Home for the holidays: tips to spice up your break

Maia Johnsson, Senior Staff Writer

Following the recent shelter-in-place order for Santa Clara County, the list of activities we can do with our friends and family over the holidays has become slimmer, but there are still some ideas for fun and festive holiday activities while staying safe. 

A classic holiday tradition in many households is decorating trees, rooms, and mantels.

“My favorite tradition is decorating my [Christmas] tree with my family because it’s a time when we can all have fun,” junior Sophie Shand said.

Another activity that you can do alone or with family is baking holiday treats. Whether you are making Christmas cookies or sufganiyot, a traditional Hanukkah treat, baking is a lively activity that brings happiness to all.

Junior Sophie Shand decorates Christmas cookies with her family as a way to get into the holiday spirit. Shand says she and her family bake and decorate cookies every December. “This year I made a cookie getting stabbed because I accidentally broke my other cookie,” Shand said. Photo Credit: Sophie Shand

“My favorite Hanukkah desserts are definitely sufganiyot or a dessert my mom makes called yoyos, a traditional Tunisian dish,” junior Sarah Crystal said.

Many students enjoy holiday activities involving food, such as building gingerbread houses or decorating cookies.

“Christmas isn’t the same if we can’t build gingerbread houses even if I end up eating all the candy and decorations anyway,” Shand said.

With the shelter-in-place, Santa Clara County restricted meeting up with people outside of your family which makes having a fun holiday with friends harder. Luckily, there are some online resources like Teleparty, a video sharing extension, that make it a little easier. Shand says she enjoys seeing her friends’ faces on Teleparty video calls.

“I can watch a movie or television show with my friends and chat with them,” Shand said. “I can’t wait to watch ‘The Grinch’ with my friends.”

Staying safe this winter and having fun are values to keep in mind this year as we celebrate the different holiday occasions.

“While it’s not what I would have wanted, I can’t wait for the small and safe celebration I will have with my family with lots of good food,” Crystal said.