The Christmas Spirits of NLA

At North Lakes Academy, we are made of many families and every family has it’s own holiday traditions.

Every year Madolyn Burgess (12) and her family go to her grandmothers for Christmas. They celebrate with a quality meal and good company. Like most families they pass around gifts, ripping through tissue paper and squealing with unexpected delight. But there is one quirk, every Christmas the cat gets pulled into the celebration. It is only fair that the cat gets to dress for the occasion as well.

Ever since Isabel Horn’s (12) little sister, Sadie, was born, the Horn Family started to travel to Oklahoma for the holidays. Horn loves staying home, but loves her grandparents just as much. The only problem is handling her overly excitable little sister. They open presents, enjoy eggnog, and try to find time away from family, out of love of course. Then the Horn Family returns home, welcomed by the frigid cold of Minnesota.

A nice stay at home Christmas can be found at the home of Ryan Teich (11) each and every year.  Teich’s family stays home with his older brothers, who come to visit them during that time. They play games, open presents, watch Charlie Brown, and rough house in the snow. Ryan plays 21 with his older brothers and of course snowball fights ensue during the occasions.

The family of Amanda White (11) enjoys a simple Christmas. It involves a day full of presents at home, then follows with a visit to Grandma and Grandpa’s to enjoy even more gifts. The TV is stuck on the fireplace channel. One Christmas stands out amongst the rest. “We took a family photo where it looked like I was floating and kicking my brother on the groin whilst he licked my ear and our cousins acted like they didn’t know who we were” White said. Of course every holiday is unique for students of NLA.

In the past, Adriana Perkins (12) has spent Christmas with her grandparents and her little sister. She enjoyed quiet mornings full of excitement and impatience. In the evening they enjoyed clam chowder together. Every Christmas had something special. One year, Perkins and her sister were going to give their grandmother a fragile glass snowflake, but when they set it down, it shattered. Horrified, they collected the pieces together and dashed downstairs to their grandfathers workshop, where they worked hard to put each piece back together. They glued it back to perfection and gave it to their grandmother. When Perkins was twelve, she opened her gift only to be filled with terror when her eyes landed upon a Cabbage Patch Kid. “Those things are creepy,” she said. The Perkins have a running gag in the family; their grandmothers hates skulls, so every year, they get her different kinds. For example, one year, they bought little glass skulls and decorated a little glass tree with them and gave that to her. Perkins remembers many other fun Christmases with her grandparents and little sister, treasuring those memories.

My family, the Leonards, has a lot of traditions that we hold dear. For example every year when I return home on Christmas Eve there are always a pair of new pajamas waiting for my brother and I. I am the last to leave the house and the first to come back, but there are always pajamas. We also always go to my aunt’s house, on my Papa’s side, and that’s where the official Leonard Christmas begins. Sometime in January the Hickman Family, my Mama’s side, celebrates. Every Christmas morning, my big brother, Calvin, and I run downstairs and get everything we need for breakfast, then we wait for our mother and father. Papa always comes down first and makes breakfast. Then, when Mama comes downstairs, finally, we eat. After breakfast we find out, one present at a time, whether our family actually remembered what we wanted. We then open our stockings and take out the fillers like chapstick, toothbrushes, chocolate and other various stocking stuffers. Every Christmas we watch Fred Clause and A Christmas Carol. We always have fun and enjoy each other’s company; we have a happy Christmas, and I hope you do too.


Written by Madelyn Leonard


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