Dr. Christina Leza
ATH175: Final Paper
27 April 2011
All I Want Is a Hippopotamus for Christmas
Every family spends the holidays together. Whether it’s Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. The holiday that means the most to me that is celebrated by our family is Christmas. It’s always been a tradition to be a family on this holiday, it’s even celebrated at the same place each year; my Cousin Heather’s house. We have a small family on my mom’s side but it doesn’t matter; at least that we are all together on Christmas. And nothing is better than a White Christmas!
The month of December means two things: snow, and Christmas! “If all our festival days had to be given up except one, it is quite probable that the voices of children would mingle with those of adults and sound forth in a might chorus in favor of Christmas” (Wernecke, 11). “Christmas brings joy and light to mankind during the darkest month of the year” (Wernecke, 1). Our family looks forward to this holiday each year. All of our houses are filled with Christmas decorations. My cousin Joyce really goes all the way. Each year she always has to get new decorations to add to her old collections. For her, she always has to get a new snowman. Whether the snowman goes outside, in her room, on the tree, no matter where she wants to put it, it’s her own tradition to get a new one. They usually come from Traders World, or even the traditional Target. And her snowman tradition goes through our whole family; her daughter which is also my cousin too continued the tradition a few years ago, and now my mom just started continuing it this year. Her house always has lights up on her house. When you come down the street her house stands out the most because of all the lights upon it. And of course all of our houses have the famous nativity scene. Her daughter Heather is like her mom, her house is decorated everywhere with decorations. Her house is a little bit more detailed then her mom’s since she has two little girls. Heather’s house has two floors, and the main floor is different than the second. The main floor has the Christmas tree in the living room, and before you enter the living room you will be passing snowflakes hanging from the ceiling. You will see cotton lining the wall to have the “snow flake” feeling throughout the house without having the feeling of bitter cold. What makes a big difference between her house and her mom’s house, Heather has every year on Christmas that we spend as a family on the tree. She made the ornaments for each year, as of this year there is 11 years of Christmas tradition and memories on her tree! The ornaments make holidays extra special as we can think back and see all the memories that we shared.
But I’m different than the rest of my family, I look forward to spending it time with my family but this holiday is really the only holiday that I get to see and spend a lot of time with my deaf cousin Keith and his wife Amy. I took two years of American Sign Language at my high school; I didn’t take it just to fulfill the requirement, I took it because I wanted to communicate with my deaf cousin. So every year when this holiday is near, I practice American Sign Language to improve and remember all the signs that I need to communicate with him. And what makes this more special to me, is he is so happy that I know how to communicate with him, and he looks forward to talking to me as well every Christmas. I have been communicating with him for two years now, and I will never get tired of signing to him. He was my inspiration of getting into American Sign Language in High School, and I thank him!
The food is the common tradition in our family. The tradition of food hasn’t changed in eleven years. And the food we always have every year is Ham, Turkey, Sweet Potatoes with burnt marshmallows on top, macaroni and cheese casserole, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, and my cousins famous