Deck the Hall(s)

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Deck the Hall(s)

Holiday Decorations at Hall High School

Holiday Decorations at Hall High School

Carl Nicklas

Holiday Decorations at Hall High School

Carl Nicklas

Carl Nicklas

Holiday Decorations at Hall High School

Carl Nicklas, Yoav Raichelson, and Ryan O'Connor

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For some, holiday break is just another excuse to sleep in, relax, and avoid responsibilities. This year, use the time off as an opportunity to make the most of the break and explore what is happening in and around the West Hartford community.

During December, extending into the holidays, there are many different activities and events celebrating the holiday in the Hall community and the Greater Hartford area. For seniors, this holiday break will be their last before college, making it vital for them to enjoy it to the fullest.

Arguably the most essential aspect of the holidays is spending time with family. The most important part of break for Daisy Laone, a Chinese teacher at Hall High school, is to “see family and get an update on all the people that are important to us.” With the relatively small amount of time allotted to holiday break, it is important to see and talk to as many people that you care about as possible. Mrs. Laone enjoys many holiday traditions, such as a big family meal and then a game of mahjong. Everybody in the family has learned the game and joins in on the fun. In addition to traditions, there are many local and easily accessible holiday events.

In Hartford, specifically Bushnell Park, the annual Winterfest is returning. One of the many fun opportunities is free ice skating, with free skate rentals and lessons. Winterfest also provides story time, visits, and pictures with Santa. In addition to these, there are also arts and crafts workshops and many other intriguing events.

In New Hartford, Ski Sundown has been building up their stockpiles of snow and is almost ready to open. They have labeled their opening day as either Friday, December 7 or Saturday, December 8. This provides a local opportunity to enjoy some quality time skiing with family and friends.

One of the big ideas of the holiday season that is often not stressed enough by the average person is the importance of not worrying about school work. Students, of all high school grades, drown in work on a daily basis. Eric West, a senior at Hall High, advised to anyone with work on their mind during the holiday break, “don’t stress [about school and work] and spend the holidays relaxing.” The holidays, as West said, are a time to take your mind off work and just enjoy celebrating the holidays. Students need time to take a break from school and there is no better time to do it than during the holiday season, especially with midterms coming up a couple of weeks after vacation.

When asked whether she  likes to travel or stay at home for the holidays,  Monica Ahern a Hall librarian, said she enjoys both, but usually stays at home. Mrs. Ahern spends time with her family and celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas. They exchange gifts, eat latkes, tell stories of the Maccabees, and listen to the Maccabeats. Mrs. Ahern believes that traveling over winter break is not a requirement. “It doesn’t take a huge vacation to celebrate the holidays,” Ahern stated when asked how to properly celebrate the holidays, “keep it simple and back to basics”.

Overall, it’s important to focus on what you enjoy. Do what is important to you, because at the end of the day, this is the last holiday you will celebrate as a highschooler.