Photo Credit: Olivia Lake

A Merry Christmas To All

December 16, 2022

Christmas trees, gifts, and baking cookies with the family are all part of the season. From our family to yours, we wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New year . Students explore how Christmas differs in different countries, Recommend holiday movies, sweets and stocking stuffers while also giving you a peek at Santa Village.

Student Explores How Christmas Differs In Other Countries

Christmas is unique in that it is a Christian holiday with Biblical ties and connections to Jesus Christ. The way people celebrate it or a similar holiday in a different religion is celebrated around the world.

The Philippines has a Giant Lantern Festival each year. It is held on the Saturday before Christmas Eve in the city of San Fernando. People from across the country and the globe are drawn into this light show of a festival. People compete to build the best looking lantern with a variety of materials and the lanterns are always 6 meters in size. Instead of simple paper and a candle like the original lanterns, the present day lanterns use a variety of materials and light bulbs.

In Sweden, a 13 meter tall Yule goat is built for Advent in the center of Gävle’s Castle Square. This has been a yearly tradition since 1966. This tradition gave rise to another tradition that was not so positive. The other tradition is the destruction of the goat. Since 1966 the goat has been burned down 29 times and the latest being in 2016.

In Austria, they celebrate Krampus as well as St. Nick. Krampus is a demon-like counterpart of Santa Claus that does more than give naughty kids a small bag of coal. It is said that while Santa rewards the good kids, the evil kids are shoved into a sack by Krampus, who whisks them away. During the first week of December (and especially on the eve of St. Nicholas Day) young men will dress up as Krampus and scare children in the street.

In Norway, they hide their brooms on Christmas Eve. This tradition is centuries old and is believed to have been used to stop witches and spirits from stealing brooms to ride on. To this day people still hide their brooms to keep up the tradition.

Venezuela might run over people with this tradition. In Venezuela, they start off Christmas Eve in an exciting way. They rollerskate to church early in the morning. The tradition is so popular some roads are closed off so the residents can skate safely to church. After church people come back home and eat tamales for dinner.

Christmas traditions change around the world but they all involve family and community togetherness. That is what is more important than the traditions themselves. Being together.

Top 10 Christmas Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Number 10: Socks

This item could either be disappointing or helpful to some. Socks are everywhere and are quite useful in cold months. They are available in hundreds of different designs, which are bound to suit at least one person’s tastes. Seriously, there is a design for every person on planet Earth.

Number 9: Art Supplies

This item is versatile, like socks. Anyone can use some art supplies, even if it is not one’s hobby. Art supplies can range from pencils to polymer clay. It gives someone something fun and creative to do.

Number 8: Books

For those who are bookworms, the feeling of receiving a book is exhilarating, especially if it’s one someone has been looking forward to reading. Like socks, there is a book that piques everyone’s interest. Books have tons of various content that range from cooking tutorials to dragon slaughtering.

Number 7: Card Games

It is fun to exercise the brain so card games make a great stocking stuffer. Card games bring people together to train their minds and have fun. Everyone can learn how to play with just one set of cards.

Number 6: Perfume/Cologne Sample

This item is quite luxurious but it does not have to be. A nice sample of fragrance spreads joy to the heart and nose. A fragrance does not have to be pricey in order to smell good. One can find a wonderful spray at their local grocery store. 

Number 5: Candle 

Speaking of smells, candles are next on the list. Candles are good for people of all ages. They are long lasting and very useful for many tasks. They are useful for decoration, lighting, and setting the mood for the holiday spirit.

Number 4: Jewelry

Jewelry comes in many shapes and sizes. The price range of jewelry is very wide, but it is not difficult to find something affordable and cute. Jewelry makes a good stocking stuffer because they come in boxes that are easy to push inside of the stocking. The boxes also help conceal what is inside of the present.

Number 3: Hand sanitizer

A little hygiene has never hurt anyone before. Hand sanitizer is a perfect stocking stuffer because there are many stores that sell it in pocket size. There are lots of scents that revolve around food and nature concepts. Hand sanitizer is a simple gift that keeps people’s hands clean and smells nice. It makes a clean Christmas.

Number 2: Tech Accessories

Tech accessories make useful gifts. These items can range from earbuds, chargers and even electronic cases. Such items are pocket sized so you can stuff many of them into a stocking.

Number 1: Candy

Sweet treats are a jolly surprise to find in one’s stocking. Chocolate is a universally enjoyed delicacy. Chocolates are individually wrapped or in boxes, making it simple to put in a stocking. Another great mention is that there are many flavors of chocolate that are suitable for every person. If one does not prefer chocolate, there are other things like hard candies, chewy treats, and more. 

Top 10 Movies To Enjoy With Friends And Family

Home Alone

This movie has always been a Christmas classic for the entire family to sit and enjoy. It focuses on the idea to be careful of what you wish for by introducing the main protagonist Kevin McCallister when he wishes for a new family for Christmas and then wakes up the next morning alone at home. 


One of the most popular figures of Christmas since 1966 is none other than the Grinch himself. Isolated living with his dog Max on the top of a cliff, the Grinch observes the small town of Whoville below, despising all of their holiday spirit and enthusiasm as they prepare for Christmas morning. After contemplation, the Grinch soon after, dressed in a fake Santa Clause suit, decides to steal all of the presents from the Whos on Christmas Eve in hopes they will be upset on Christmas Day. However, he soon learned presents, decorations and treats were not what kept the holiday spirit alive, but love and the joy of being with others as they sang gathered hand in hand. 


One of the most well- known comedic Christmas characters is none other than Buddy the Elf. As a six foot elf, the struggles he faced with the smaller normal elf- sized living conditions, caused him to wonder where he truly came from leading him to go on a journey to find his biological father in New York City who he discovers is on Santa’s naughty list. Despite learning the ways of the average everyday life of someone in New York, he takes the Christmas spirit with him changing many people’s perspectives on Christmas. 


Christmas Vacation

This special Christmas has been a classic since 1989 bringing smiles and laughter no matter how many times you have rewatched it. With the goal of having a family Christmas, Chris Griswold is constantly pestering his family to make sure everything is exactly how he pictured it. However, life becomes chaotic when his crazy cousin, Eddie, and his family decide to park their camper on the Griswold property and stay for the holidays unplanned. 


A Christmas Carol

This movie is the prime example that true holiday spirit can find its way to any bitter soul. Having a strong hatred for Christmas, Ebenezer Scrooge views everyone else’s positive views with negativity especially towards his employees and nephew. However, on Christmas Eve Scrooge was visited by his late business partner warning him of his visitation with three ghosts at different times throughout the night who take him on a journey through the past, present, and future to change his bitter heart. 


The Santa Clause movies

This special movie is featured with Tim Allen as the protagonist Scott, a divorced man who has custody over his son on Christmas Eve. The movie quickly takes a turn when Scott accidentally kills a man in a red suit and suddenly is transported to the North Pole just to be told he must take on the position of Santa Clause before next Christmas. Thinking this was a dream, Scott does not think much about it until he starts to gain weight and grows a white beard over the next several months. The next two movies focus on Scott’s journey with friendship, hardship, and love as Santa Clause. 


A Christmas Story

As one of Americas’ favorites since 1983, A Christmas story features a small family of four living the average life in a small town. The story follows the older son Ralphie Parker, who spends the holidays trying to avoid bullies and dreaming about his all time favorite gift on his Christmas list- the “Red Rider air rifle”. 


Christmas with the Kranks

This holiday movie follows a couple who decide to disregard their Christmas traditions and take a Caribbean cruise instead. However, their neighbors are not happy with their plan on skipping Christmas and proceed to make them feel like social outcasts when the Kranks choose not to compete in the annual best decorated street competition. 


Polar Express

The magical movie focuses on the journey a young boy takes to the north pole by an extraordinary train where he eventually finds the fascination of life to those who believe. 


It’s a Wonderful Life

This timeless movie centers around a young man of the name George Bailey who struggles with a vast amount of problems and contemplates on ending his life during the Christmas season until his guardian angel takes him on a journey to show him his self worth and what life would have been like without him in his small town. 

Top 10 Christmas Treats

Hot chocolate

Melted chocolate with fluffy marshmallows on top is the perfect treat for a snowy Christmas day. You can enjoy it while spending time with family and playing games.

Cookies and milk

The classic  and cookie that you leave on Christmas Eve before sants but you know you have a to sneak a few for yourself with hopes for a great gift the next morning

Peppermint mocha latte

 Everyone loves a great coffee in the morning and this one is great for Christmas with the holiday twist of the fresh peppermint

Popcorn drizzled with chocolate

Watching classic Christmas movies with your family and friends, grab some popcorn with a little chocolate drizzle to add to the fun. This is also a great decoration for your Christmas tree 

Little Debbie’s Christmas tree cakes

 Little Debbie always hits and with a special holiday twist of the tree it’s a festive quick snack to enjoy during this holiday season

Cinnamon Rolls

Tasty cinnamon with fluffy dough, it’s irresistible. Fresh out of the oven or even warmed up and topped off with icing it’s a great treat to have. 


Cheesecake is a sweet dessert that can be one or more layers, With a rich and creamy texture. Good for any holiday. 

Peppermint bark

This holiday treat is a combination of peppermint and chocolate bark. It gives you a somewhat spicy chocolate taste.

Gingerbread houses

Always fun to build a gingerbread house and decorate it with your siblings or your friends. Not the beast to eat but there are always good memories with making a gingerbread house. 


A Christmas classic created in England and enjoyed all over the world.

Students Explore Santa’s Village

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