As the year is coming to an end so is the school semester. Christmas is right around the corner but so is New Years and, it’s quite common for individuals to set goals for the upcoming year. What are your academic goals are for 2018:
When Christmas season comes there are many reasons to be excited, especially for high school students. Many students such as Anthony Trejo a junior at South Gate High School says, “I love winter break because I get time off school and get to catch up on my sleep that I have lost because of all the homework. Also because I get to spend time with my family.” Cassandra Lopez, a sophomore, says, “I look forward to winter break because I get to spend time with my family and I get to catch up on my sleep I have lost because of my homework.” Rebecca Montalvo a freshman student says, “I am excited because I am going to Mexico and I can catch up on my sleep, and I get a break from homework.” As for seniors, when Christmas arrives the stress that came with college applications is finally over. Current senior, Amram Tinoco says, “It is the time of year where you can spend time with your family and friends and catch up on each other’s lives.”
Try to lay off of buying items that are unnecessary such as purchasing coffee every morning or splurging on a new pair of shoes.
2. Use the “Secret Santa” Method
Instead of buying for each member of the family try pulling names out of a hat so you only spend money on one person.
3. Choose Cheaper Traditions
Traditions are what make the holidays so special, but they can be a financial burden. If your traditions include traveling for the holidays or buying expensive gifts, it can easily increase the amount of money being spent. Try cutting back on these expensive traditions and create less expensive new traditions!
4. Try a Potluck
A party is expensive with all the food, decor, and activities that take place. Buying food for a lot of people is pricey and a potluck alleviates the financial burden.
5. Take advantage of Sales
Holiday sales are an amazing opportunity to save money. Pay attention to the advertisements also be sure to compare prices online.
6. Get a Head Start on Next Year
Check your spending patterns and habits right after the holidays. It is the perfect time to make plans for the next year, and maybe change some spending habits.
Krampus is the polar opposite of the sweet, cookie-loving, Santa Claus we all know. Bearing resemblance to a demon, he is described as a half goat, horrific beast, with dark hair, and fangs. Santa Claus gives naughty children coal for Christmas; however, Krampus is not nearly as forgiving. Instead, he drags these children down to the underworld with him.
The legend of Krampus originates in Germany where it is part of a Christmas tradition that begins on December 6, St. Nicholas Day. German children wake up eagerly and check their shoes for presents or a rod for bad behavior. In this legend, Krampus comes to town on Krampus Night (Krampuslauf), the night before St. Nicholas Day, to begin scavenging for the children that have been naughty. He is said to be the son of Hell who takes these children into his lair. The legend has even been interpreted in the horror movie Krampus (2015), where he punishes the children that are naughty. The legend of Krampus scares children into being nice with a little more urgency than Santa’s coal.
In Iceland, naughty children are not given coal in their bright red stockings. Instead, they are visited by a mountain troll named Grýla. This sinister giantess leaps down the icy mountains in search of all the children with dark hearts. Once they are found, she hides in their room until they are fast asleep. In the near mist of the night, she slowly crawls up their bed, and uses her long boney hands to abduct them, and eats them!
However, she is not alone in this devious act. A group of men with long white gruff beards known as the “Yule Lads” visit the children throughout December, 13 days before Christmas. Each man, sons of the Grýla, run down the mountain on dark nights. Their actions range from a harmless prank to murder. Originally there were 13 “Yule Lads”, but as the years have passed more people claim to have seen an increase in numbers. Despite this, some “Yule Lads” are thoughtful enough to leave nice small gifts for the warm-hearted children.
To rid houses of bad spirits for the new year, Guatemalans clean their entire house every December 7. Every last speck of dirt and dust is gathered from every home, and each neighborhood creates a large pile. Then, a devil statue is built and placed on top of the offending dirt, and burned. The bad omens are said to burn up with the devil.
2. South Africa: Don’t eat Santa’s cookies
To stop children from eating Santa’s cookies, parents tell their children a chilling story about a boy named Danny. Danny ate all of Santa’s cookies and angered his grandmother. In her blind rage, she killed him. Now their ghosts haunt houses and children during Christmas time.
3. Iceland: Fear the Yule Cat
Children who don’t receive new clothes by Christmas Eve will be devoured by a mythical monster from Icelandic folklore known as the “Yule Cat”. The Yule Cat is a large and angry feline rumored to lurk in the snow. The strange tradition comes from farmers who used the myth as an incentive for their workers to finish processing the autumn wool before Christmas. The ones who took part in the work would be rewarded with new clothes, but those who did not would get nothing and thus would be preyed upon by the monstrous cat.
4. Italy: Don’t fear the Christmas Witch
Italians aren’t looking for a jolly old man in a red suit on Christmas Eve. Instead, they look out for Befana, a friendly witch that brings toys and candy to all good children.
Mail a Christmas card to people who may not be able to make it to the family celebration. It will be a nice surprise for family and friends.
2. Thank You Cards
Write a genuine note of gratitude to those who gave you gifts for Christmas. It will show them you truly appreciate their presents.
3. Make Something from Scratch
Buying something from the store is easy. Trying to make a dish or dessert from scratch will be a nice challenge to tackle. You may not make the best cookies or tamales, but it doesn’t hurt to try.
4. Create Your Own Gift
It’s the thought that counts when you give someone a gift. With so many ideas floating around online, it won’t be hard to find one. You can decorate a photo frame, arrange candy in a mason jar, or make an apple pomander.
Don’t hesitate to grab a handful of peppermints and share them with family or friends.
National Fried Shrimp Day, December 21
Americans eat more shrimp than any other seafood.
National Date Nut Bread, December 22
Dates are cultivated for their sweetness. They are a staple food in the Middle East and are originally from Iraq. Several studies have shown that those who consume nuts on regular basis are less likely to suffer from coronary heart disease making this the perfect nutty pastry.
National Pfeffernüsse Day, December 23
These sweet powdered German ginger cookies are made with love and ground nuts, great for Christmas.
National Eggnog Day, December 26
Warm yourself up with some delicious eggnog. Grab some cookies and spend time with your family.
National Pumpkin Pie Day, December 25
Pumpkin pies became a popular addition to Thanksgiving around the seventeenth century. If you don’t want to head out to the store and buy one, make one yourself by mixing pumpkin pulp with eggs, condensed sweet milk, and sugar. Add a little nutmeg, cinnamon, or even clove to your taste!
National Candy Cane Day, December 26
First introduced in the 1900s, these candy sticks are extremely popular during Christmas. Whether you enjoy the original minty classic or those with a twist – such as watermelon, blueberry, Hawaiian punch, or jelly bean – be sure to pick up a candy cane on this day!
National Fruitcake Day, December 27
Fruitcakes were first created in Rome using pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and barley mash. It began appearing in America during the 1900s. American fruitcakes are most often made with fruits and nuts.
National Bacon Day, December 30
Wake up to bacon and eggs for breakfast on the day before New Years.
Not everyone celebrates Christmas for the same purpose or reasons. Many individuals who are religious take this day as the birth date of Jesus Christ. Religious or not, Christmas is a celebration of joy and love for family and friends. It’s a day to give gifts and quality time.
Aside from the gifts and food, Christmas is a time to hang around the fire and enjoy quality time with people who mean the most to you. Similar to Thanksgiving, Christmas is also a way to give thanks by giving gifts.
Different symbols like Santa Claus and reindeers have become common associations with the celebration. We may see Santa riding on a reindeer sleigh with a stocking full of gifts and candies, familiar coniferous green trees decorated with tinsels and stars, gingerbread houses, holly twigs, and mistletoe almost everywhere.