How CRLS Spends the Holidays: Quarantine Edition

Rahnuma Aroshi, Contributing Writer

It’s that time of year again—the sun is hiding, snow falls in short bursts, and the winter air freezes fingers as people prepare for the holidays. While 2020 was filled with tense moments, as the year winds down, people are taking more time to enjoy the holiday season. The holiday celebrations timed around winter break brings opportunities to spend days with loved ones and catch up on some much-needed sleep. Despite the rising cases of COVID-19, many students at CRLS are determined to make the most out of this holiday season.

According to sophomore Birikti Kahsai, “Winter break in my family is usually very hectic, but in a good way.” When asked about her plans for the holidays, she replied, “This year, Christmas is going to be a lot more toned down because COVID has prevented a lot of my family from coming over. Even though the holidays are going to be a lot quieter, we’ve made up for that by going all out with decorations.” Kahsai also discussed her favorite tradition, which is to watch the 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice with her family while eating dessert. Sometimes, it’s the comforting and cozy moments that make the holidays something to look forward to.

The holidays are going to be a lot quieter

— Birikti Kahsai

Similar to Kahsai, senior Faith Rounds enjoys celebrating the holidays with family and friends. To Rounds, the holidays are a time to eat sweets, hang out with her family, and catch up on assignments. She mentioned she plans to stay home this year for Christmas, binge watch movies with her family late into the night, and drink a lot of hot chocolate. There has been a lot of doubt about whether people will actually be able to get into the holiday spirit this year. In response to that, Rounds stated, “The holidays are about togetherness and hope, which is exactly what we need right now. We have to celebrate the good things in life and try to make the best of a tough situation.”

We have to celebrate the good things in life

— Faith Rounds

Another person who loves watching movies during winter break is sophomore Grace Gillig, who watches The Grinch every year without fail. Usually, she celebrates Christmas with her family and watches holiday-themed movies. This year, however, she will only be seeing her immediate family. Nevertheless, she still keeps the loved ones she will not see in her thoughts. When asked about one thing she would do this year if there was not a pandemic, she said, “It would be to see my friends for the holidays and help them with the loneliness and loss that many of them have experienced.” In fact, Gillig’s New Year’s resolution is to take the time to better herself, and support those around her in any way that she can.

With college application deadlines looming over students, many are focusing their break on finishing their supplements and college applications. Such is the situation for senior Roni Kirson, who celebrates Hanukkah and New Year’s, but also intends to concentrate on post-secondary planning. Even though she will be spending most of the holidays indoors this year, the pandemic has not majorly affected her plans. She shares her favorite aspect of the holiday season as being “the food and community! My family makes really good levivot and sufganiyot, and it’s a nice time to eat with people you care about.” While she appreciates everything she has this year, Kirson commented about how it would be nice to be able to hug her friends, which she has not been able to do since March. Kirson also mentioned that the holiday season can be a fun time, but people should still try to be mindful about their language and be inclusive of those who may not celebrate holidays over the break.

Ultimately, whether one chooses to spend time with loved ones or use the time to be productive, each moment is another chance to finish the year on a strong note, until the New Year’s timer counts down. In the words of Kirson, even with the chaos surrounding the world, the holiday season will still be a fun one: “I have faith in that.”