Holiday Stories

Camm Pollmacher, Feature Writer

Aisha Ibrahim Ramadan

Sophomore Aisha Ibrahim celebrates an Islamic holiday called Ramadan. Ramadan is a month-long fast where you can only eat from three to eight in the morning and pray five times a day.

“It’s a time to pray for God, but we call him Allah,” Ibrahim said.

Ibrahim believes that this fast helps her have better religious practices and gets her closer to Allah.

“If I keep [celebrating Ramadan], it helps me become a better Muslim [by showing we can restrict ourselves],” Ibrahim said.

Also, every night, she and her family go to their mosque Ansar Deen, a Muslim place of worship, to finish the last two prayers to Allah. Ansar Deen is where she has one of her favorite memories during Ramadan.

“We presented a dance and song to the mosque, but our dance was off-key and all over the place. And my mom told me I didn’t smile, I’m very serious,” Ibrahim said.

Afterwards, there was a huge party in the mosque, and Ibrahim felt like she was with family.

Lior Rafalovitz Hanukkah

Junior Lior Rafalovitz celebrates a Jewish holiday called Hanukkah. Hanukkah is a celebration in which Jews commemorate the candle that lasted for eight long days after the Maccabees were desecrated by the Syrians.

Rafalovitz was born in Israel and moved to the United States when she was five years old.

“Hanukkah is a little piece I always remember of Israel,” Rafalovitz said.

Rafalovitz also gets a taste of Israel every Hanukkah because her mom loves to make latkes, which are potato pies, for the temple she goes to.

“My mom learned her cooking from her mom and she’s a chef now, so she makes the best latkes ever. As soon as she starts cooking the latkes in the house, you know it’s Hanukkah time,” Rafalovitz said.

Her favorite holiday memory is helping her mother pass out the latkes to the people in the temple.

“My mom works with the president of the temple and whatever money they raise they give to a Hebrew school,” Rafalovitz said.

Rose Sammons Christmas

Junior Rose Sammons celebrates Christmas, which is a Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus.

“Christmas is a time I can go and hang out with family and enjoy the benevolence of the season,” Sammons said.

Sammons is a very hyper and active person, so when December comes, she loves to go all out with decorations and pastries.

“Christmas effects me emotionally because I get really happy around this season. I love to bake cookies and be festive,” Sammons said.

Sammons also loves to donate some of her old clothes and helps out at the soup kitchen.

“Me and my family go to the soup kitchen, and we donate a lot of coats, bags and boots,” Sammons said.

Sammons favorite Christmas memory begins with her family coming home from her brother’s recital.

“I have a bottle of Hershey’s chocolate, and I am plopped face first making a chocolate angel on the floor. My sister stands there and says I just don’t want to do anything, she just looks so cute,” Sammons said.

Lindsey Muse Christmas

Sophomore Lindsey Muse also celebrates Christmas to acknowledge the birth of Jesus.

“Christmas to me is being with family, eating good food and just enjoying the whole day,” Muse said.

Every year, Muse and her family have a party where everyone wears an ugly sweater.

“We have a Christmas sweater party. It’s a contest for has has the ugliest sweater,” Muse said.

Muse also goes around donating to the homeless people in Chicago.

“Last year, we walked around donating blankets to homeless people around Chicago,” Muse said.

Muse’s favorite memory is with her hamster Tammy, who likes to bite if you don’t have any gloves on.

“My sister held [Tammy] with her hands and it bit her. So she flung the hamster across the room and we couldn’t find it. Our Christmas tree rotates, so we saw that the hamster had clung to the Christmas tree and it just kept spinning around,” Muse said.