Foothill Tech’s favorite winter traditions


Rihanna Samples

Follow along for a fun article about some of Foothill students’ favorite holiday traditions to do with their families, featuring common traditions such as Christmas tree decorating to unique traditions involving a pickle.

Amber Duhs and Rihanna Samples

The holiday season is one filled with joy for many students at Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech). Seasonal music and coffee flavors infiltrate lives as the wind picks up and the weather gets chilly; however, what makes this season so special are the traditions that we all have with our friends and family. Seasonal traditions brighten our lives and can create countless memories, so without further ado, here are some of Foothill Tech’s favorite winter traditions. 

The first tradition is celebrated by Foothill Tech student Aliana Hantgin ‘25 every Christmas morning. “Every Christmas morning, my mom cooks tamales, hash brown casserole, cinnamon rolls and Abuelita,” Hantgin described. She also expressed her fondness for this tradition, adding, “It’s been the same breakfast every morning since I was a little girl and it’s definitely the highlight of my year.” 

We scoured the stores for the specified breakfast items and were excited to try them. Upon first tasting the Abuelita hot chocolate, we were surprised; it was less sweet than typical hot chocolate and left us with an almost spicy aftertaste. Overall, it was very good and we would definitely drink it again. The tamales were warm, comforting and savory — when mixed with the sweet and spicy hot chocolate, they created great flavors and were a fulfilling combination.

The second tradition is celebrated in December in honor of the holidays by Emily Falls ‘25. Falls has two special traditions that she celebrates with her family each year. She said, “My mom and I make fudge every year, and sometimes my dad hides a pickle ornament in the tree to find in the morning.” She further explained the pickle tradition by commenting, “The person to find the pickle first, opens the first present.”

We got ourselves a pickle ornament, excited to try the fun tradition. We entrusted a sibling with hiding the pickle ornament in the tree so we could both compete to see who could find it first. Contrary to our original belief, it was a lot harder to find the pickle than we expected. After six minutes and 57 seconds of searching, along with a few hints, Amber emerged victorious, finding the pickle camouflaged among the other ornaments on the tree. Overall, the pickle tradition was a very entertaining competition and proved far more challenging than we thought it would be.

Another tradition was given to us by Bennett Rodman ‘26. Rodman described “decorating the Christmas tree,” expressing her favorite parts of the tradition and how each step is special. “One of my favorite parts is finding the perfect place for every ornament, putting the star on top of the tree and then turning on the lights to see the whole thing come together,” she said. 

Participating in this tradition was very enjoyable, as we turned on Christmas music and danced to our hearts’ desire whilst carefully finding a place for each ornament and placing the plastic, shimmering star atop the tree. A table-top Christmas tree with red synthetic leaves was our tree of choice, and it was incredibly rewarding to turn on the lights and see the decorations come to life. We both have participated in similar traditions with our families and have enjoyed it, similar to Rodman. 

These are only a few of the wonderful traditions that students share with their families, and as the holidays grow closer, it’s the perfect time for Foothill Tech students to come up with new traditions to share with each other. These winter traditions are important events that can bring delight to an otherwise dull day, and they are great ways to connect with friends during the holiday season.

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