By Khalaya Jefferson | Eighth Grade, Sacred Heart School, Camden

EDITOR’S NOTE: Front Runner New is excited to highlight winners of Mighty Writers Contest. Mighty Writers teaches Camden kids ages 7-17 to think and write with clarity! They run monthly writing contests (with a $100 prize!) and are always looking for new writers to feature. For more information, visit

‘Tis the season to spend with your loved ones and celebrate. Although there are many stories and tales about the true meaning of Christmas, What are we really celebrating?

Children may think we celebrate for candy canes and gifts. Some children might think we celebrate for Santa and Saint Nick. Many people say we celebrate the birth of baby Jesus or the bright star that shone the night of Jesus’ birth. 

I say there’s a different reason to celebrate every year. This year I feel like we should celebrate death. I know it’s a tough topic to be happy and joyful about to most, but just hear me out.  There have been 1.63 million deaths from COVID-19 this year alone.

That’s not counting people who died from heart attacks, natural causes, overdoses, acts of police brutality, suicide, murder, cancer and those who have died but have gone unreported or undiscovered. All these people who probably didn’t get the chance to celebrate their last Christmas to the fullest because they didn’t know that it was going to be their last Christmas. We should celebrate for them.  

Let’s celebrate for those who have passed too soon to drink eggnog and bake cookies. For those children who didn’t even get to write their Christmas list and send it to Santa. For Jesus himself who died so that we could celebrate without sin. For my uncle who didn’t get to see his nephews and nieces unwrap the gifts he stayed up and wrapped with my parents.

For my Grandmom who couldn’t make her famous 4 cheese mashed potatoes for one last time. For all of mine and your families who departed too soon to see our growth from this pandemic. We celebrate for them all. No matter how sad or how long ago the death was, we celebrate their life. 

I am Khalaya Jefferson. I’m 13 years old. I was born in Voorhees NJ and raised in Lawnside NJ.  I’m the youngest out of my siblings and the most spoiled. I have a passion for fashion and everything colorful but most of all I love to write. My Dad is a poet and his talent passed down to me. I hope to be a lawyer but I also have an interest in being an author. My advice to all is to try to see the positive in every situation even when it’s hard.

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