets to have a crown.”



Marta Ruiz de la Peña Canseco

Oviedo, Spain

Q: Are there any traditions from Spain that you are planning on performing, here in the U.S.?
A: “ On New Year’s Eve, we usually eat grapes. We eat 12 in total, to signify the 12 months of the year. It is a tradition that symbolizes good luck in the coming year..”

Some Winter Sights from Abroad: 


Hiba Samdani can be reached at [email protected].

Prashi Agarwal can be reached at [email protected].

Vaishnavi Sriadibhatla can be reached at [email protected].

Bailey Kreszswick can be reached at [email protected].