ALTERNATIVE HOLIDAYS

Find out how SHS students spend their "holiday season".

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ALTERNATIVE HOLIDAYS

Addi House, Lifestyles Editor

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For many, the holiday season means all things Christmas; getting ready by purchasing presents, baking peppermint flavored food and hunting for the right Christmas tree. While the holidays might center around Christmas, some who don’t celebrate have other ideas on how to take on the holiday season.

Sandpoint High School students Hannah Winget, Reilly Donahoe and Hannemae Witthaus have their own holiday plans and ideas of what the season means to them.

For Witthaus, a junior, her typical Christmas traditions are a little out of the ordinary compared to some. Witthaus is polytheistic, classifying herself as Odenic, believing in Gods that represent aspects of our everyday life.

When the holidays begin, Witthaus looks forward to Yule, being celebrated on the winter solstice. Yule is a common tradition for Odenics, and is carried out by lining a thirty foot spiral in the snow with ferns and sticks. In the center of the spiral is a wreath, and after walking this spiral and placing your candle in the middle, the spiral is doused in gasoline and lit up.

“My favorite parts of life when I was a kid was going to these celebrations. I loved it so much and I want my kids to be able to experience that too,” Witthaus said about the Yule tradition.

Similar to Witthaus, Donahoe chooses not to celebrate Christmas, and instead observes Hanukkah, the holiday symbolizing 8 days of light. Donahoe, a sophomore, prays and receives a small gift for the first 7 days from the head of the household, and on the 8th day is given a larger present.

When Donahoe was asked what his favorite part of Hanukkah is, he replied, “It’s not the gifts forsay, it’s being together as a family, and celebrating together.”

For Winget, a sophomore, Christmas is just like any other day. Winget is a Jehovah’s Witness, not celebrating any holidays due to a difference in the beliefs of origins of some holidays like Christmas.

“The holiday season is like any season, you should love everyone and treat them exactly how you want to be treated,” Winget said.

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