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My Favorite Holiday Essay Elementary Examples

I’ve had many wonderful holidays, but my favorite memory is that of a few summer weeks spent in Italy when I was about 13. My mom had to go to a clinic there for treatment (nothing severe or worrisome in any way, thankfully), and we all went together as a family and took the opportunity to have a beautiful vacation as well. Why this is my favorite holiday memory is because, besides the fact that it was the first time abroad for me, it was a vacation that has broadened my perspective, taught me a lot, and helped shape a bit of who I am today.

Although we did visit many famous places in northern Italy, we stayed mostly in a little town where some friends of my parents lived. While all the renowned attractions in the country were, indeed, marvelous, nothing immersed me in the Italian culture and nothing helped me understand the locals’ Latin spirit better than my stay in this picturesque, almost magical town that many haven’t even heard of.

At 13, I was quite a shallow girl who was interested mostly in having fun with the girls – and not much else. Thanks to the holiday spent in Italy, I also discovered my passion for music, which stayed alive in me to this day and will probably stay forever. My parents’ friends had a son, Ricardo, who was a pianist. While dad had repeatedly but unsuccessfully tried to make me study an instrument (and stick to it), when I heard Ricardo play, I instantly fell in love with music and felt a great desire to learn it. Ricardo taught me the first song I ever played on the piano, a silly, playful little tune that I still know by heart. Oh, and he was my first crush, too.

Another reason why I will never forget my holiday in Italy is the short trip we took to the Italian Alps at some point. I had never seen such majestic beauty before! The snow-covered peaks, the intimidating rocks, the fresh, harsh air – what an experience! And what I remember impressed me the most was the fact that, although this was a popular touristic area, the region was incredibly clean, still “natural”, with places that seemed to never have been touched by humans. Then, the shallow teen that I was learned what a real treasure nature is and how important it is to protect it.

Finally, there’s one peculiar memory from this vacation that stuck with me for reasons that I can’t say I grasp. It’s a pineapple & cheese sandwich that they sold at the clinic my mom went to for treatment. What a simple and ingenious mix of flavors – a sheer joy for the taste buds! I think it was the first time I tasted a mix of “regular food” and exotic fruit all in one, and I believe this is what triggered in me the pleasure I know have for experimenting with flavors in my cooking and coming up with unusual dishes. Looking back on it, this simple sandwich can also be a good metaphor for how you shouldn’t overcomplicate things in life – sometimes, the simplest solution and a bit of flair or courage can bring astonishing results.

My trip to Italy helped me understand more about other cultures, allowed me to find my passion (and let’s not forget about my first crush), taught me to cherish nature and do my best to protect it, and – maybe – inspired in me the courage to experiment (or, at least, it gave me the opportunity to discover that I adore pineapple & cheese sandwiches). This is why it is my favorite holiday memory.

  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • 8" x 11" blank calendar page (grid only: no month, year, numbers, etc.) or computer
  • My Favorite Holiday Worksheet printable
  • Symbols representing your own favorite holiday tradition
  • Pencils
  • Markers, colored pencils, crayons, or other drawing materials
  • Large 12-month calendar
  • Optional: Transparencies and overhead projector or computer and projector
  • Optional: 8" x 11" sheets of tag board, card stock, or other thick mounting paper, one sheet per student
  • Optional: Glue for mounting paper
  • Optional: Laminating machine
  1. Prepare a sheet of chart paper entitled "Our Favorite Holiday Traditions." Write the definition of the term "tradition" at the top of the page. I use this definition:
  2. The passing down of elements of a culture from generation to generation, especially by oral communication

  3. Create the 8" x 11" blank calendar page (grid only: no month, year, numbers, etc.) on the computer or find a blank calendar page reproducible. Copy a class set of the blank calendar page.
  4. Make a class set of the My Favorite Holiday Worksheet printable.
  5. If you wish to share and model the My Favorite Holiday Worksheet printable and the blank calendar page with an overhead projector, make transparencies of each. If you'd rather use a computer and projector, load both pages for easy access.
  6. Think of your own favorite holiday tradition and bring in some symbols of that tradition to share with the students. Examples include:
    • Making Christmas cookies with your children (a photo or the cookie recipe)
    • Playing/watching football on Thanksgiving Day (a football)
    • Writing down your New Year's resolutions with your family (your writing journal)

Before Day 3

Optional: If you decide to laminate each calendar page, mount each completed calendar page on a piece of strong tag board, card stock, or other mounting paper before lamination.

Day 1

Step 1: In a whole group setting, introduce the lesson by sharing your favorite holiday tradition and a symbol, if possible. Talk about why you like this holiday tradition and the fact that you and your family do this year after year. Take questions from students.

Step 2: Define the term "tradition." Discuss how families teach their children and other family members how to do things a certain way and how to celebrate certain events. Refer back to your favorite tradition and share where you learned it.

Step 3: Using the chart paper entitled "Our Favorite Holiday Traditions," ask students to share their favorite holidays and the traditions they enjoy. Ask questions that will help students think about their responses to the My Favorite Holiday Worksheet printable, such as:

  • When is your favorite holiday?
  • What traditions do you participate in on that holiday?
  • Why is it your favorite holiday?

Write students' responses on the chart paper. Also include the names of all the months of the year, if they're not already posted in your classroom.

Note: You may want to compare students' responses with the different holiday customs they learned about in Lesson One.

Step 4: Introduce the My Favorite Holiday Worksheet and review each sentence. Send students back to their desks to complete the assignment. Monitor the class as they complete the page, assisting when necessary.

Step 5: When students have completed the worksheet, either instruct students to keep the sheet handy for the next activity or collect the sheets to save for later.

Day 2

Step 1: Show the students the large 12-month calendar. Ask them to chorally name the 12 months of the year.

Note: If you have regular "calendar time" with your students, you may want to do this activity during that time.

Step 2: Ask students to tell you everything they know about calendars, e.g. what a calendar is, how we use it, why we use it, its components. Refer to your classroom calendar and its purpose.

Step 3: Tell students that they will be creating their own My Favorite Holiday Calendar Page for the month when their favorite holiday occurs. Review some of the students' favorite holidays and ask them in which months the holidays occur.

Step 4: Distribute the blank calendar pages and drawing materials. Using the transparency or projector, model how to write the numbers in each box in the upper corner, the name of the month on the page, and the days of the week across the top.

Step 5: Ask students to circle the day of their holiday on their calendars or to mark the day with stars. You may need to remind them where to do this.

Step 6: After all of the calendar components are included on the page, instruct students to decorate their pages with symbols from their favorite holiday and pictures of themselves involved in their holiday's family tradition.

Day 3

Step 1: When students' calendar pages are complete, allow students to share their calendar page with the class, explaining their responses to the My Favorite Holiday Worksheet printable and how they decorated their calendar page.

Optional: Laminate each page.

Step 2: Post the calendar pages throughout your classroom or another school display board.

Students may need assistance transferring the information from their My Favorite Holiday Worksheet to the calendar page.

Have students write a short paragraph about the holiday they selected.

Allow students the opportunity to complete the Complete the My Favorite Holiday Worksheet at home. Parents can help students discuss their family traditions.

  • Complete the My Favorite Holiday Worksheet
  • Complete the My Favorite Holiday Calendar Page
  • Evaluate the My Favorite Holiday Worksheet
  • Evaluate the My Favorite Holiday Calendar Page

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