Students share their winter traditions


Photo provided by Rochelle Polushkin

Senior Rochelle Polushkin gathers with her family every year to participate in a Russian tradition passed down from her parents.

Emily Short

Students at Daniel Pearl Magnet High school were asked about the traditions they practice during the winter season. Here is what they shared.

Senior Tia Jarrett

“One of the traditions I have is with my family and basically on Christmas Eve, we get to open up one present. And at this point me and my older brother have caught on, that it’s always some sort of Christmas pajamas. But it’s fun to watch my little brother be surprised every year. We have been doing that my whole life. It’s a sort of nostalgia that comes along with it, but it’s also just fun that it’s expected every year.”

Junior Ashley Harrison

“The main holiday tradition we have are celebrating Hanukkah, watching crime shows, and just taking a trip somewhere. It’s nothing too special and with COVID, some of these have been less consistent. We celebrate Hanukkah the usual way. We light the candles, my mom recites a prayer in Hebrew, sometimes we get gifts, etcetera. For the crime shows, we just put whatever is on and the trips are usually to places like Cambria or Kernville. These traditions are special since it gives me something to look forward to, yeah there’s Christmas, but the tiny things feel a lot bigger.”

Junior Dashiell Dekker

“Some traditions for me are going up to Frazier Mountain to see the snow. It’s close to LA and it’s nice to see a change of scenery. Watching ‘A Christmas Story’, sitting by the fireplace, and eating festive foods like gingerbread cookies, yams, and drinking eggnog. Usually just spreading good vibes to all my friends and family.” 

Senior Rochelle Polushkin

“Every year, my family celebrates New Year. It’s a Russian tradition and we do a party each year. My grandpa dresses up as Grandpa Frost and we put on a little talent show and it’s really cute. We have a really big family so we just do it in whoever’s house we can. We invite all our family, like all my cousins, aunt, uncles and some of our close family friends. My parents celebrated the tradition back in the Soviet Union and they brought it with them to America when they immigrated. It’s special because they’ve been celebrating it since they were kids and now they’re passing it on to us.”

Junior Grant Asner

“I travel, and over this winter break, I’m going to London, Switzerland, Belgium, and Paris. I do this every year, since eighth grade and we’ve been to places like South Africa and almost all the states in America. Once my grandma passed away, my mother didn’t feel comfortable celebrating without her, so we kind of just left for the month. We made friends, like my mom’s friend that lives in one of the places we travel to and we try to see everything that we can.”