We Are SI
Freshmen Rich in Festivities
Sam Berstein '14
As the class of 2017 concludes its first semester on 37th Avenue, I think we can all hear the freshmen exude a collective sigh of relief. Eager to find out how they feel now that the semester’s over, I painstakingly tracked several of our kittens down (Am I really that intimidating?) and learned that while hallway etiquette still baffles them, holiday cheer sure doesn’t.
Ah, Christmas! Santa, baby Jesus, presents, and— crab? For many families, especially in the Bay Area, a Christmas Eve crab dinner can be a defining part of the holiday season. Connor Clark ’17 explains that his family “goes to Half Moon Bay to buy crabs for Christmas Eve every year.” Meanwhile, some like Andrew Bailard ’17 worry less about any sort of tradition, thoughtfully elaborating, “It just tastes good.” Well, why do we indulge on crab instead of other classics such as ham, beef, or turkey? Extensive research shows me that practicality rules this decision, as Dungeness crabs are in season, convenient, and, might I concur, delicious.
However, even at a Catholic school such as our own, Christmas does not dictate all holiday proceedings. “We used to do Christmas, but not anymore,” explains Mark Hymowitz ’17. With half his family Jewish and half Christian, Mark felt pulled in two directions, but I suspect (with absolutely no basis in fact) that one fateful night several years ago may have made the choice for him. Mark recalls, “One time during Christmas I crashed into a mail truck. Last thing I remember was walking up a hill with a sled, then all of the sudden I’m in a hospital asking ‘Where am I?’.” Yeah, I’d choose Hanukah too. Yet some things transcend religion, as Mark says, “The entire [holiday] is good, but I guess my favorite part would just be getting able to open presents.” Spoken like a true teenager, Mark.
What did I miss? You guessed it, Kwanza! Or, if you’re like Jacqueline Harris ’17, you “don’t even know what Kwanza is.” Personally I couldn’t find any celebrants in the freshmen class, but if there are, please speak up to save your fellow Ignatians from both ignorance and a further reliance upon Wikipedia. And that’s only if, between all our crab and latkes, the rest of us (you’re not alone, Jacqueline Harris) even have the energy to look it up.
Choose groups to clone to: