Erin Eilers – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- As the holidays come running around the corner it is hard not to be excited with traditions of family, cheer, and togetherness.

Holidays are the time when young and old, moms and dads, and brothers and sisters come together to share a time of peace and happiness.

There are many holiday traditions that families maintain, but some “must do’s” of the past have become old and tired.

LRHS Advance Placement (AP) macro-economics and government teacher Benjamin Hall explained how he celebrated Christmas as a child.

“We always did an advent calendar, and we pinned ornaments to the tree every day before Christmas, we would go to church, afterwards when we come home we had a tradition of eating all the best snacks like pizza rolls, and pigs in a blanket,” he said. “My brother and I were always allowed one present to open on Christmas eve. Now my Christmas tradition with my family is Christmas bagels in the morning and ‘Elf on the Shelf’ for my son.”

Economics and government teacher John Moates celebrated Christmas as a child in his own way.

“My mother has four sisters and most live close by. Some would have an extensive Christmas Eve lunch and then a Christmas brunch at my house, after that we had Christmas dinner at another sister’s house. It was always 24 hours of family and food,” he said.  “Ever since my mom passed away, we have not gotten together since my mom was the only one who could pull it all off. We started this tradition after my Grandmother passed away, but now I make all of the traditional Christmas brunch food and I share it with my father and brother.”

Parents of Mustangs may recall stories about the good old, iconic 1955 aluminum Christmas tree. Who doesn’t love it? Possibly anybody with modern style.

Generations of little boys, dads and grandfathers can recall the ruthless, sleek, loud, and hard to put together train. Countless hours were spent hearing the train whirling around the Christmas tree on a secret holiday mission. Now Christmas villages and fake presents adorn the bottom instead of the once trusty train.

What could be better than real snow? Floridians could argue the beach, but in 1953, fake spray-on snow was as popular as hair spray, and every home’s Christmas tree was adorned with the gaudy white powder.

Meanwhile, who doesn’t want to be able to eat candy canes off the tree? Back in the day, candy canes were out, and popcorn strings were in. They added flavor, color, and fun to the tree for every age.

The last, but certainly not the least is by far the messiest, brightest, and stringiest on the list – tinsel. These flashy strings that were thrown all over the tree used to be in every inch of parents’ and grandparents’ homes during the holidays. Tinsel was the cat’s best friend for an entire month; they would pounce on the tree to get it, pull it from the bottom, or knock the tree down to get it. Perhaps nobody loves the holidays as much as cats love tinsel.

As fashion and music makes a comeback from the old days to hipsters’ hearts, maybe these old traditions will squeeze their way back in, too.

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