Christmas time at last


courtesy of Samiksha Gupta

With Christmas around the corner, be sure to relax and engage with traditions not affected by the pandemic.

Ho ho ho, as Dec. 19 comes closer each passing day, preparations for winter break begin. For some, it means that it’s time to start packing their bags while for others it is to put on their aprons. However, with the lock-down in full effect again, traveling and meeting up with family seems difficult, even though people continue to find ways to celebrate virtually. 

Traditions are important for some to follow on winter break. Sally Belter, a World Language teacher at Hinsdale Central, says she bakes between 8-10 recipes, all of which her family has been making for years. Baking in general is something that, for many, describes their winter break, from its smell in the kitchen to getting to eat it while it’s warm. 

With cheerfulness amidst the air, it’s finally time to catch up on one’s favorite shows and movies. 

Shubhra Moudgil, freshman, said she watches movies with her brother. For her, it is something that has become sort of a tradition over the years. 

Winter break is also the time for some to spend time with their families and friends. Not only does it add on to the spirit of Christmas, but it adds onto one’s winter break through the form of giving. “I enjoy picking good presents for others and spending time with family,” Belter said. 

Similarly, in the spirit of giving, Kathleen Sharkey, a math teacher in Hinsdale Central, and her family have a tradition they call “grab-bag” in which they include homemade gifts. Sharkey said that they “make it more personal.”

For Sindhu Chalasani, freshman, other than spending time with family, ice-skating is something she enjoys the most during winter break.

Now that most houses have put on their decorations and lights on their houses, it is the time of year to get in the car and go on a ride to enjoy the sites. Many places, such as Morton Arboretum, have opted for people to stay in their cars and enjoy the lights in order to protect all. One can also drive around in Chicago downtown to enjoy the decorations, especially by Magnificent Mile, and the Aurora Festival of Lights.

While Coronavirus has halted travel plans, people continue to find ways to stay connected and have fun with their families over winter break. Many have made plans to celebrate virtually and meet only with their immediate family members. 

“Instead of going to California, we are going to celebrate virtually,” Sharkey said. 

In order to slow the spread of Covid-19 and stay safe while enjoying winter break, it is important to wear a mask. Similarly, social distancing by being at least 6 feet away from others can protect one. Belter and Sharkey recommend eating on separate tables, meeting in small groups, and prioritizing. Prioritizing includes not going out much and taking precautions in order to be able to accomplish the larger goal, for example being able to meet with one’s family. While it is important to have fun, it is also important to stay safe and to keep others safe.