The Rocket Flame

10 Ways To Make Your Christmas Season Sleigh

After all the turkey and stuffing is gone, and 95.1 immediately begins playing Christmas music, it’s time to get into the Christmas spirit. You can finally crank up “Jingle Bells” and decorate your tree with no judgment of celebrating “too early.” There are many little things you can do to make your Christmas season as festive as possible.

 

Hershey Sweet Lights in Hershey, PA is a 2-mile drive through about 600 different displays of animated Christmas lights. As you drive through the winding  path, you can tune your radio to the special station that corresponds to the dancing and twinkling lights.

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Hershey’s Sweet Lights in Hershey, PA.

Another way to enjoy the Christmas season is to take advantage of the deals when it comes to holiday shopping. Many stores have special promotions going on for buying lots of gifts. Malls and stores are decorated for the season and luring shoppers in with their sales and festive music. Locally, many people go to the Valley Mall or the Hagerstown Premium Outlets to do their holiday shopping.

 

Immediately after Thanksgiving, the upbeat and happy Christmas music begins to play which makes it obvious that it’s time for the holidays and to celebrate. Listening to Christmas music is a central idea in the holiday season.

 

“Listening to Christmas songs makes me enjoy this season so much because it just warms my heart how happy everyone gets,” said Lizzie Pittman (12).

 

One prominent thing in the holidays is shopping for a Christmas tree. Picking out a live Christmas tree is a unique experience when it comes to just getting an artificial tree out of a box every year.

 

“Finding the perfect Christmas tree with my family really puts me in the holiday spirit,” said Nathan Walls (12).

 

Another idea is ice skating. Locally, you can go to the Hagerstown Ice and Sports Complex and lace up a pair of ice skates. Admission is $5.00 and skate rental is $2.00.

 

“I really enjoyed going  ice skating my first time”, said Marlee Barry (12), “I liked it so much I actually once thought about taking lessons”.

 

Many locals in our area also spend time at Whitetail Ski Resort throughout the winter season, whether it’s time spent working, skiing, snowboarding or tubing. Whitetail has not yet opened for the season but will soon begin making snow for lots of skiers and snowboarders to enjoy.

 

Around this time is when many family members and friends give and receive gifts from one another. Many people participate in “Secret Santa” gift exchanges. Names are drawn out and you must get a gift for that person and keep it a secret until you exchange gifts.

 

“Secret Santa is a great way to celebrate the holiday because of the suspense and excitement it creates by not knowing who is surprising you”, said Emily Gipe (12).

 

Student Council also holds the annual Food Drive for the holiday season where students can bring in non-perishable canned goods to donate to families in need. The competition that takes place between the homerooms to win the prize gets lots of students participating.

 

There are also many other ways to donate back to the community during the holidays. Many “Toys for Tots” boxes and local shelters and organizations are in need of donations.

 

“We should all aspire to help others because helping other should be a part of your life,” said Mallory Peck (11). “Seeing someone else happy and know you were able to make that happen in some sort of way is one of the best feelings.”

 

Snickerdoodles, chocolate chip, and sugar cookies are another way add to the holiday season. Many people bake treats to share with friends and family as a miniature present and a way to enjoy each other.

 

“My family always has a cookie bake day where we all get together at my great aunt’s house to eat lunch, bake cut out cookies, make a craft, and just have a good time in everyone’s company,” said Elena McNulty (11).

 

Memories and traditions made this time of year become annual and a special part of many people’s Christmas.

 

“My favorite tradition is playing Hershey Kiss Oven Mitt Relay Race at my Nana’s house after dinner,” said Harley Rife (12). “We put on oven mitts and try to unwrap a Hershey Kiss. When everyone on your team unwraps their candy, they get to open gifts first and also receive a mystery gift.”

 

When it’s time to relax by the Christmas tree, make sure you include watching lots of Christmas movies. This time of year, many TV channels and apps like Netflix have a wide selection of Christmas movies to enjoy with your families. Some movies to watch on Netflix are How The Grinch Stole Christmas, A Princess Switch, The Christmas Chronicles, and A Christmas Prince.

 

“All my family watches Hallmark Christmas movies the entire day of Christmas Eve in our matching pj’s and then we make home made cookies for the younger ones to put out for Santa,” said Kali Rotharmel (12).

 

Many memories can be made and fun can be had while doing activities during Christmas. You can spend time enjoying the weather and seasonal activities, but always remember the real reason for the season and what it means to you.

 

Canning Out Hunger for The Holidays

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During the holiday season, giving is a common theme. This is especially important to James Buchanan High School during their annual food drive.

 

Every year during the month of December, the James Buchanan High School Student Council holds a food drive, placing a holiday-wrapped box in each homeroom for students to fill with donations.

 

“The food drive is a way for us to give back to families in need and students in our school district by providing them with food and gifts,”  said Claire Kriner (10) one of the three co-chairs of the drive, “It’s been a tradition for many years.”

 

The food drive this year was organized by Hannah Kimmel (10), Claire Kriner (10), and Sarah Kimmel (10).  

 

“This is our first year on Executive Council and we’ve never done anything like this before,” said co-chair Hannah Kimmel. “ It is [the food drive] one of the hardest things to plan all year.”

Participation was a worry this year but the outlook for donation volume is looking bright.

 

“Last year plenty of food was brought in to feed all 32 families in need in the school district,” said Kriner.

 

To increase the competition and participation, Student Council has included a scavenger hunt aspect to the food drive.

 

“We have a scavenger hunt to bring in more of certain types of food,” explained Hannah Kimmel.

 

Student Council also added a reward for the homeroom that earn the most points. Homerooms gain points by bringing in different items that are worth a varying points based on the type of food.

 

“Whoever has the most points from the scavenger hunt gets a breakfast from Student Council,” said Kimmel.

 

For the scavenger hunt, items that have a higher-point reward are foods that are higher in demand for the holidays, such as canned meats and boxed meals .

 

Items that StuCo recommends bringing in would be non-perishable food items and good quality foods.

 

“When people bring food in, we just want them to be sure they are giving food they would want to eat themselves,” said Hannah Kimmel.

 

Foods that Student Council recommends bringing in would be boxed brownies, beans, peaches, and any canned- or preserved-meat products.

 

The food drive will run through the month of December, ending on Dec. 20 just in time to provide the families in need with food for the holidays.

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