Make this winter one to remember


Olivia Percivalle, Staff Writer

The season of rain, hot chocolate, cozy blankets, and warm cookies has finally arrived.

Winter is filled with high expectations, so here are a couple of ways to make the holiday break a great one.

White elephant is an exciting Christmas party game that many people play.

Everyone comes to a party with a wrapped gift and pulls random numbers from a hat. In numerical order, people pick the gift of their choice, unaware of what it is.

It’s a smart idea to bring a gift that you would want. The second person  and those after have a choice of either stealing someone’s gift or grabbing a random one from the pile. You can only steal a certain gift three times.

Spanish teacher Laura Krauss’ family gets together for one such gift exchange.

“There’s a theme and a price point, so you bring a gift according to those,” said Krauss.

Ice skating is also a popular choice to keep the winter break eventful.  Take a trip to San Francisco with a huge group of friends and skate together.

The city provides a beautiful atmosphere for the holiday season, with festive music and decorations while skating in the rink in the heart of Union Square. While in the city, students can also enjoy this year’s beautiful 83-feet Christmas tree wrapped by thousands of sparkling lights.

“[San Francisco] was really fun,” said freshman Fatima Khan, who recently took a trip there.  “There were attendants there that were in suit that helped you skate.”

Gingerbread houses are another common tradition during the holiday season. To try to make them more fun, organize a gingerbread house making party with friends.

Set up a long table or counter with the necessities (frosting, gum drops, peppermints), and gather around.

In order to make things interesting, students can even turn this event into a competition over who can create the best gingerbread house. Listen to holiday music, get creative, and have fun.

Ice blocking has become a new fun activity around the Bay Area as well. All students need is a block of ice from their local grocery store, a towel, and a grassy hill.

Blocks of ice are relatively cheap, but be sure to bring an ice cooler if the ice blocks won’t be used right away.  Find a grassy hill, such as Central Park, with lots of space. Put the towel on top of the ice, and slide away.

“My friends and I like to go ice blocking because it’s good old fashioned fun that keeps you entertained for hours,” junior Cassidy Enders said. “ You don’t need any technology to do it. It’s just you, your friends and some blocks of ice.”

Luminaries is an annual event that takes place in San Ramon every year. A neighborhood across from Iron Horse Middle school celebrates the holiday season by placing candles along the sidewalks and embellishing their houses with extraordinary and sometimes homemade decorations.

Some residents even play music, making the night feel like a winter wonderland.

“I like luminaries because it’s very festive,” said sophomore Roman Lubarsky.  “Everyone is so welcoming to the Christmas spirit.”

During the holiday season, it’s finally socially acceptable to break out some hideous sweaters.

Everyone loves a cozy sweater come winter time, so what better way to stay festive than to purchase some cheesy Christmas ones?

This tradition is fun, and doesn’t require very much effort.  Students find that sporting ugly Christmas apparel is also enjoyable.

“I wear them because it gets me into the holiday spirit,” said freshman Annissa Bensalah.

With all of these entertaining options to do over break, it’s easy to find something fun to do surrounded by friends and family.