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How Jewish families spend Christmas Eve

Jimmy Ray Stagg
With Hanukkah coming early this year, winter break for Staples’ Jewish students is a time for family.

Most people know the stereotypes. Ask anyone what Jewish people do on Christmas and they’ll respond, “movies and Chinese food” without hesitation. What else is there to do? Everything from grocery stores to local restaurants are closed. But drive by any movie theatre or Chinese restaurant around here, and you’ll see lines out the door.

But what about Christmas Eve?

While those who celebrate Christmas gather around the tree to have a big family dinner or sneak in an early present or two, what are the Jewish families doing?

According to many Jewish students from Staples, whether they’re traveling or at home, they spend their Christmas Eves with their families.

“Usually my family goes away for Christmas break, so we usually are together but we don’t celebrate in a specific way. We just spend normal time together,”  Rachel Beck ’15 said.

It isn’t uncommon for local Jewish families to be traveling all over the world during this upcoming vacation. Having nearly two weeks off of school is the perfect opportunity for families to get away if they don’t have a Christmas tradition here in Westport.

Nick Benjamin ’17, who usually spends December break traveling with his family, “lays on a beach in some hot country” during both Christmas and Christmas Eve.

Even if students aren’t vacationing, this upcoming break allows for plenty of time to get together with family. Whether students plan on spending meals with just their immediate family or inviting other relatives over too, this can also be a great way to celebrate the holidays.

“We usually go to my cousin’s house in Wilton and watch movies all day and eat homemade food,” Emma Caplan ’15 said.

No matter what Christmas plans families have for the upcoming break, everyone should try to relax and enjoy a few days away from the stress of school and work. Regardless of religion, everyone seems to be looking forward to spending time with their families on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

“I can’t wait to go to my grandpa’s house to see all of my cousins and family on Christmas Eve,” Sophia Avitabile ’15 said.


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About the Contributors
Julie Bender
Julie Bender, Web Opinions Editor
Baby sitting and journalism may seem to have nothing in common, but Julie Bender ’15 packs both professions into her high school career. While many students were off at camp or vacationing this summer, Bender was hard at work baby sitting families and friends. She was extremely dedicated to her job, practically becoming the neighborhood babysitter. Her baby skills easily compliment to her journalism skills as “dealing with children is like dealing with interviewees.” Using her same dedication towards her baby sitting monopoly, Bender hopes to improve her writing skills before she leaves Staples in 2015. There is no rush, however, as Bender “loves getting the info out” through journalism. After three years of being ruled over by seniors, Bender finally finds herself at the top of the food chain in high school. The best moment of the summer was “taking off the junior parking sticker” Bender said. Finally bursting through the doors as a senior girl, covered in feathers and whistles is a moment that all high school girls can’t wait for. Her excitement as a senior has added on to her excitement for journalism this year. Bender has a passion for opinions and news articles; she loves the fun, fast-paced language that is used in the writing style. It also gives her opportunities to interview unique and interesting people. Her favorite article she wrote, in fact, was an article on Hookah and E-Cig usage in high school because the interview process was one of the most awkward. Whether it is journalism or caring for children, Julie Bender brings all aspects of high school to the table in her last year writing for Inklings. She hopes to end the year strong and keep up with her hard work and dedication in and out of high school.  
Jimmy Ray Stagg
Jimmy Ray Stagg, Web Creative Director
Jimmy Ray Stagg is a Staples senior and has been an Inklings writer since sophomore year. He likes to cover sports and plays baseball and football in his free time. “I could write forever about sports,” said Stagg. He plans to play catcher for Staples again this year. His favorite baseball team is the Mets. “It’s great to be a Mets fan”, said Stagg, “especially with the year that the Mets are having.” Stagg is also a Patriots fan. “I can talk about the Patriots forever,” said Stagg. Stagg is a member of both Orphenians and Staples Players. Stagg had his acting debut at eight in Children Of Eden and has been in many Bedford and Staples plays since. “I have a thing for attention,” said Stagg. Stagg is a great Inklings mentor and I have already learned much from him in the past two weeks.

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