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River Oaks shoppers share holiday traditions

Trees, turkey, tamales, and more

photos and story by Patricia Muhammad

CALUMET CITY, Ill. (December 2017) – Holiday shopping is in full gear, and it is typical during this time of the year to find local malls swamped with holiday shoppers seeking bargains and discounts. The Lansing Journal wanted to know how area citizens typically celebrate the holiday. We found several holiday shoppers at the River Oaks shopping center who took time to share their holiday traditions.

Holiday traditions
Marilyn Wories
Marilyn Wories (Lansing, Illinois): “I spend the holidays mostly with family, and we go to the Christmas Tree Lighting in Lansing every year. As a tradition, we go and cut down a Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. We usually go to cut the tree with my children and grandchildren. My husband and I cut down two trees. He decorates a tree in the basement, and I decorate one upstairs. We will have family and out-of-towners for the holidays.”

holiday traditions
Tonya Hunt
Tonya Hunt (Calumet City, Illinois): “I celebrate the holiday with my family, and during this time, I thank God for blessing me with everything I have. I enjoy the time I spend with my family. Our dinner is a traditional Christmas dinner complete with turkey and all the fixings.”


holiday traditions
Daniel Indicavitch
Daniel Indicavitch (Hegewisch, Illinois): “Christmas is celebrated traditionally, surrounded with family. We enjoy food, fun, and church. I am a firefighter, and if I am lucky to be off, I take time to relax and spend time with family.“


holiday traditions
Emmanuel Arroyo
Emmanuel Arroyo (East Chicago, Indiana): “We usually get together at my mom’s house for the holidays. Everybody brings a Mexican dish, and along with the dish, we add a red or green molé sauce with chicken or rice on the side. It’s delicious. We also enjoy fixing tamales. We sit around the table and create a family chain to help put the tamales together, which include the leaves, and the meat. When we finish with tamales, we place them in a basket and then wait until 12 o’clock, and everyone eats and open their presents.”

holiday traditions
Delridge Warlick
Delridge Warlick (Chicago, Illinois): “I haven’t celebrated Christmas in a long time, but I hope to this year. Traditionally we open up presents in the morning and later in the afternoon, we pray over dinner, and then we sit down to a great meal Christmas dinner. This year, I will celebrate Christmas with my wife, my kids, and my mother. For my family and me, it will be a time of celebration and fun.”

holiday traditions
Michael Ramirez
Michael Ramirez (East Chicago, Indiana): “First and foremost, I spend the holiday with family. We are not expecting guests for Christmas, but we did have guests over for Thanksgiving. I’m Latino, so in my community, it’s state law that we must have tamales on Christmas day. This year, we will add lasagna. As for gift-giving, I take pride in giving great gifts, because I don’t like giving crap gifts. Whoever I give presents to, it’s no accident that I know what they like, and I feel blessed enough to have a job not to split hairs over buying gifts for family and friends.”

holiday traditions
Joni Adams
Joni Adams (South Holland, Illinois): “When I think about the holidays, I think about the birth of Christ, and I like to let my kids know that God is at the head of every holiday. I don’t want Christmas to be just a man-made holiday, but I want it to be more of a celebration of Christ. Let us not forget that the same spirit of Christmas we now celebrate should be the same spirit we have every day, all year long, and not just one day.”


Patricia Muhammad
Patricia Muhammad
Patricia Muhammad is a contributing writer for both The Lansing Journal and the South Holland Shopper. She enjoys writing stories about events, people, and places she feels would interest local residents—such as the Lansing Car Show, Super Teci's benefit, Water's Edge, and Recycling 101. She is also a published author of three children's books: Princess Feldings & The Academy of Queens, Prince Hasmir High Seas Adventure, and When Jaguars Roar.