Winter break is a special time for many families, religions, and people. There are quite a few holidays celebrated during November through January, but the most commonly celebrated is Christmas. For this time, there are countless winter activities to be practiced. Some of these activities include baking, sledding, skiing, and indulging in holiday treats.
During winter break in the United States, countless people gather around a Christmas tree, usually pine or artificial, and exchange presents wrapped in vibrant paper with ribbons and bows. In some places, mainly Israel, a dreidel is spun during Hanukkah to play a traditional game. In Australia, a present wrapped like a peppermint candy called a Christmas cracker is pulled from each side so that gifts spill out. In Germany, shoes are filled with goodies for children from Saint Nikolaus, and children are on their best behavior in fear of Krampus. Krampus, according to Encyclopedia Britannica, is a demon who travels with Saint Nikolaus and punishes children who are not on their best behavior.
Baking is an important part of winter break for participating countries. A plethora of cookies are baked, along with cakes, breads, and numerous other foods. Foods eaten during festive dinners include hams, turkeys, pies, yam dishes, salads, soups, and breads. Families and friends often gather together to prepare meals in celebration of the holiday season. According to Global Citizen, there are many different foods which are eaten according to holiday, country, and tradition. In the United Kingdom, a “christmas pudding” is eaten; this pudding consists of a bready base filled with sweetened fruits. In Brazil, an especially sweet glazed turkey is prepared for the family to share. In Norway, dried fish is served covered in butter and cream sauce. Winter is also the season of giving, so many of these treats and meals are shared and donated. For the sake of holiday spirit, many people choose to volunteer at homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and animal sanctuaries to bring joy to all. Due to the colder weather, many supplies are needed for homeless shelters and low-income families.
Family is the heart of winter break for many students, staff, and faculty at Bonneville High School. A survey of BHS members showed more than half of the school’s population will be using winter break to spend with their family; many teachers who are not originally from Idaho Falls go home for the holidays. Because of this, winter break is highly valued throughout the school district. One question in the poll was, “Is two weeks enough time for winter break?” 67.6% of BHS students and faculty voted yes, while a much smaller 32.6% voted no. Less than two weeks of winter break would be hard for those learning and working at BHS because the school has become accustomed to the long break, and less time would be able to be spent with family and friends. These statistics show that two weeks off is the perfect time for our school to get a long breather, and not forget too much coursework. Any less than that would be hard for our school, because even though school is very important, most will put family first.