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(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"My Uncle taught me how to do the Lion Dance, a tradition in China," said Ivan Lu, a third grader from Northside Elementary School in Levittown. "We also get red envelopes for Chinese New Year, which is right after Christmas." (Dec. 7, 2011)

LI third-graders talk about holiday traditions

Theresa Heaney's third-grade students at Northside Elementary School in Levittown spent part of the day writing holiday letters to their heroes, so I thought it would be fun to talk to them about their family's holiday traditions. From family favorites to cultural rituals, here's what they talked about.
--Compiled by Jennifer Berger

(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"I like the presents and the Christmas tree," said Kaitlin Anderson, a third grader from Northside Elementary School in Levittown. (Dec. 7, 2011)

(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"Spending time with my cousins and family is the best part of the holidays," Peter Badger, a third grader from Northside Elementary School in Levittown. (Dec. 7, 2011)

(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"We go to church and celebrate the birth of Jesus," said Andy Barreiro, a fourth grader from Northside Elementary School in Levittown. "We eat cake and sometimes there's a parade." (Dec. 7, 2011)

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(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"I love playing with my cousins on Christmas," said Max Bollinger, a third grader from Northside Elementary School in Levittown. (Dec. 7, 2011)

(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"My favorite thing is spending time with my family during the holidays," said Gabriela Bullones, a third grader from Northside Elementary School in Levittown. (Dec. 7, 2011)

(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"My favorite thing is getting gifts and hanging out with all my family," said Blake Campbell, a third grader from Northside Elementary School in Levittown. (Dec. 7, 2011)

(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"We go to church on Christmas Eve to celebrate Jesus," said Natalie Chua, a third grader from Northside Elementary School in Levittown. "We open presents and then we have a feast after midnight." (Dec. 7, 2011)

(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"Fish on Christmas Eve is my favorite family tradition," said Hailey Clancy, a third grader from Northside Elementary School in Levittown. "My friends and cousins come and we give each other gifts." (Dec. 7, 2011)

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(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"We go to church in Spanish, the mass is called "Misa de Gallo" or the Rooster Mass, since it's celebrated at midnight," said Douglas Cortez, a third grader from Northside Elementary School in Levittown. (Dec. 7, 2011)

(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"I love getting presents on Christmas and being with my family," said Gianna Cutaia, a third grader from Northside Elementary School in Levittown. (Dec. 7, 2011)

(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"I celebrate it with my family," said Sara Donlon, a third grader from Northside Elementary School in Levittown. "We have a lot of fun together, exchanging presents and having dinner." (Dec. 7, 2011)

(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"It's not just about the presents, my favorite thing about the holidays is being with my family," said Jessica Garcia, a third grader from Northside Elementary School in Levittown. (Dec. 7, 2011)

(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"I love decorating the tree and spending time with my family," said Emily Gaska, a third grader from Northside Elementary School in Levittown. (Dec. 7, 2011)

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(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"My favorite thing about the holidays is on Christmas, we stay in our pajamas all day," said Gabriela Guzman, a third grader from Northside Elementary School in Levittown. "I love hanging out with my family." (Dec. 7, 2011)

(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"Every year all of my cousins come and then Santa comes," said Justin Kraus, a third grader from Northside Elementary School in Levittown. "We make gingerbread houses together the next morning." (Dec. 7, 2011)

(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"We hide stuffed animals in the Christmas tree and then we find them all on Christmas morning," said Andrew Kuzmicki, a third grader from Northside Elementary School in Levittown. (Dec. 7, 2011)

(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"My Uncle taught me how to do the Lion Dance, a tradition in China," said Ivan Lu, a third grader from Northside Elementary School in Levittown. "We also get red envelopes for Chinese New Year, which is right after Christmas." (Dec. 7, 2011)

(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"Getting presents is the best thing about the holidays," said Paola Manzano, a third grader from Northside Elementary School in Levittown. "In my Mom's country, El Salvador, we eat chicken, beans and plantains with cream." (Dec. 7, 2011)

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(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"I like playing in the snow because you can have a snowball fight and make snowmen," said Emmanuel Medrano, a third grader from Northside Elementary School in Levittown. (Dec. 7, 2011)

(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"My favorite part of the holidays is running downstairs and opening presents, then having dinner with my family," said Ariana Parada, a third grader at Northside Elementary School in Levittown. (Dec. 7, 2011)

(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"Our holiday traditions include going to mass with my parents, having a big dinner and getting presents," said Nathalie Ramirez, a third grader at Northside Elementary School in Levittown. (Dec. 7, 2011)

(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"I like being with my family during the holidays," said Carlos Rosado, a third grader at Northside Elementary School in Levittown. (Dec. 7, 2011)

(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"People celebrate Christmas in South Korea," said Juneyeup Seong, a fourth grader at Northside Elementary School in Levittown. "People have Christmas trees and get a gift. Everyone goes to church on Christmas. We eat cake. After Christmas, we celebrate the Lunar New Year. It is for two days. Children bow down to grown-ups and they get red envelopes with money. We eat Tteokguk, a soup with rice cakes. We wear clothes called a hanbok." (Dec. 7, 2011)

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(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

"Being with my family is the best thing about the holidays," said Angelina Vardamaskos, a third grader at Northside Elementary School in Levittown. (Dec. 7, 2011)

Theresa Heaney and her third grade class at
(Credit: Jennifer Berger)

Theresa Heaney and her third grade class at Northside Elementary School in Levittown wrote holiday letters to their heroes. (Dec. 7, 2011)

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