Children see the holidays in their own special way. For some, it is the memory of a dog tearing the wrapping paper off Christmas gifts, the ritual celebrations of Hanukah, Kwanzaa and Ramadan or the fantasy of a tired Santa relaxing on a sofa after traveling around the world.

To capture the season through the eyes of the young, The Weekly invited students from across the Washington area to submit drawings of what the holidays mean to them and to explain their art in a few sentences. The Weekly editors selected nearly two dozen of the pictures for this holiday edition.

Enjoy.

FROM THE FRONT

Maddie Abram

Age: 10

School: George Mason Elementary

Home: Alexandria

Quote: "I drew this because not everybody is Christian. I am not. So I drew a giant menorah with gifts around it, and I enjoy Hanukah."

Tizquanzetta Adams

Age: 16

School: Kennedy Institute, ARTiculate Gallery and Studio

Home: Washington

Quote: "I'm looking forward to spending time with my family and friends."

Imelda Cruz

Age: 20

School: Bell Multicultural High

Home: Washington

Quote: "I would describe my work as a cultural and traditional representation. So the country woman riding a strong horse with her son over her back represents the endurance and courage of all the women in the new millennium. For the new millennium, I hope to see equal rights for the whole nation and around the world. But over in my country is where most of the men used to leave their wives at home to take care of the kids. The big star in my drawing means the big hope and faith that I have about the new millennium. The fireworks represent the different hopes and wishes for every person."

Sara Neel

Age: 6

School: Ashlawn Elementary

Home: Arlington

Quote: "The bears have a holiday at the zoo."

Dylan Straughan

Age: 10

School: Bethesda Elementary

Home: Bethesda

Quote: "I think of Christmas as a happy, white-snowy holiday, when people give presents to each other. Sometimes, I feel sad. My mom reminds me of how many people don't get presents every Christmas, and I consider myself lucky. You should, too."

Myriam Tchtchouang

Age: 8

School: Ritchie Park Elementary

Home: Rockville

Quote: "On Kwanzaa day, we read the Bible and put our kinara out. We put three red candles and three green candles and one black candle in it. We wear African clothing. We cherish Jesus as we light up one red candle. All the seven days of Kwanzaa we give each other presents that we have made ourselves. That is how I celebrate Kwanzaa."

Edgar Alfare

Age: 15

School: Bell Multicultural High

Home: Washington

Quote: "During this time of the year, people light candles to celebrate Christmas. The candle I drew represents hope, life and joy--all the things which are dear to people within their diverse communities."

Jennifer Augment (illustration) and Luz Lazo (narrative)

Ages: 16 and 17

School: Bell Multicultural High

Home: Washington

Quote: "If there is something to be grateful about, it is the care and support that Jesus has given us during this past year. It is now Christmas, and it is time to thank God for giving us the chance to leave a year aside and start another one. To me, Christmas is a period of time for families to get together and share the experiences that arrived during the year. It is also a time to give and to receive, to laugh and to celebrate, to love and be loved. Christmas is such a wonderful time because we abandon the past and keep going, thinking about a great and blessed New Year."

William Anaya (illustration) and Brion Orworie (narrative)

Ages: 17 and 18

School: Bell Multicultural High

Home: Washington

Narrative: "To me the holidays are about unwinding after a long year of hard work. During the year we are so busy that we often don't get the chance to relax with family and enjoy time together. In this drawing, Santa Claus is vacationing in Cuba after his hard work in the USA and he is getting ready to go to my country, El Salvador."

Flavia Becerra

Age: 11

School: Drew Elementary

Home: Arlington

Quote: "I visit the Kennedy Center at Christmastime every year and always enjoy the music and dancing."

Amy Beverungen

Age: 8

School: West Friendship Elementary

Home: Howard County

Quote: "During the winter season before Christmas, I like making people at the nursing home feel happy. They don't spend Christmas with their family. I feel really bad for them, so I like to make cute crafts for them. I make goodies for them, too. I like singing Christmas carols to them and doing neat dances."

Nadia Chowdhury

Age: 11

School: Hutchison Elementary

Home: Herndon

Quote: "This picture represents my point of view for my holiday, Ramadan. I think it's about fasting, having fun and breaking your fast at 5:00 with a dark, delicious date, a type of fruit. The brown design on the hand is henna or mehandi. It's very popular in Islam. You wear it during Ramadan and Eid, a celebration after Ramadan."

Ana Diaz

Age: 10

School: Glenallan Elementary

Home: Montgomery County

Quote: "Every Christmas we sit near the Christmas tree. Everyone always gets together at Christmas and we get many gifts, especially last year. Mrs. On, our ESOL teacher, gave us many presents. It was our first Christmas in the United States and we were with our parents as well.

"We eat food that my mother cooks. The girl in the picture that is grabbing the present is my sister. She always wants the presents first. The two that are hugging are my sister and me. The one who is sitting is my mother, and my father is hugging her."

Chris DiIonno

Age: 16

School: Annapolis High

Home: Annapolis

Quote: "The true meaning of Christmas from a religious sense is remembering a man who has had the most profound impact on this world. He has affected history like no one else, changed societies, been the cause of wars and peace. Remembering a person who was supposed to be the Son of God . . . the true meaning of Christmas is remembering this man and remembering people who have had a profound impact on your life as well . . . your family and friends."

Shawn Dyson

Age: 19

School: Sunrise Academy, ARTiculate Gallery and Studio

Home: Washington

Quote: "Christmas is a good holiday. I enjoy opening presents with my kids and waking up with them on Christmas morning. If you're lucky, you can look outside and see some snow. If it's snowing, you can make a snowman or something."

Nancy Escobar (illustration) and Erika Machuca (narrative)

Ages: 16 and 17

School: Bell Multicultural High

Home: Washington

Narrative: "Christmas is a day to reflect, to look deeply in ourselves and recognize our hearts.

"Christmas is union, harmony, and a time to share with family and friends.

"Christmas is the time in the year to repent, to give thanks to the father in heaven for our accomplishments, our laughter, joy and tears.

"Christmas is the millennium, is a time in the year to clear our hearts from jealousy, selfishness and our own offensive words, to make our souls enlightened by the words of peace, unity, freedom, and love."

Caitlyn Fennerty

Age: 11

School: Drew Elementary

Home: Arlington

Quote: "I feel like angels are watching over us sometimes during the winter holidays. Everything seems to slow down and be more peaceful and beautiful in the Washington area."

Cornell Ford

Age: 10

School: George Mason Elementary

Home: Alexandria

Quote: "Snowmen remind me of the holidays, especially Christmas. I enjoy Christmas because I get presents and also get to spend time with my family. The food is great! Playing in the snow makes Christmas even more fun!"

Grace Goodwin

Age: 8

School: George Mason Elementary

Home: Arlington

Quote: "I drew this picture of my two brothers and I opening our Christmas presents at our grandmother's house. I love this time because all of our family celebrates together."

Josh Gorsky

Age: 9

School: Ritchie Park Elementary

Home: Rockville

Quote: "When I celebrate Hanukah, the first thing I do is light the first candle on the menorah and say the prayer for the first night. Then we eat a special meal with wine and bread. For dessert, we eat chocolate coins called gelt. After that is my favorite part, the presents. We get about two presents a night. Before we do anything we have to go to synagogue where we say Jewish prayers. Hanukah lasts for eight days and eight nights. Hanukah is my favorite holiday!"

Kristina Herne

Age: 11

School: Hutchison Elementary

Home: Herndon

Quote: "Oh, Christmas tree; oh, Christmas tree, you light up the pathways. For love and good, you warm our hearts, and give us loving presents."

Christopher Hsing

Age: 8

School: Ritchie Park Elementary

Home: Rockville

Quote: "I celebrate Chinese New Year by going to my grandma and grandpa's house! I get presents and money pockets. Then we eat dinner and go home to open our presents and our money pockets! That's how I celebrate Chinese New Year!"

Charles Long

Age: 9

School: Bethesda Elementary

Home: Bethesda

Quote: "Dogs are a nuisance at Christmas. They open doors of the basement and tear up presents or Santa Claus, leaving a huge mess of wrapping paper. The dogs also might play with the presents they opened. Some dogs are too old to do much. But at least that keeps them from destroying our holidays."

Eric Poulton

Age: 10

School: West Friendship Elementary

Home: Howard County

Quote: "This is what Santa looks like after he flies around the world. He sits on his couch and tries to go to sleep, while his reindeer wait for next year."

Tanya Shorter

Age: 16

School: Bell Multicultural High

Home: Washington

Quote: "The holiday season is the one time of the year when I am the happiest. I don't know if it's the lights and decorations or just the anticipation of gifts. I really enjoy the holidays because my family gets together without a tragedy being the cause for the gathering.

"This is the time we get together and appreciate one another. We eat, laugh, dance and exchange secret Santa's gifts. My picture represents joy and happiness. For some it may be Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan or Christmas."

Jessica Vilay

Age: 11

School: Hutchison Elementary

Home: Herndon

Quote: "Every Christmas Eve my family goes to church. In the morning we go caroling. At night we have a talent show and a celebration of Christ's birth. In my picture, there is a church. On either side there are people caroling and a nativity scene is displayed."