With the stress, the long to-do list and the endless shopping, sometimes adults (especially parents) have a hard time finding the true meaning of the December holidays. If you ask kids, they’ll give a different point of view. Yes, they love presents, but as you’ll see from their responses, they also love the simple pleasures the holidays bring: time with family and special traditions.

With the stress, the long to-do list and the endless shopping, sometimes adults (especially parents) have a hard time finding the true meaning of the December holidays.

If you ask kids, they’ll give a different point of view. Yes, they love presents, but as you’ll see from their responses, they also love the simple pleasures the holidays bring: time with family and special traditions.

These are a few of their favorite things:

- Julia, 7, of C.J. Prescott Elementary School in Norwood, celebrates Christmas.

“My favorite book is 'Corduroy’s Christmas.' He really wants a train, a sweater and ice-skates and so does his friends. So he writes to Santa and says, 'I don’t need anything,' and his friends get it. Oh, yeah - one year, Santa left a letter that said, ‘You know, your uncle is handsome!’ I couldn’t believe it!”

- Bryanna, 9, of The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School in Franklin, celebrates Hanukkah.

“I tell everyone that it's a holiday to get together and give thanks to God for the world he has created. My grandmother celebrates Christmas so I get to spend the day with her, too!”

- Maddy, 9, of The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School in Franklin, celebrates the Feast of Saint Nicolas, a Dutch Holiday, held on Dec. 5

“Basically, you put out a shoe and fill it with hay and then the next day there are presents in it. Usually, he leaves chocolate letters or Dutch cookies with caramel in them. I don’t know many other kids that celebrate it. It makes me feel special.”

- Jack, 7, of C.J. Prescott Elementary School in Norwood, celebrates Christmas

“There are two things I love about Christmas. One - getting all the presents and two is setting up the train with my dad. It goes around the tree and there’s one that goes wicked fast that it throws sparks. It is so cool!”

- Salako, 10, of Ashland and a member of the Greater Framingham Community Church, celebrates Kwanzaa on Dec. 26 through Jan. 1

“I really like lighting the candles because they represent African colors, and then we pray for our ancestors. We honor them. When people ask me about Kwanzaa I tell them it's just a celebration for people celebrating our history.”

- Kayla, 10, of C.J. Prescott Elementary School in Norwood, celebrates Hanukkah with her stepmother

“We get to play a lot of games like dreidel. Oh, yeah, and there’s this other one where you hide a cracker and whoever finds it gets to eat it. It tastes really good!”

- Christian, 10 of The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School

“I like decorating the Christmas tree. Last year, we got a tree that was too big and it couldn’t fit in our house. We got a new one that was just right. We take turns putting the angel on top.”

- Brinda, 7, of C.J. Prescott Elementary School in Norwood, celebrates Diwali the Festival of Lights, which was held Nov. 9, 2007.

“I like the second day when the fire bursts the crackers. My father will help because I don’t want to hurt myself!”

- Makailyn 7, of C.J. Prescott Elementary School in Norwood, celebrates Christmas.

“I like collecting rocks. I have 10 and this year I’m hoping to get 11 this year.”

- Sylvia, 9, of The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School in Franklin, celebrates Christmas, Hanukkah and The Chinese New Year

“I’m adopted so we celebrate the Chinese New Year so I’ll know more about my culture. I know oranges are for good luck and you sweep your house to start the year over – a fresh start.”

Local schools represented in the article participate in Community Newspaper Company's Newspapers in Education Program. NIE provides sponsored newspapers and educational resources to teachers and students in Metrowest and beyond. For more information, please contact Sharon Tango at 508-626-3859 or email shartango@aol.com.

Heather Kempskie is the editor of Parents and Kids.