After a strange and different first semester, WGHS is looking forward to a relaxing and much needed break. However, as COVID-19 takes its toll on yet another holiday, plans are bound to be compromised.
Teachers and students shared their plans for whichever holiday they celebrate and how it will change because of health concerns and restricted guidelines.
English Teacher Amie Keane shared her plans for the holiday season.
“Normally my extended family–aunts, uncles, cousins, etc–gets together on Christmas Eve for dinner. When we were younger, my cousins and I used to pull names for gifts, but as we all got older, we started to do the White Elephant gift exchange, which has turned into a fun new tradition, and then Christmas day I always celebrated with my immediate family. It’s usually more laid back and at some point we watch movies or go to the movies,” Keane said.
About how her plans will change, Keane said, “Holiday plans and traditions will change a lot this year. My brothers and their families live out of town, and none of us will be travelling this year. My extended family also won’t be getting together this year for Christmas, so it will just be a small celebration this year.”
SSD Teacher Marina Holcomb also gave her plans for this year.
“We celebrate Christmas and New Year’s. For New Year’s, there is a fun tradition that our families participate in. It originated in Mexico, and it is supposed to bring good luck for the upcoming 12 months . I guess I forgot to do this last year because 2020 sure has been crazy! When the clock begins to strike, you eat one large grape at a time. My children always like to substitute this for M&Ms or candy. Believe it or not, this is hard to do because you’re laughing the whole time because it is hard to do each time the clock strikes,” Holcomb said.
Even though this year will certainly be different, Holcomb tried to be optimistic.
“This year, I am definitely going to try new traditions-especially the superstitious ones. While 2020 has been unexpected and crazy, I am determined to make 2021 a better year. Sadly, I will not be celebrating with my parents and many brothers and sisters. We will do a lot of Zooms, but I don’t want to take the chance and be around anyone who is sick. One thing I will not do is share my grapes or M&Ms,” Holcomb said.
Junior Anna Karpen said, “My Christmas traditions are usually getting with my mom’s side of the family on Christmas Eve. On Christmas day, we spend time with my dad’s side of the family.”
Like most people, Karpen’s usual plans have been compromised.
Karpen shared, “Our plans changed completely this year, because we won’t be able to celebrate with our family this time.”
Junior Elsie Baker also gave her holiday traditions, “We always go to my uncle’s and grandma’s houses on Christmas Eve for parties and to open presents from our extended family. On Christmas day, we open all the other presents and just watch movies and stuff all day.”
Luckily, Baker revealed that her plans for the holiday will not change this year.
Junior Maci Rekart shared, “We always watch ‘National Lampoons: Christmas Vacation’ at my Grandma’s house on Christmas Eve. However, I’m not sure if I will be going to my grandmas this year because of COVID-19, so we won’t have that family celebration Christmas Eve.”
About yearly traditions, junior Ali Gunn said, “I always make cookies and holiday treats with my Mom and brothers the weekend before Christmas, and we do a large Secret Santa with my extended family. This year, it will be through Zoom, and we will have to ship our gifts.”
Gunn’s plans have changed though sadly.
Gunn said, “We will not be giving cookies to other people this year because of COVID-19 and won’t be able to get together with family and friends this year.”
Certainly, almost everyone’s plans and celebrations for the holidays will change this year. With guidelines in place and rising case numbers, it’s not unexpected that the holiday season has been somewhat compromised this year, just as Thanksgiving was last month. Whether through a virtual format or safely distanced, the Webster community can hope to keep their spirit high this year.
This will be Jackson Parks’ first year on ECHO staff, but he made several contributions while taking journalism class his sophomore year.
Support Our Sponsors