"Last Christmas" brought to you by the Mount Faculty:
Coordinated and edited by: Tyler McDonald '21
The Christmas Song Results Are In! After a few weeks of waiting, we now know Mount’s favorite and least favorite holiday songs! We had a total of 28 responses, at least one from every grade and a few teachers and faculty! So without further ado, here is a chart with the facts:
Mia Mollicone '21
The Season of Service
This Christmas is undoubtedly going to be different from any other we’ve experienced before. I, like many others, was disappointed in the change this holiday since I will not get to have my usual family festivities and gathering.
One comforting element was still participating in Mount’s annual holiday basket collection, although this year it was planned for Thanksgiving. Having a steady job for the past several years allowed me to use my own money to buy donations for the basket. I was thrilled to be able to help out and participate in aiding others through this hard time.
Just after Mount’s donations, My Girl Scout Troop announced that we were holding a food drive of our own. I was thrilled to be a part of this donation as well. I immediately designed a flyer and posted it to my social media accounts. Thanks to the help of friends and family I was able to collect 109 donations that will be added to the troops donations. In this time of stress, it is best to remember helping out others. It doesn’t cost a dime to support others, whether it is a phone call to a relative that lives alone or sending a thank you email to a teacher or guidance counselor. We all need a little love right now, whether it’s physical resources or emotional support. Christmas is the season of giving and it is important to live true to that this holiday season.
Alexia Fotopoulos '21
Holiday Movie Reviews One of the best parts of the Christmas season is watching holiday movies! To prepare for the hot cocoa, popcorn, and candy cane-filled movie marathons, we decided to recap some of our favorite Christmas movies!
Elf: Elf follows the narrative of Buddy, a human who was raised by elves in the North Pole. Upon learning he is not a real elf, he embarks on a journey to New York City to find his biological father. This comedy has so many memorable lines, and it can be watched with kids, teens, and adults of any age. It’s a classic family Christmas story filled with laughs and holiday spirit. Starring: Will Ferrell, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel Rating: PG
The Holiday: One of my favorite Christmas rom-coms, The Holiday puts every run-of-the-mill Hallmark movie to shame. Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet play 2 heartbroken women who trade homes for the holiday season. Amanda (Diaz), a rich filmmaker, heads to a quaint English town, and Iris (Winslet), a journalist, makes her way to bustling Los Angeles. Both of them find love, but are faced with a few challenges along the way. Lighthearted and funny, this feel-good flick never disappoints. Starring: Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black Rating: PG-13
How the Grinch Stole Christmas: This classic holiday movie follows the reclusive Grinch as he tries to ruin Christmas for the residents of Whooville. The Grinch in particular hates the cheery Christmas music, decorations, and feasting that the jolly inhabitants of Whooville partake in. This movie is comical while also teaching kids that coming together and spending time with the ones we love during the Holidays is the focus of Christmas, not all the presents and gifts. Starring: Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Christine Baranski, Jeffery Tambor Rating: PG
Home Alone: Another family-friendly movie full of laughter, this movie centers around Kevin McCallister (Culkin) who is left home alone after his family leaves for Paris without him. Kevin assumes that his Christmas wish for his family to disappear came true, but he soon realizes that two burglars (Pesci and Stern) plan to rob the McCallister home. Kevin is forced to protect his home, and he creates lots of booby traps to fend off the burglars. This film is hilarious and quite unbelievable at times; however, it is a great movie that families won’t mind watching together. Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O’Hara, John Heard Rating: PG
Charlie Brown Christmas: This antidote to the holiday blues follows the Peanuts gang. Charlie Brown is depressed by how materialistic and commercial the Christmas season is, but is cheered up for the moment when Lucy asks him to lead the holiday pageant. Lucy is bossy and sends Charlie to buy a Christmas tree, and Charlie buys a small fir tree that everyone makes fun of. The film teaches the true meaning of Christmas in a humorous way with the classic Peanuts gang, and it is a wonderful family-friendly movie for all to enjoy. Starring the voices of: Bill Melendez, Peter Robbins, Sally Dryer Rating: Not rated
Samira Lakhiani '21 & Katarina DaSilva ‘21
How you can help those in need this holiday season
As the Holiday season is rapidly approaching, so is the season for giving! All of us are buying our last-minute gifts for our family and setting up our festive decorations. No matter what tradition you have or what holiday you celebrate, it’s the most wonderful time of the year! Many of us will be spending our holidays with family, but in smaller amounts due to Covid-19. As this may be the case for some, others have no family to spend the holiday with or even have enough to get food to eat. One of my best friends, who attends Bishop Feehan High School, decided to collect some food and other essentials to donate to the local food pantry in our town. She reached out to a bunch of people, including me, and asked for many things to donate to the pantry. They ended up reaching their goal of the number of items to donate. So, I’m sharing my friend’s goals to help spread the message and to encourage you to donate to your local pantry for the holidays! It doesn’t have to be expensive, just small items and stocking stuffers. Some ideas are:
Shampoo and conditioner
Gift cards (to places like Dunkin’ Donuts, Target, Stop & Shop, etc.)
Donating is not the only option to help! Another way to help with your local food pantry is by volunteering and helping the staff that works there. I work at my local pantry sorting and packing bags, organizing the food, and giving to those who come in looking for their meal. This gives the staff a break and can give them less of a workload during the holidays. Remember, you don’t have to participate in any of these, I just thought it would be nice to give to those in need and to help others get basic essentials during this cheerful season. Happy Holidays! Lexi Vercauteren ‘23
COVID Approved Christmas: Celebrate the Holidays Right
A lot of things have changed this year and while it may be easy to dwell on all the bad, there are always good things to come from that bad. We were able to recognize our blessings; we connected with others more than ever before; we were able to take a break and settle down for a minute to rest. And, aren’t all those things the point of the holiday season? This year may look different and you may not be able to celebrate as you have in the past. But, different doesn’t always mean bad. Below is a list of fun, Covid-approved activities that you can do with your family and your small group of friends to live up this holiday season to the fullest:
Make holiday cookies. This one is kind of obvious. I’m sure many, like myself, do this already! It’s a super fun tradition that allows you to be creative and spend time with your family and friends without having to go anywhere! Besides, who doesn’t love a sugary reward for their hard work?
Go sledding. Another one that is universal, sledding is a great way to get outside and get some fresh air in the winter months. It’s also great because you don’t have to be in a large group and you can even do it by yourself!
Have decorating competitions with friends and/or family. This one is great because you can do it with them there in person or over a video chat. And there are no rules on what the decorating looks like. You could decorate gingerbread houses, a Christmas tree or even the whole house! It can have a theme or compete to see who decorates something off of a model the fastest. You can have fun and make it your own while still staying safe.
Have a winter photo shoot. Surprisingly, a photo shoot can actually be a lot of fun. Get together with a small group and make a day of it. You can go formal or fun. You can be indoors or outdoors. And you can test out your photography skills or make use of a friend’s natural talent! This one’s really fun to do in the snow. Also, you won’t have to worry about getting Christmas card photos done!
Have a holiday movie night. We’ve all been making use of video calling as of late and this is another activity that I’m sure we’ve all done with someone before. It’s great because we don’t need to do it in person (unless you and your family want to, of course!) and have just as much fun. Get some snacks and find somewhere cozy to watch holiday classics with your family and friends.
Just because this year is going to be a bit different doesn’t mean that we can’t make it a great holiday! We only have to adjust a bit and be safe while having a great time and making memories with the people who are most important to us.
Amanda Thrul ‘23
Pros vs Cons of Online Shopping This Holiday Season With COVID cases on the rise, many are looking to online shopping services this year. We’re here to break down the pros & cons. Pros:
Winter in New England can get extremely cold. There are many people who dread leaving their comfortable, warm houses to somehow find their way into the freezing cold wind, rain, or snow of the winter and have to shop for presents. With online shopping, you do not have to worry about leaving the house and you can get all of your shopping done in the comfort of your own home.
During the holiday season the stores can get extremely hectic. Leaving your house and not knowing when you are going to be expected back is a real issue since the lines are crazy. When you online shop, waiting in those lines is not a problem since you are already sitting in your own house.
Along with no long lines, online shopping also helps to keep you from being in contact with any store or anyone inside of the store. During a normal Christmas season, holiday shoppers can be difficult to deal with since everyone is in a rush and trying to finish their shopping quickly. This year, especially with COVID, people do not want to leave their house and come in contact with anyone who could potentially make them sick. This is why online shopping has become a good alternative because you are able to buy the Christmas presents for your family and friends without having to leave your house.
This year, it might be hard to see some of your family or friends who you have bought presents for. With online shopping, you are able to purchase a gift for whoever you want and even have it wrapped and shipped to their house so they can receive it in time for Christmas.
When you are walking throughout the stores, sometimes it is hard to see the variety they may have. They could have items in the back that would be a perfect gift, but no one would know because it is not displayed on the floor. With online shopping, you are able to see a wide variety of the items they have and are even able to sort and find exactly what you are looking for.
The obvious downside to online shopping is the shipping. You don’t have the ability to walk out of the store with a gift in hand. This means you need to think ahead & allow for delivery time. There are options to get expedited shipping, but those come at a cost.
The next con that comes with online shipping is the cost. Because the items are being shipped, there is handling fees, delivery fees, processing fees, etc. At a time when money is already tight for so many, these are an added expense.
We can’t ignore the stories that have made national news are “Porch Pirates”. When having packages delivered, they can be easily stolen off of your porch. Again, there are options to have to sign for delivery, but that’d require you to be home at the time of delivery.
Parents can easily fool children by hiding gifts that are coming from Santa. With children home, & delivery trucks making noise, it can be hard to hide packages from family members.
Many are having packages ruined because of the weather. If you live in a snowy climate like New England, cardboard boxes can become soggy & wet.
Lastly, when ordering online, we must think about the unknown. You can’t try anything on, see how items will look on or if they even look like the pictures. Items can come broken or ruined.
Isabella Jordan '22 & Lauren DeVito ‘22
Photography Spotlight: JT Casale '24 “Sunset over Aquapaug Scout Reservation”