Council Rock North and the Council Rock community salute the class of 2022. See the matriculation list here.
By Sophia Kim
Over the course of this year, schools around the country have faced a bus driver shortage and as a result have struggled to provide transportation for their students. This problem has affected many students at CR North; we all have seen the crowds of students walking home after school. Although the issue has been slowly mitigated over the past several months, many parents and students are wondering what gave rise to this frustrating situation.
Causes of the Shortage
According to Curt Macysyn, executive director of the National School Transportation Association, the national bus driver shortage stems from the changes that schools have endured throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Macysyn explains that many bus drivers lost or retired from their jobs in the midst of school closures in 2020. When schools reopened for in-person learning, recruiting new drivers proved to be difficult.
Schools were unable to offer their drivers sufficient pay, and many drivers were concerned about exposure to the coronavirus, especially when in close proximity to children under 12, who were unable to be vaccinated until last November.
In addition, the process of hiring new drivers was slowed because many DMVs closed or minimized their operations during the pandemic. Consequently, it became difficult for possible bus drivers to take road tests or update their qualifications. The New Jersey School Bus Contractors Association has estimated that 20% of their bus drivers have not returned after layoffs due to the pandemic, leaving many schools with a severe shortage of drivers.
Effects on Students
In order to understand how this nationwide bus issue has affected North students, I talked to North sophomore Yara Alimam, whose bus has been one of the several vehicles repeatedly not running. Although we all endure the daily ninth-period bus announcements, during which we can guess the unlucky "winners" of the day, not all of us know the stress that comes with those notifications.
Alimam explains that when her bus is not running in the morning, she often receives a notification about 5 minutes before she is supposed to leave home. As one would expect, this does not leave much time to find another way to school.
Both of Alimam’s parents leave for work early in the morning, usually before her bus arrives, which means that she must rely on the school bus. On days when transportation is not provided, Alimam usually must call a friend whose parents are able to drive the students to school.
When Alimam receives a bus notification from the district the night before, her parents decide to drive her to school and go into work late. Clearly, this bus driver shortage has not only impacted students, but also their family members, who may be forced to sacrifice their time and plans in order to bring students to and from school.
When Alimam’s bus is not available in the afternoon, she also must rely on the help of a friend who is able to call a parent for a ride home. Although she has not yet had to walk home, Alimam recalls seeing many students walking home after school. She stated that she feels especially concerned for those students on rainy days, when a long walk in wet conditions seems rather grim.
How are schools dealing with this issue?
In efforts to alleviate the problem, the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Education announced on January 4 a temporary exception to the requirements asked of school bus drivers.
The departments stated that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) would allow states to waive a section of the commercial driver’s license skills test that requires drivers to identify the components of the engine “under the hood.” By waiving this section of the test, the departments are hoping that more people will be able to work as school bus drivers during the shortage. This change came into effect on January 3, 2022, and will expire on March 31, 2022.
On a more local level, Philly Transportation LLC, a school bus company serving schools in Philadelphia, is offering signing bonuses and medical and retirement benefits in order to attract more drivers to apply. Some school districts in the Philadelphia area are even offering families $150 per month as an incentive to opt out of district-provided transportation services and to provide their own daily transportation. Schools are becoming desperate in this unprecedented situation.
While it was evident that the COVID-19 pandemic would affect our ability to learn in-person, we may not have anticipated the many obstacles that schools must overcome even after reopening before we are able to enjoy a sense of normalcy. Transportation is just one issue through which we must persevere in this changed era.
By Lindsay Gottlieb
As we packed up the beach chairs and took out the textbooks, Council Rock North students and staff alike were prepared for the school year to head back into full swing. Though only a month in, the school year so far has already had so many amazing events, thanks to our hard-working Student Executive Board and class officers. After the 2020-2021 school year proved to be less than ideal for many, jumping back into the routine for a new, more normal year was the driving force that many of us needed in order to restore school spirit and pick up where we left off.
With some help from each other along the way, Council Rock North’s students and teachers relearned how to run effective in-person classes, despite some bumps in the road left over from last year. North’s resilient population was able to make a miraculous comeback and provide all of the necessary tools for a fresh start and many exciting events in celebration of, at long last, everyone’s return.
So far, the return of the school year has brought us an abundance of opportunities to support our fellow students who put so much effort into organizing events. With the long-awaited restoration of all in-person school, clubs and extracurriculars are more spirited than ever. Not only are there a variety of clubs at North to fit every interest, but they were able to unite once again for our annual Fall Festival for a good cause.
The objective of the Fall Festival is to bring together our surrounding community to raise money in support of all the organizations here at North, many of which are student-led by those who take initiative and utilize their leadership skills.
The Fall Festival was a big success, as North was lively and filled with its students who came to encourage their peers, as well as people from the community who supported the funding of our clubs, danced to Spanish music in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, and enjoyed Kono’s signature pizza cones.
The week of the homecoming dance was the most spirited week so far. With Blue and White Night on Wednesday, spirit week Monday through Friday, the pink-out homecoming football game in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and finally the homecoming dance on Saturday, CR North, named the “rowdiest student section” by @crnchirpsquad on Instagram, was more energetic than ever.
Although Council Rock North has been bustling with activities from the start, there are still lots to look forward to. Sock ‘N Buskin, North’s theater club, has been working endlessly on its production of Clue, a stage adaptation of the classic 1985 comedy, which will run on the evenings of October 28-30.
Additionally, with fall sports at their height and winter sports on the rise, you can access game schedules through the Council Rock North website and come out to cheer on our teams.
The accompanying photos highlight some of our students in action so far this year. Considering it is still only October and our school has already had so many memorable functions, the liveliness of the population here at Council Rock North sets the stage for all of the exciting experiences to look forward to along the year.
By Lindsay Gottlieb
After over a year of regular life on pause, many Pennsylvanians are thrilled to hear Governor Wolf’s administration, along with the COVID-19 Vaccine Joint Task Force, announce that masks will no longer be required in Pennsylvania beginning June 28.
As of May, Pennsylvanians must wear masks indoors and outdoors when they cannot maintain six feet of separation. This new order will remove those restrictions at the end of next month.
The easing of the mask mandate is due primarily to vaccine eligibility since now anyone ages 16 and older is eligible for the vaccine of their choice, and Pennsylvanians ages 12 and older are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.
Many people have been using the phrase “returning to normalcy” to describe the effects that come along with these announcements. Ironically, this is the same phrase President Warren G. Harding used back in the election of 1920 with the Spanish Flu pandemic in its final days.
With modern day American society being so politically charged, masks have become a political issue, sparking debate on whether it is constitutional to require face coverings. The lifting of the mask mandate represents unification and relief between both parties, as life is now returning to its pre-COVID state. It seems few if any people have criticisms of this relaxed policy.
In order to fully ensure virus mitigation, Department of Health Acting Secretary Alison Beam encourages Americans to “follow through with both doses if you receive the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, and continue to take steps like masking, frequent hand washing and sanitizing and social distancing.”
The Council Rock classes of 2021 seniors from both North and South have just returned from their trip to Disney World, a huge step considering the state of the world a year ago today. They were also able to successfully host student-led junior and senior proms outdoors. As part of the age group who was recently approved for the COVID-19 vaccine, I was intrigued to hear my peers’ opinions on the end of the mask mandate. I have kept names anonymous for privacy purposes, as I can understand if some people are uncomfortable with publicizing their stance.
Some responses have been slightly modified to provide a translation for vernacular speech.
“Well, I’m excited to finally go mask-off in public once I receive both of my doses. I’m excited to see people smile with their mouths.”
“I 200% support it. It’s a major step [towards] showing people we can go back to normal.”
“It’s about time.”
The COVID-19 virus has not yet been completely eradicated and may never be, but we can only hope that people will continue to get vaccinated if they wish. On a personal level, I look forward to experiencing the full range of my upperclassman years as life continues to return to normal. We as a society on a national level are very close to being able to live with the coronavirus, and that is pretty uplifting news after such a trying year.
By Marissa Cohen
As a senior here at North, I’ve known our principal Ms. Susan McCarthy since the first time I visited this school in eighth grade. So after Ms. McCarthy announced that she would be retiring at the end of this year, I knew that I had to interview her to learn more about her life before teaching and her experiences at this school. I had an amazing time getting to know Ms. McCarthy and hearing some of the interesting stories she has from her 48 years working at Council Rock.
Ms. McCarthy grew up in Northeast Philadelphia, and she knew from high school that her strong suit was English after taking the first AP English class her high school offered. Ms. McCarthy went to Temple University and chose to major in English education because, in her opinion, it was a more practical major than studying English.
Once she graduated from Temple, Ms. McCarthy started searching for jobs. After applying to many different positions, the only school district that offered her a job was a small school district called Council Rock over an hour away from her home. They hired her to teach 9th and 10th grade English.
Eventually, Ms. McCarthy started teaching 11th and 12th grade electives as well, and became the English department coordinator. She then moved to guidance counseling because she wanted a job where she could have more personal relationships with her students while working towards two masters degrees.
Although she has worked in administration at Council Rock for so long, Ms. McCarthy told me that being in administration wasn’t initially part of her plan. According to her, a previous principal once asked her if she’d ever taken courses in administration, so she worked to get her certification a little while after.
She worked as the principal of curriculum and master scheduler before being temporarily moved to Richboro Middle School. By the time Ms. McCarthy came back to the high school, it had split into two schools, and she was the principal at Council Rock South for a year before moving here to North, where she’s been ever since.
After I asked Ms. McCarthy what the best part of her job is, she said, “It would probably be easier for me to name all the things I don’t like about my job!” She loves coming in every day and working with the students and staff. She told me how amazing her administrative team is, and she admires the grade-level principals and how well they relate to the students. She also really enjoys blue and white night each year because she thinks it’s our best display of school spirit. She pointed out how altruistic we are as a school, especially with the drives put on by different clubs and the many LINCS hours that students complete.
On the flip side, Ms. McCarthy said that her biggest challenge is to avoid complacency and to always improve the school. Being intentional in every decision she makes while staying on guard is extremely important to her.
One of my final questions was about any advice she has for her successor, so she gave me a few points from the binder of advice she’s already created. Ms. McCarthy first brought back the importance of always being intentional about the role of principal and not taking for granted how well we already do as a school.
She also emphasized the need for the next principal to empower both their staff and the students at North. According to Ms. McCarthy, a principal doesn’t have all the answers, so it’s important to listen to students’ voices. Her last major point was that a principal must always impart the need and respect for diversity and inclusion while supporting the equity of all students.
After her retirement, Ms. McCarthy plans to travel a lot, if the pandemic allows it. She told me that she loves Disney and cruises, so she plans to take multiple trips to Disney, go on multiple cruises, and take her grandson on a Disney cruise when they reopen. She would also like to travel to a mindfulness and meditation spa in Arizona with her daughter, do volunteer work at organizations like the Ronald McDonald House, and possibly teach administration courses for aspiring principals in college.
It was a pleasure getting to speak to Ms. McCarthy and learning more about her experiences at North. I know that I can speak for the rest of the student body by wishing Ms. McCarthy a happy retirement after her 48 years at Council Rock!
The Council Rock North Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Team came home with the Top Honors with strong performances at the 2021 Virtual State Leadership Conference. Beyond earning recognition for having the largest membership in Pennsylvania, the CR North FBLA student performers scored magnificent victories in numerous business categories.
All student members have the opportunity to showcase their knowledge and ability in various business-related events. This year, our students earned the top slots for their competitive events, making this one of club history's most memorable victories.
Vincent Sherpinsky, the CR North FBLA Club Advisor, stated, "These students represent the best of Council Rock, and their performance reflects the highest levels of hard work, dedication, and commitment to be successful. Under the toughest competition conditions students have ever faced, our CR North FBLA members overcame these challenging obstacles to demonstrate that nothing can stop Council Rock students."
The Council Rock North FBLA Club holds the honor of being the largest FBLA Chapter in Pennsylvania with 127 members. Further, at the individual and team levels, our performance is unmatched.
Second place winners in Pennsylvania include Max Ondik for Non-Profit Management and Varoon Ragupathi for Python Programming. Varoon also took 4th Place in Pennsylvania for Coding and Programming.
Jake Karp took 4th Place in Pennsylvania for Personal Finance while Derrick Lukomski-Pizzo took 5th Place in Pennsylvania for Retail Management.
Sixth place winners include Flavien Moise for Cyber Security, Evan Caruso for Microeconomics, and Raymond Setters (Club President) for Accounting.
Earning 7th place honors were Sanjula Reddy for Impromptu Speaking, T.J. Blancato for Microeconomics, and the Entrepreneurship team of Brittney Coe, Lauren Batt, and Audrey Fisher.
Rocco Panangadan, Samuel Epstein, and Evan Caruso took 8th Place in Pennsylvania for Hospitality and Event Management.
Our final winner was Evan Caruso in 10th place for Public Relations.
To continue the record of academic achievement, honor, and recognition, five Council Rock North students, Madison O’Leary (Vice-president), Kaylin Lee, Stella Puckett, Evan Caruso, and Samuel Epstein were inducted into the National Business Honor Society. Council Rock North holds the highest number of National Business Honor Society membership in Bucks County.
By Autumn Knoop
In the past 60 years, the rate of female college attendance has increased by 34.7%, and women now make up 46.8% percent of the workforce in America. According to the National Girls Collaborative Project, women now occupy 28% of the jobs in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) departments. Women are receiving a high level of education and filling a variety of jobs like never before.
Over the past month, I paired up with the Girl Up Club and asked the young women at Council Rock North high school what they intend to pursue in their futures. In an interview with Marelise Steyn, a Senior at CRN, I asked what career she wanted to pursue and why:
“I want to be a Clinical psychologist. Psychology is my favorite subject this year, and I want to learn more in this field. Also, I want to help people improve their mental health so that they can live healthy, fulfilling lives.”
Many of the girls I interviewed were interested in the sciences, which may reflect a broader trend that women are interested in the STEM field more than they have been in the past.
Along with conducting interviews, I released a Google form asking the girls at Council Rock North for their current grade level and what they wanted to pursue in the future. Out of 26 participants, 15 were seniors, seven were juniors, three were sophomores, and one was a freshman.
The vast majority of the participants wanted to pursue careers within the STEM fields, including Environmental Science, Biomedical Engineering, and Neuroscience, just to name a few. The medical field was the most popular career category. Law was the second most popular, while Environmental Studies, Art and Design, and Business and Technology came in third.
An increasing number of women are pursuing professional degrees and careers. Over the past few decades, their career goals have shifted to the STEM fields. The young women at CRN are following these trends. As seen above, 53.8 % of the participants plan to pursue a STEM career and will pave the way for future students interested in the STEM field.
Good luck to the girls in the class of 2021, and thank you to the Girl Up Club for collaborating with me for this article.
By Sophia Kim
As 2020 comes to a close, we are all looking for some holiday cheer to raise our spirits after such an exhausting year. Amid efforts to distract ourselves from the suffering that surrounds us and the boredom that overwhelms us, it can be difficult to shift our focus away from ourselves.
However, this year more than ever, it is important that we try to build each other up and help others in our community. You may be wondering, How can I help my community in the middle of a pandemic? It certainly can be a challenge to find ways to help out when it is unsafe to leave our homes. Nevertheless, many CRN students have found ways to brighten our community through volunteer work.
One local community service organization called SHARE, or Students Helping Area Residents Effectively, recently worked with Urban Promise Trenton (UPT) to create a gift drive for children living in low-income households in Trenton, New Jersey.
SHARE is made up of CRN students and is led by parent advisors. The organization partners with UPT each year around the holiday season to provide Trenton children with gifts of their choice.
CRN junior Megan Moriarty recently took part in this volunteer work. Moriarty helped organize the gift drive this year alongside other students, advisors, and UPT advisors. She enjoys contributing to this event each year:
“I have always loved to see how CRN kids really put a lot of effort into the gifts. It was nice to see how some students would buy multiple gifts for only one kid, especially in a year like this and especially when these are likely the only gifts the UPT kids will get for the holidays.”
SHARE organizes volunteer work all year round; the organization puts together many events and projects throughout the year that serve our local community. In addition to Urban Promise Trenton, SHARE often works with Langhorne Gardens Health and Rehabilitation Center, a nursing home in our area.
The Jewish Community Club is another local service group that comprises CRN students. In cooperation with The Friendship Circle of Newtown and CTeen of Bucks County, the club organizes volunteer work aimed at supporting the local Jewish community and works to inform students about Jewish culture and history.
Club President and North junior Claire Pave is currently organizing a project that will distribute food baskets to seven local families. Pave expressed that the value in participating in the club’s projects is that students are given the opportunity to help and become connected with people they have never met:
“I have never met these families, however I will help them get through this difficult time by providing them with food.” The Jewish Community Club is open to all students regardless of religion, which demonstrates that “despite people’s differences, they may still unite under the common cause of charity.”
During the lockdown, CRN junior Logan Saifer participated in community service in the Philadelphia area. He volunteered for a Philadelphia chapter of the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Under normal circumstances, the organization would work to provide housing for the families of children staying at local hospitals; however, due to the pandemic and the many job losses that resulted, the organization began to focus instead on delivering food to those in need in Philadelphia.
Each time he volunteered, Saifer would pick up about 750 prepackaged boxes of food from the Ronald McDonald House, load them into a van, and deliver the boxes to various locations around the city. The experience was fulfilling and eye-opening for Saifer as he made a positive impact on the Philadelphia community.
“[The experience] made me realize how fortunate I was...because I could see all of the less fortunate people and how much they were struggling due to the pandemic.”
Similarly, North junior Avery McLaughlin also volunteered for a Philadelphia-based organization to deliver prepared food to those in need. McLaughlin volunteered her time to Caring for Friends, an organization that provides food and prepared meals specifically to senior citizens who are not able to leave their homes or cannot financially support themselves.
McLaughlin assembled meal trays that would later be frozen for delivery. She also collected and packed donated food from around the community that would be delivered to the organization’s warehouse. The experience evoked mixed feelings in McLaughlin. She was shocked to see the number of seniors that struggled to eat on a daily basis, but was inspired by the dedication of those who made the meals each week.
McLaughlin remembered, “When we brought the boxes and boxes of meals made by people in our area to the warehouse each week, I felt so happy hearing the large numbers of meals donated.” McLaughlin’s experience shows us that in a time when we are inclined to think of ourselves, reaching out to others can bring out unexpected joy in our lives.
It is inspiring and so extremely admirable to hear about the work that my fellow classmates have done to support our community in such dark times. However, we sometimes forget that all community service makes a difference, no matter how big or small the process is. A fellow classmate and friend described her recent experience writing cards for sick children and senior citizens. Her local church sent the cards to various hospitals and nursing homes in the area. It is important to remember that even this at-home activity can mean so much to the people on the receiving end. In a time when we can barely see each other face-to-face, any act of kindness goes a long way.
By Marissa Cohen
Congratulations, students! We’ve officially made it through three months of virtual and hybrid learning with no lack of changes, school-wide shutdowns, and controversial school board decisions. These past few months have been a test of students’ and teachers’ abilities to adapt to change quickly, and it’s clear that many people in our school community are up to the challenge.
However, every person at North has a different opinion on how the year has been going so far and on what should happen going forward. In order to get a sense of what some students at North think, I reached out to two students, one virtual and one hybrid, and asked them a few questions about how this year has been going.
Alexa Schnur, a senior here at North, is staying virtual for the time being. The first question I asked her had to do with virtual students sometimes feeling at a disadvantage while at home. When hybrid learning first began, some virtual students were worried that their teachers would naturally gravitate towards the students going in-person, and that it would eventually affect their learning. But according to Alexa, this was never an issue: because most students are staying home, there’s no real difference in attention given to virtual versus hybrid students.
I then asked Alexa whether or not she believes North has done a good job setting up and restricting Covid-19 guidelines. Alexa doesn’t really think so, stating that “sports teams spread a lot of the virus at our school and they are never held accountable for hanging out and not following guidelines.”
Alexa’s not the only one who believes this--some other students, both virtual and hybrid, have voiced their concerns about what they see as unfair treatment that athletes at North are getting compared to everyone else. Naturally, many student athletes did try to follow Covid-19 guidelines to the best of their ability, but it can be hard when playing sports that necessitate close contact.
I then interviewed Hannah Weiss, a junior at North, who has been going in person since the end of September. I asked Hannah if she ever felt unsafe or at risk of contracting Covid-19 while at North, and she told me that she does at times, especially when teachers give “mask breaks” during class or when they fail to keep a good distance in their classrooms. The idea of mask breaks has been contested a few times this year since some parents and students believe that students in high school are old enough to keep a mask on for a few hours without taking a break. Others say that it’s important to remember how quickly Covid-19 can transmit, and that taking your mask off for even a few seconds may cause a transmission.
I also asked Hannah the same question I asked Alexa--is North doing a good job at setting up and following Covid-19 guidelines? Hannah said a lot about the possibility of a five-day, in-person school week starting this winter, saying that “they (the district) absolutely should not implement 5 day, because that means the safety level will drop drastically,” and that “it’s extremely unfair.”
The idea of a five-day school week has been debated for months, and many students in the district end end up going from hybrid to virtual when that change occurs on February 1, making many people concerned that this idea is catering to some students and forcing others to learn in an environment that doesn’t always work for them. On the other hand, there is definite support for a 5-day week, with some parents concerned that students aren’t getting enough education and support through hybrid learning.
Based on the opinions of the two students I interviewed and on what I’ve heard and seen over the past few months, nearly everybody at North is unhappy about how things have been handled recently. Some people are on the side of creating stricter restrictions and erring on the side of caution until enough people have the vaccine, while others are pushing for fewer restrictions and a 5-day school week. No matter what your opinion is, remember that you have a voice, and that it’s important to speak up for what you believe our school should do. For now, make sure to stay optimistic and focused, and have a great winter break.
By Anushka Rajmohan
As is the case with most occasions this year, the holiday season has also taken a considerable hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the pandemic still taking lives every day, Americans have been asked to spend their 2020 holidays remotely and safely in their homes. Due to this strange holiday season, people have been forced to get creative on how to enjoy the holidays even with these restrictions and spend time with their loved ones.
Thanksgiving was one such holiday that many people spent in their own homes instead of gathering with family and friends. In past years, the day before Thanksgiving sends millions on the road to different parts of the country, taking a break and visiting family. As a matter of fact, in 2019, approximately 55.3 million Americans traveled during Thanksgiving week. However, with the COVID cases rising near the end of November and new travel restrictions enforced, this number dropped for the first time since 2008, with only 50.6 million travelers. With this significant decrease in traveling, how did Americans spend their Thanksgiving break this year?
Focusing on our community, Kaylin Lee, a senior at North, is accustomed to spending Thanksgiving with her family, including her grandmother, and enjoying a Thanksgiving dinner that she and her siblings make together for the whole family.
However, this year, Kaylin’s family spent Thanksgiving with just each other, for the safety of everyone and in compliance with the new restrictions. This year, instead of spending time with family members, they watched movies and bonded with each other. Even so, they were still able to keep their tradition of the kids cooking Thanksgiving dinner while still being safe.
Although she misses her grandmother and other family members, she shares that “it was for the best since it was safer for everyone” and is still thankful for time with her parents and siblings.
Even with Thanksgiving already well past us, the holiday season is from over. With Hanukkah just beginning and Christmas on its way, Americans will have to channel their creativity once again in order to celebrate these holidays.
A typical Christmas for Madison O’ Leary, also a senior at North, normally consists of hosting their other family members on Christmas Eve for a big event. She elaborated on this:
“We spend the whole day making Christmas food…and then we have a big dinner together. After dinner, we always spend time just talking, or we play games like Jenga and cards.”
She even admitted that “spending time with family is [her] favorite part of the holiday season.” With the drastic change in our situation this year, how will she spend her holidays this year?
Madison shared that “this year, [they] are definitely keeping Christmas smaller.” With cases rising every day, she emphasized the importance of everyone’s safety this year even though it will be strange for her not to spend time with her cousins this year. Even so, she maintains a positive attitude throughout this, sharing a tradition that they will still definitely keep this year: “We’re still going to make all our signature holiday dishes, though!”
Adopting Madison’s optimism this holiday season is essential and as she stated, the holidays can still be celebrated by keeping some traditions. Baking has always been a fun holiday activity that livened up the house with sweet and delicious smells, and as an indoor, home-bound activity, this will prove to be as safe as it is enjoyable.
Another way to liven up your house is by decorating! Stringing bright holiday lights and beautiful decorations around the house is a surefire way to keep traditions and to bond with your family as well.
As a lover of movie nights, Christmas movie time with family has always been a relaxing activity, that can be done alone, with family, or even a virtual Christmas movie night with friends! On the topic of friends, a final holiday activity that allows for some friend time while still keeping safe is doing a Secret Santa gift exchange! Although real-life hangouts are restricted, a creative way to still enjoy this activity is to drop off the gifts at your designated person’s house and conduct the festivities over Zoom!
This year has definitely been one for the history books, with so much strife and change in the world. However, the holiday season has always been a time that brought people, alike and different, together and encouraged love and peace. Even though families cannot be together physically, the spirit of this season is still alive and well, as Kaylin and Madison shared with their enthusiasm with their intention to stay safe while keeping some traditions and spending time with their family. If others shared this same mentality as the two girls, even the 2020 holidays can be one to cherish for a long time to come.