As the end of the final week for this first semester is approaching, two things are on students’ and teachers’ minds: the three week-long winter break and Christmas. The winter break gives a sensation of relief and excitement from being at school and allows everyone to relax and not worry about going to school for three weeks.
With the winter break approaching, the Wolfpack have made, or thought about making mini vacation plans. “During the break we like to go out and eat a lot. We like to go to the park, beach, shop, etc. We also like to have carne asadas,” Alondra Trujillo, a senior, said.
Of course, most of the fun from Winter Break comes from the cherishable moments spent with family. But what about sleep? Seven to eight hours of school a day, now out the window, leaves more time to catch some z’s. With the transition to normal in-person school, everyone deserves a nice break from all the hard work that was put in to adjust and get used to going back to school again.
Along with the restful break, Christmas is the one thing to look forward to the first week off. It’s a time best celebrated with close friends and relatives. Rebecca Cruz, an art teacher, likes to use Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for friends and family. “My family and I get together on Christmas Eve. I spend all of Christmas Eve with my siblings, and we exchange gifts. Then usually on Christmas Day I would do things with friends, whether that’s breakfast at someone’s house, or going to visit someone,” Cruz said.
Families have different cultures and traditions, and so that means there’s a variety of traditional meals and drinks to go around. Some common traditional foods include tamales, and pozole. Both are foods that are best served warm, and enjoyed with family. Christmas cookies are another common treat. They’re best either with some sugar sprinkled on top, or decorated with candies and icing.
As for the drinks, warm ones are a must, and especially go hand-in-hand with the cold, December weather. Hot chocolate and champurrado are common drinks, but there’s a unique one that stands out from the rest. “My mom makes this drink called ponche. It’s made with guava, peaches, and a cinnamon stick brewed together. It’s like a hot, sweet tea,” Cruz said.
Picture this: a cold morning, with warm food, and warm hot chocolate, waiting at the dining table. What’s the perfect Christmas movie to complement that deliciousness? Although there are many Christmas movies to watch, Home Alone is a favorite, and iconic, to watch every year.
Other families have different traditions that are centered around their religion. “The day before Christmas, usually at night we go to Church to celebrate the birth of Jesus and then the morning of Christmas, we go to church, too. If we don’t go to church on Christmas Eve, we go in the mornings to get it out of the way because to my parents, it’s very important to practice religious beliefs and values in our family that will then be passed down to our younger generation. It also makes my family really happy to know that we can all go to church together, and what makes them happy makes me happy,” Kimberly Sanchez, a junior, said.
People look forward to winter break for these reasons. No school, hopefully no homework and projects; there’s just a lot of time to be around family and friends, and dedicate some alone time for self-improvement, because after Christmas, a new year will be right around the corner, and improving for the next year is always a good thing to do.