• Home   /  
  • Archive by category "1"

Blessings Of Christmas Essay Contest

Essay finalist in the 2016 ‘Basket of Cheer’ Contest | Grade 9


A Christmas tradition that my family and I enjoy celebrating is one of blessing, sweets, and family. Every Christmas Eve, my immediate family gathers and begins the night by following a tradition from my mother’s European heritage. Then, we fill the evening with singing, gifts, and family time.

In current years, Christmas Eve has grown even more special to my family, because my two older brothers are away at college most of the year. This tradition is one in which I’d love to see more people participate, and it is something I plan to carry on as an adult.

The first part of Christmas Eve is the blessing of the house. This practice symbolizes asking God’s blessing on everything we do, whether it be in the school room or the kitchen. My family has been doing this for as long as I can remember.

We walk around my house, saying the Rosary and sprinkling the Holy Water in each room with a sprig of fake spruce. One of my brothers holds an incense burner and leads the way with my father, who is carrying the Holy Water.

We have candles lit in each room to help light the way. Each member of the family leads a decade of the Rosary. After we bless the house, we join in the living room and finish the Rosary. Then, I always read the Christmas story from the Gospel Luke. We also put the little baby Jesus figurine into the manger in our Nativity set. This part of the Christmas Eve tradition is one of my favorites and reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas.

The next thing we do is go to the kitchen to enjoy sweet treats. My mother and I bake a variety of cookies all week for this special evening. Some favorites in my house include Chocolate Cherry Chunks, Peppermint Candy Canes, Almond Butter Cutouts, Raspberry Oat and Nut Bars, Raspberry Swirls, and Chocolate Crackles.

There is always hot chocolate and a few extra treats, such as chocolate bark, chocolate covered nuts or berries, and truffles, depending on what my father buys. We all talk, joke, and fill ourselves with the delicious food. Not only is this a wonderful time to catch-up with everyone’s lives, but it is also a good time to reflect on how thankful we are for each other.

After we polish off the food, my family retreats to the living room, where we cluster around the piano. I normally begin this time by playing Christmas songs I have been practicing, and then my mom steps in and plays traditional carols to which we all sing along.

We enjoy singing popular Christmas carols, like Silent Night, Joy to the World, Away in a Manger, Winter Wonderland, The First Noel, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, and Jingle Bells. After finishing the carols, we each have the privilege of opening one or two presents from under the Christmas tree. This time spent together, singing and sharing gifts, fills the room with joy and gratitude.

This night is very special to me, and it is one of my favorite celebrations of the year. I hope that, in keeping such a wonderful tradition alive, my family and I will continue to keep a close bond. Not only does it teach us children about the traditions from my mother’s heritage, but it also reminds us about the importance of God and family.

I think that, if other families participated in this tradition or at least some aspects, they would enjoy the celebration and find it is a wonderful chance for family time.

Christmas Eve at our house, filled with prayers, carols, cookies, and more, is a tradition I will always love!

About Sonja Hiserman

My name is Sonja Hiserman. I’m fourteen, in ninth grade, and I have two older brothers who are in college. I’m from a small town in Pennsylvania. English is my favorite subject and History is a close runner up. My hobbies include dance (Ballet and Jazz), piano, reading/writing, and watching movies. I’m a bit of a geek and enjoy Star Wars, Narnia, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean and much more. I also love to cook and bake, especially cupcakes. Currently, I have a job doing yard work for a neighbor. I am actively involved with my church’s youth group and I love my Catholic Faith with a passion. Someday I would love to open my own restaurant or become a magazine editor and writer.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Optimist Club to Sponsor Essay Contest for Students

The Optimist Club of Van Wert is encouraging area students to contemplate the phrase "Can Society Function Without Respect" as part of the Optimist International Essay Contest for the 2017-2018 school year. The contest is open to all Van Wert County students who were under age 18 as of October 1, 2017. The Essay Contest entry deadline is February 15, 2018. The Optimist Club will judge the local students’ essays, and determine the top winners. Local winners will receive medallions along with cash awards of 1st place ($300) and 2nd place ($150). In addition to developing skills for written expression and winning local cash awards, participants also have the opportunity to win a scholarship! The winning essay will advance to the district contest to compete for a $2,500 scholarship and…

Christmas Update

On Friday, December 1st, our club rang the Salvation Army Bell at Walmart from 10:00 to 7:00, and the club raised $461.31! Salvation Army was very happy! The club has asked members at the Nov. 30th and Dec. 7th meetings to donate to “Blessings in a Backpack” to be used for a special Christmas treat and towards the purchase of cans of meat. We have raised $157.50 so far. We will be collecting again this week – December 14th with a goal of a total of $250 – so just $92.50 to go! We have decided to meet on Thursday, December 21st for a regular Optimist Meeting. We will be having a White Elephant gift exchange. Please bring a $10 item that can be a gag type gift and does…

Van Wert County Hospital Donation

Yesterday after our club meeting, Judge Kevin Taylor delivered toys to the Van Wert County Hospital. The Optimist Club has been providing plush toys to the hospital for over 30 years for children in the pediatric department as well as in the emergency room. These toys bring comfort to children who are scared and/or nervous and we are blessed to be able to provide them. Fun Fact - when the toys are purchased, a portion of the proceeds of each sale goes to charity - so it's a double win! Together in our community we are all #OptimistStrong.

New Member Alert – Rachel Davis

  An official welcome to new member Rachel Davis. Rachel joins us from Eaton in Van Wert where she is an HR Manager and was officially installed as a club member during the November 2nd meeting, though she has been a member since October. Pictured left to right is Ray Able - Lt. Governor Ohio District and Secretary Treasurer for Optimist Club of Van Wert, Rachel Davis from Eaton in Van Wert and Optimist Club President Diana Cearns with First Federal of Van Wert, OH.   Way to be #OptimistStrong!

New Member Alert – Dawn Culp

Welcome to the club, Dawn Culp! Dawn was installed as a member during the October 26, 2017 Noon Optimist meeting.  She is employed by the Van Wert County Hospital. Together we are #OptimistStrong.   https://youtu.be/TVLU-y2dujo

New Members Alert – George Scott and Rev. Janine Foster

It was a banner day at the noon Optimist club meeting! We inducted 2 new members: George Scott with Van Wert Federal Savings Bank and Rev. Janine Foster with Trinity Lutheran Church- Convoy, OH. Help us congratulate them in joining! Pictured from left to right: George Scott with Van Wert Federal Savings Bank, W. Ray Able - Lt. Governor Ohio District and Secretary Treasurer for Optimist Club of Van Wert, Rev. Janine Foster with Trinity Lutheran Church and Optimist Club President Diana Cearns with First Federal of Van Wert, OH. Together we are #OptimistStrong.      

Marie Miller named Ohio District Bulletin Editor

The Ohio District-Optimist International Governor Tom Kendo is excited to announce that Marie Miller, Van Wert Optimist Club, will assume the position of Ohio District Bulletin Editor for the 2017-2018 “Optimist Strong” year. Come and meet, Marie Miller from Brand It Marketing Communications. Social is the perfect work to describe Marie. Marie has been in the marketing industry since 1998 and started her career in the graphic design industry, having graduated from Indiana-Purdue University of Fort Wayne with a graphic design degree. Throughout her career, she found that communication plays an integral role in the relationship between businesses and consumers. By utilizing social platforms to build and nurture relationships, the communication barrier can be lifted. Social media provides businesses with measurable data to determine the success (or failure) of a particular…

2018 Officers Installed

Optimist Club of Van Wert inducts 2018 Officers and Board Members On Thursday, September 28 - The Optimist Club of Van Wert is inducted the 2018 officers and board members. Optimist Club of Van Wert inducts 2018 Officers & Board Members. Officers are Diana Cearns, President; Marie Junk Miller, First Vice-President; Sean M. Sauer, Second Vice-President; Thaison Leaser, Past President; Ray Able, Secretary/Treasurer. Board Members are Michelle Kimmey Gunter, Michele Purmort Mooney, Jennifer Kimmel Smith, Andy Manz, Gloria Waterman & Trevor Webster. The Optimist Club of Van Wert has been proudly serving the Van Wert County area since the 1980s. We are comprised of men and women dedicated to the community, friendship, fun, service to youth and the promotion of Optimist as a way of life. Our positive approach, upbeat…

Membership Luncheon

You may not have heard, but the Optimist Club in Van Wert is the place to be.  We have room for new members, and would love for you to consider joining our organization.  Maybe you have employees looking for ways to give back to the Van Wert community, or maybe you have a passion for assisting the youth in our area. Whatever the desire, the Optimist Club of Van Wert can help you meet those goals. The purpose of the Van Wert Optimist Club is to aid and encourage the development of youth, in the belief that the giving of one’s self in service to others will advance the well-being of humankind, community life and the world. “Providing hope and positive vision, Optimists bring out the best in the youth,…

2017 Essay Contest

For Immediate Release | January 16, 2017 Optimist Club to Sponsor Essay Contest for Students The Optimist Club of Van Wert is encouraging area students to contemplate the phrase "Chasing Optimism in the Face of Challenges" as part of the Optimist International Essay Contest for 2017. The contest is open to all Van Wert County students who were under age 18 as of October 1, 2016. The Essay Contest entry deadline is February 15, 2016. The Optimist Club will judge the local students’ essays, and determine the top winners. Local winners will receive medallions along with cash awards of 1st place ($300) and 2nd place ($150). In addition to developing skills for written expression and winning local cash awards, participants also have the opportunity to win a scholarship! The winning…

One thought on “Blessings Of Christmas Essay Contest

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *