Profile: brown details day in life of french teacher

By Alex Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Madame Brown talks to Mya Wilcher, 10, about what she did over Fall Break. Photo by Alex Smith

    Teaching can be a stressful job. Madame Amanda Brown, French teacher, who has been teaching French for 18 years, talked about what makes teaching worth it. She said, “My students make it worth it. Getting to know them. Getting to see that moment where they ‘get it.’ Getting to experience them making connections between topics and subjects. Getting to laugh with them.” 

    Shaun Hughes, 10, who just started taking French this year, talked about what Madame Brown does to help him learn. He said, “She helps me learn by taking the time to individually help me get better.” Christopher O’Connor, 12, who has been taking French for the last four years, also talked about what Madame Brown does to help him learn. He said, “Madame helps me learn by understanding that I have a lot in life to focus on alongside school, so she gives me leniency.” 

Brown discussed what she wants students to learn in French class and what her number one goal is. She said, “I hope that kids leave my class with a bit wider perspective and understanding of the world as a whole.”

O’Connor commented on what Brown does to make French class fun. He said, “Madame brings her energy to class every day, and always tries to keep us engaged. That’s the most fun thing, is that it’s never boring.” Brown talked about the funniest thing to happen while teaching. She said, “I can’t think of a specific moment, but there are so many inside jokes with the classes. When you have the same group of kids for four years, it’s impossible to narrow the funny and ridiculous down.” Hughes also talked about what Brown does to make French class fun. He said, “Madame makes things fun for class by telling us funny stories about some of the different things we learn in class and by just creating an overall pleasant mood in class.”

Hughes said that his favorite thing about French with Brown is that he gets to learn so much about different cultures and different countries. O’Connor discussed his favorite thing about French with Brown. He said, “My favorite thing about French with Madame is the vibe of the classroom. All of us have been in that class with her for four years, so it’s a comfortable environment.” Brown’s favorite thing about teaching French is that she loves discussing cultural differences with her students. 

Brown talked about her least favorite thing about teaching French. She said, “I asked my French 4 class because I really couldn’t think of anything. Chris O’Connor’s contribution is ‘When someone asks you how to do something or does it wrong and you just warned someone to be careful about making that mistake or JUST taught it. That doesn’t go over well.’ Tara Powell’s,12,  contribution (in loving sarcasm) is ‘Having Chris as a student.’“ O’Connor said that his least favorite thing about French with Brown is that she’s always on them if they don’t give their best effort, that it can be frustrating, but he gets it. Hughes talked about his least favorite thing about French with Brown. He said, “I don’t really have a least favorite thing in French since I like the culture and mostly everything about it.” 

O’Connor talked about what he has learned about the French language. He said, “French is a beautiful language, but it’s a pain in the butt half the time.” Hughes also talked about what he has learned about the French language. He said, “The French language is quite difficult but like I said I get to enjoy learning about the different cultures and more about the French culture.” 

Hughes told a memorable story about Brown. He said, “Madame tells us lots of memorable stories so I don’t know which one to do but it seems like she has so much fun teaching French to students.” O’Connor also told a memorable story about Brown. He said, “Madame would let me sleep in her classroom before school when I was tired from early morning football workouts. She gave me bean bags to sleep on so I was comfortable. That was when I knew she was different.” Brown talked about a memorable moment in her teaching experience. She said, “ I teach Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) second semester of French 4. Everytime I teach Chapter 21….it’s the most memorable experience of the 4 years I have with each group.” 

Brown talked about how she keeps the kids engaged. She said, “I try to be as weird, obnoxious, and goofy as my students are (and in some cases, more). Being overly dramatic, using funny voices, telling stories … all part of my game plan.” 

Hughes talked about what he will remember the most about Brown. He said, “I will always remember her smile, her kindness, and her unique personality.” O’Connor commented on what he is going to miss about Brown when he graduates. He said, “I’ll miss how much she cares about me and all of her other students.” Brown talked about what she wants the kids to remember about her. She said, “I hope they remember me as someone who is always rooting for them.” 

Brown talked about who her mentor is. She said, “I don’t really have a mentor, per se, but I refer to Mrs. Stoeffler, Mrs. Anderson, and Mrs. Berger-Harmon as who I want to be when I grow up.”

Brown talked about her favorite lesson to do with the kids. She said, “The ‘DR MRS P VANDERTRAMP’ story, regarding French verbs, for example,  Devenir – To Become, Revenir – To Come Back, and Monter – To Climb.  (This is my favorite) because I get to draw (poorly), I get to be overly dramatic (always), and I get to talk about soccer and food and the circle of life.”

She also talked about what her favorite activity to do with the kids is. She said, “My favorite activity to do is teach the ‘Avoir Rap’.” The “Avoir Rap” is how Madame Brown teaches her students the verb “Avoir” or “To Have” in French class. Brown said about the “Avoir Rap”: “We usually have a lot of fun with it. It’s catchy. It has a lot of call and response elements to it. And it’s one of those things the students tend to remember. Plus, I get to be a TOUCH obnoxious which always makes me have fun.”

Profile: Commissiong positively influences students in JAG

by Kalei Griffin/Staff Writer

JAG (Jobs for America’s Graduates) director and leader Mrs Cherie Commissiong has shared and taught in many different environments throughout her career. She first began to teach at IU Bloomington. After working years with college students, she decided that she would be “more valuable” working with high school students, preparing them for “what’s next” after graduation. She takes her teaching career very seriously and puts the maximum amount of effort into everything she does. So what makes Mrs. Commissiong stand out, and how does she influence so many people?

Commissiong graduated from Ben Davis High School. She furthered her education by attending Indiana University(IU). She earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She has always been intrigued by teaching and career readiness. She then began to teach at IU Bloomington for several years. During that time, she realized that she and her skills, along with her knowledge, would better help high school students rather than college students. So, in 2018, she became a high school teacher. 

Within the two years Commissiong has been teaching here at Greenfield-Central, students have grown a strong liking for her and some students have grown a special bond with her that is indescribable. “I am able to connect with Mrs. C in a way that I can’t connect with any other teacher at GC. She is such a wonderful soul and her compassion is outstanding,” says Gracie VanderMeulen, 12. 

“We are able to have ‘real conversations’ about their futures- the fears, expectations, plans, etc,” says Commissiong. Mrs. Commissiong has the ability and opportunity to connect with her students in a meaningful way. Her students are one of her top main priorities and she takes pride in making sure her students are successful and healthy, mentally and physically she said.

Mrs. Commissiong’s goal is to better students, prepare them for the real world, and to leave an impact on her students and she does just that. “Before I started attending the JAG program, I had no clue what I wanted to do after high school nor did I know how to do really anything in the real world. I’ve only been in her class for about a month and I have learned more than I have ever learned,” says Jada Conn, 11. 

Mrs. Commissiong has come a long way and has made her time here valuable. Commissiong has many goals she plans to achieve that will all contribute to one main goal.  “It is my mission to make sure my students are confident about their skills and knowledge to navigate along their journey after graduation,” she says.

Holiday Story: One Small Gift

by Drew Smith/Staff Writer

One small box, dressed in red, flashy wrapping paper, with a quite usual small flap that read: “From Santa.” Every member of the family assumed the gift had been placed by someone else, attached with the flap as a sort of half-joke, in reflection to days past of childhood Christmases with flaps that read the same. Gifts were shuffled around, thanks exchanged, and a sea of wrapping paper enveloped the once monotone living room. Smiles flashed frequently, yelps of glee, as boxes were made naked of their wrapping and the thought-out, considerate gift was revealed inside. Quite the standard Christmas affair, full of a cozy atmosphere and joyful attitude. Free things seem to make everyone happy, besides the occasional pair of ugly dress socks, cheap tabloid magazines, and five dollar gift cards to McDonald’s. 

But that small box, wrapped noticeably with a touch of elegance, lingered in the backdrop of the quite mundane Christmas morning, whispering in a tempting voice that just begged to be opened. As the gifts that once stocked and crowded the Christmas tree faded away one by one, the more and more eyes the gift drew. Each member of the family gazed at it with a thick desire, running rampant in their mind’s at the possibility of what the gift would be.The gift, while not the largest, nor the smallest, nor even the most well-wrapped, still had a deep primal appeal to it, beckoning with its mystery. It was not special but that may have been some of the appeal, it drew upon a seared-in memory of the wonder of opening presents as a child. It did not take long before the tree had been completely naked at the bottom, the gifts now all in the hands of the proper receivers. 

There it was. All by itself. Untouched, unsaid, unknown. All eyes now examined the gift thoroughly, scanning over each fold, each crevice, each glint on the wrapping paper. Everyone in the room sat thinking the exact same sentence: “Who’s is it?” It was now just about who would ask first. The eldest son, curiosity devouring its way through his patience, asked, “Who’s is it?” All eyes in the room immediately swept towards him, waiting for his cue. He twisted and turned in his seat on the couch, now engaging in eye contact with someone everywhere he looked. The daughter, just slightly younger than him by a year and a half, wondered aloud, “Well, it’s not yours, right, Frank?” Frank, the eldest son, returned his eyes to the gift, stating, “No, it isn’t. Anyone know?” The room sat absolutely silent as they all slowly swept their eyes across the room, waiting for someone to raise their hand and surrender the knowledge of who possessed the gift.

“Well, here,” Frank mumbled as he got up from the couch. He knelt and dipped his head under the tree, swiping for the gift. He slipped it out from under the tree and immediately flipped the gift around. He bounced it listening for any familiar noise he could come across. He found the flap and flipped it up, revealing the “From Santa.” “Wow, real funny,” exclaimed Frank, “who’s trying to pull some practical joke?” No one answered and no one seemed to know. The gift rested in his hands. He shrugged his shoulders and tore open the gift relentlessly. A cardboard box resided underneath the wrapping. Frank pulled the top of revealing an empty box with only a note inside. Frank whipped the note out and read it aloud, “To my dearest favorite child of the Burakh Family, while I may have passed, may this gift unto you carry your life forwards even with my absence. I leave you 3% of my current estate, leaving you with 4.5 million dollars in liquid cash. Feel free to use the money for whatever you desire.”

The room sat eerily still. Then, quite suddenly, an eruption of conversation. “Whoever it’s from, I have gotta be the favorite child,” declared loudly, the youngest son. “Who’s estate even is this?” pondered their father. “Perhaps it was meant for the grandchildren,” muttered their aloof and unconcerned uncle. “Maybe it was from my grandpa,” wondered their mother. “It’s likely meant for one of us,” stated the daughter. “Mommy what’s an estate?” inquired the child of the daughter. “It’s gotta be my money, it has to be mine!” exclaimed the youngest son. “What did the note say, I couldn’t hear over all of the AC,” the grandmother requested obliviously. “STOP,” Frank shouted violently. 

Frank stood before the tree and all the eyes of the relatives shot at him like deep-cutting daggers. He revealed the other side of the note. It read: “From ‘Knives Out,’ a pretty good movie.” He dropped the note on the floor. “I might have accidentally put that in here after some cleaning, and then wrapped it,” embarrassingly remarked Frank.

Holiday story: A Day in the Life of an Elf

By Kalei Griffin/Staff Writer

As one of Santa’s elves, I have many tasks to accomplish. Throughout the day, I am in charge of many things. It’s a luxury being one of Santa’s elves. Let me take you through my day! 

Each elf has their own room. Mine is located in the middle of, what we call, the Santa hall; its where the most prized elves stay. Santa calls me his “beloved elf”. Every elf wakes up around 6 in the morning. Some wakeup at 5 just so that they can get a head start, but I’m quite lazy when it comes to waking up so I stick to 6! Once I wake up, I go straight to the designated elf room(bathroom) and get freshened up. I brush my teeth and then do my skin care routine, which takes about 10 minutes. After that is done, I brush out my hair and begin to get dressed. My “uniform” is pretty simple: a hat, a snug dress, and a pair of pointed toe shoes of my choice(most of my shoes are bedazzled hehe). Once my whole morning routine is done, I head down to headquarters for a light breakfast. I usually have 3 eggs, 3 pieces of bacon, and two pieces of toast but sometimes if i’m feeling fancy, i’ll have some of Mrs. Clauses homemade cereal, aka, elf charms. It’s delicious!, but I prefer a warm breakfast. While i’m down in headquarters chowing down on my breakfast, I chat with my fellow elf besties for the meantime. We usually just discuss what we are doing that day, what we are going to eat that day, and sometimes, if there is any gossip going on, we will secretly discuss that as well. 

Now that breakfast is over, all of the elves head to the workshop to receive our tasks to complete for that day. Santa wakes up at 7 because he feels that he needs his beauty sleep in order to function. Once we arrive at the workshop, we wait patiently for him to come down and join us. Once he is completely awake, he joins us on the floor and assigns us our task(s). I usually get the honor of making the stuffed animals and legos; everyone else usually has the more boring jobs like making wooden cars, trains, assembling toys together, etc. It takes no longer than a few hours to make the desired amount of toys for that day, so after we are done, we just find something else to do. We can make more toys, clean, help Mrs. Clause cook, go sledding for a few hours, or have a snowball fight. We usually choose to either have a snowball fight or go sledding. 

After having fun, we join back together to have lunch. It changes every day so we have no idea what we are going to have. My favorite is chili with elf-shaped bread slices. Today we had creamy elf mac and cheese with tomato soup and crackers. It was so yummy! After lunch, we continue our snowball fight/sledding adventure until dinner. 

For dinner, we had a thanksgiving feast basically. Everything you can think of that you would have at thanksgiving, we had. With having a big dinner like that, most of the elves go to bed super early. It’s like they are in a food coma. We eat until we can breathe. Santa, after dinner, always eats a plate or two of chocolate chip cookies with two glasses of milk. When I eat a big meal like that, I have no room for cookies. I don’t know how Santa does it! At this point, everyone heads to bed and relaxes for a few before falling asleep.

You might think that elves are super busy 24/7 and that we don’t have any time to have any fun, but really, it’s the exact opposite! With that being said, that is a day in the life of an elf! 

Christmas 2020: the year we all stayed home

By: Alex Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: This Christmas in the year 2020 was the year we all stayed home.

    I think it is better to be a kid than an adult at Christmastime because my family’s Christmas traditions are warm, fun and pretty low-key: we decorate the Christmas tree, hang some Christmas lights (inside the house), and sing some truly off-key but hilarious renditions of Christmas carols (everyone else is off-key but my dad and me). Usually we do so two weeks before Christmas itself, but this year, it all happened just a few days beforehand – because of a pandemic.    

My family would normally go to my mom’s parents on Christmas Eve to open presents. But this year it’s going to be different. We will sit in their garage with the garage doors open (to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus) to open presents instead. After all the presents have been opened we will leave immediately. On Christmas Day, my three siblings and I would wake up and wait patiently in the hallway in our pajamas for our parents to get up before we can go downstairs to open our presents and our stockings. Later that night, we would normally go to my dad’s parents to open presents. We don’t know what that’s going to look like this year. My dad’s three brothers and their families would normally fly into Indiana for Christmas. That’s not happening this year, either. On my grandpa’s side of the family, we would normally have what we like to call the big Smith Family Christmas at the Hoosier Gym in Knightstown with all his brothers and their families. We aren’t doing that this year, either. This pandemic has changed our plans for Christmas this year drastically.


My family is strong in the Christian faith. So Christmas means a lot to us. Normally in September Realife, our church does a sermon series called “At the Movies” but because of the pandemic, that changed. On Sunday December 6, Realife kicked off a new sermon series called “Christmas at the Movies” that will uncover Biblical truths that are illustrated in clips from some of your favorite Christmas movies (that doesn’t include Die Hard) each week in December. This is the best time of the year to invite friends and family to church.

Holiday Story: Santa Leaves a Mystery

by Kyler Rhoades/Staff Writer

Santa Claus was passed out cold on her fireplace, and Olivia was beginning to regret coming downstairs for a snack. She was in shock, and also a little frightened. Was Santa Claus really in her house? She stopped believing in Santa years ago, but after this, realized that she had been wrong all this time. Unsure of what to do, Olivia tapped on his shoulder. At first, it did no good. Santa was out cold, perhaps tired from all the trips he had been making around the globe. It was three in the morning, and he surely had more places to go. Olivia, still unsure of what to do, started pacing the room. She ventured over to the kitchen, and spotted that the cookies and milk left for him by her little sister hadn’t been touched. Still hungry, she decided to take one of the cookies for herself to enjoy. As she reached for a cookie, she heard a voice, “Ah, taking my snack I see.” 

Olivia quickly turned around, and saw Santa Claus. He wasn’t very tall, had a white beard, and looked almost identical to how you see him portrayed. “Uhm, well, I was a little hungry myself,” Olivia said, startled. Santa laughed, “Oh it’s alright. As a matter of fact, I’m starting to get a little full. Billions of cookies will do that to you.” They began to have a conversation, and Olivia asked a question that Santa loved, “You deliver all of these people presents, but you get nothing in return, what would you want for Christmas?” 

Santa smiled, “Seeing the joy on each and every one of the kids’ faces is enough for me.” After a few minutes of talking, Santa told her he had to go, and for her to keep this interaction their secret. He snapped his fingers, and up the chimney, he vanished. 

Several hours later, Olivia and her family gathered in the living room, ready to open presents. Olivia’s little sister, Madison, noticed a present that she hadn’t seen before. No label on it, nothing. Her parents, also a little confused, told her to open it. There was a note inside, with a riddle on it. The riddle insinuated that it will lead the person reading it to the greatest gift of all. The family then started their journey to find this present. The riddle read, “If a lion had a Christmas music album, what would it be called?” They immediately wondered what they could possibly do which would lead them to the gift. The family all agreed that the riddle seemed very hard to figure out, and how they could possibly use it to find this gift. Then, Olivia remembered, during her conversation with Santa hours prior, in response to him asking what they’d be doing to celebrate Christmas, she noted that she and her family were potentially going to go to the zoo, as it was something her little sister had been begging her parents to do. Unfortunately, her parents tried to buy tickets to go and see the lights, and a fireworks display, but it was sold out. After the conversation she had with Santa resparked in her mind, she said, “The zoo!” Her parents thought it made sense as well, since it said something about a lion in the riddle.

Looking around their home, they looked for more clues; that’s when Madison discovered something stamped on the “Jingle Bells” record they had, which they always listened to on their record player this time of year. Jingle was crossed out, and it instead said, “Jungle Bells!” Madison lifted up the record to discover four tickets to the zoo. Filled with excitement, Olivia, along with the rest of her family, knew one thing was for sure: Santa Claus is real.

Holiday Story: Midnight snack

by Ben Brunsting/Staff Writer

Santa Claus was passed out cold on her fireplace, and Olivia was beginning to regret coming downstairs for a snack. The large man groaned softly but didn’t move and inch. He just remained still at the base of the fireplace. Olivia couldn’t help but let her curiosity get the better of her and tip-toed over to Mr. Clause with the subtlety of an assassin. As she got closer she started to notice more and more details about Santa, Such as his large sack of presents being almost bottomless with colors not even the rainbow has. She discarded the thought of peeking at the presents and continued tip-toeing towards Santa.

 When she finally reached him she got a good look at his face for the first time. His nose and cheeks were red as in the stories, his mouth surrounded by a forest of white hair. There appeared to be no damage to Santa besides the fact that his hat had fallen off. She sneakily grabbed his hat from next to him and tapped on his cheek in an attempt to wake him up. At first there was nothing but groaning but as the presses on his cheeks got harder from her impatience, he began showing signs of waking up. He wrinkled his nose and said, “Please… honey, five more minutes,” in a low voice.

Finally Oliva spoke and said, “Are you talking about Mrs. Claus?”

Her voice surprised Saint Nick and he awoke with a start. His eyes darted around the room to figure out where he was. At first he looked around panicked until he saw his presents. He grabbed the bag and resumed looking around Olivia’s living room until his eyes settled on Olivia holding his hat out in offering. Santa calmed and let out a loud sigh. He accepted his hat from Olivia and stood up. 

“Why, hello there, Olivia, I apologize for waking you.” He spoke softly with a large smile on his face.

“Don’t worry, Santa I was already awake,” she corrected. “I was coming down to get a snack and saw you on the floor.” Her eyes glowed with curiosity while staring at the jolly fat man. 

“Well, that’s good.” He chuckled. “I am sorry, though, it made you worry about my well-being.”

“Are you ok, Santa?” she questioned, her face souring.

“I am in tip top shape, my dear,” he reassured. “Just watch.” He began to wave his hand and light came out and took the cookies and milk Olivia had left out straight to Santa. He took a large bite and a swig to match. After his drink he let out a loud sigh. The light then took care of all of the soot that came out of the chimney upon his descent. Olivia giggled as the light twirled around her and she attempted to spin to follow it. Santa also laughed at the child’s actions and grabbed her so as to stop her. They both laughed and fell to the ground to stop the dizziness. 

As their laughter died down Santa rolled up his sleeve and took a long look at his watch. He sighed and spoke to Olivia. “I’m sorry, my dear, but I must be going. I have many more houses to get to.” 

Olivia looked at him and frowned, but still she nodded in acceptance. Santa patted her on the head and smiled, “I’m glad you understand. now hurry on upstairs so I can put your present under the tree.” She smiled once again and hugged Santa. 

“Will you be back again next year?” she asked.

“Of course, Olivia, I’ll always come back,” he reassured me.

As Olivia looked back one more time while meandering up the stairs Santa waved one more time and said goodbye. She went halfway up the stairs and came back down to see if he had left. When she peeked again he was gone and a new present was under the tree. She smiled and returned to her room and collapsed on her bed. She slid the covers back on top of her and shut her eyes hoping to awaken next on Christmas morning.

Website: https://www.fulcrumgallery.com/Marcello-Corti/Santa-asleep-in-Chair_955946.htm

Holiday Story: Stevie’s Story

by Tyler Young/Staff Writer

Dear Journal,

My name is Stevie, and I will be writing in this journal to describe my day. Now, I started this journal on December 20. It’s only a few days before Christmas! But for an elf, these last days before Christmas are hard.

First, my morning starts like this. I work the night shift for Santa at the North Pole and end my shift at 11:00 p.m. Then I drive my toy car (not life size) back to my little gingerbread house with my wife sleeping in our bed. I crawl into bed and sleep until about 7:30 a.m. My wife usually wakes me up and from there I get out of bed and go to the bathroom. 

Now, us elves are not humans. We don’t use soap when we shower, instead we use maple syrup. Elf skin is not like human skin. We take the maple syrup and use it like soap, but it keeps us smelling great and looking great. Then, I brush my teeth. Normal right? Wrong! We don’t use toothpaste like humans. Us elves suck on a candy cane. It’s practically the same thing. It keeps our mouths minty fresh. I finish up in the bathroom and head to the kitchen. 

My wife is usually kind enough to make me breakfast, but sometimes I do it myself. Today though she prepared me my favorite. She made me a birthday cake, Christmas cookies, an apple, and chocolate milk Now you might be thinking that this is unhealthy. But for elves this covers the main food group. That particular food group is “Happy Food” and us elves live off of Happy foods so it’s good for us.

Once I finish my breakfast and my bathroom routine, it is roughly 8:00 a.m. So I use the day to my best advantage but also not wear myself out. 

Next things next, I sit in my work chair and start ordering toy supplies that I might need for the week in case something comes in late or something is destroyed. But before I do that, I have to review the wishlists that I have been assigned for the week, what supplies I need, and when I need to get those toys assembled. I make myself a list of supplies and order the supplies to my workspace back at Santa’s factory. This takes me about an hour to do.

Now that it is about 9:00 a.m. I’ll usually watch the elf news so I can watch out for the toy stocks or any last minute Naughty or Nice list changes. I get bored after about 30 mins of the news, so I now end up helping my wife with house chores or go to the grocery store to buy happy food or toy supplies. Once I’m done with that it is about 10:00-10:30 a.m. At this hour I usually go outside and make sure the snow is nice and healthy. Snow is considered our grass because it never stops snowing. If it gets too high I take the snow blower and remove some off. 2-3 inches of snow is a reasonable amount on the ground. I usually clear it anyway so I don’t get trapped. When I finish, the time is pushing 11:30 a.m. It gets boring having to wait until 7:30 to go to work. But you have to make the best of it. 

In the afternoon I’ll take a nap or watch some TV and eat lunch. My wife is gone in the afternoon hours so I have to watch the house and make some time for me. For lunch I usually make a pizza, brownies, and a smoothie. You know, happy foods. It’s usually 12:00 when I first lie down to take a nap because it gets boring. I go to the bedroom and just lie down and snooze. But I have to be up or be done with whatever I’m doing by 3:30 pm. This is one of the more magical times for an elf. This is because all the elves in the village leave their gingerbread houses and go to the center of the village where Santa is waiting for us all. From there, his greatness will touch the side of his nose and the big ol’ Christmas tree in the town square lights up and Christmas music starts to play and we all just dance and have a good time for about an hour and a half. We dance, we have conversations, we talk to Santa, and just have an awesome time. We do this every day at the same time starting December 20-December 24 to celebrate the holiday season. 

Evening hours: During the evening hours, my wife and I will eat dinner or chit chat about our days and listen to nice Christmas music or hang up some more decorations for the house. We are considered to be the most festive couple in the North Pole and have won the “Most Festive Award” five years running by Santa himself! It’s such a pleasure. But after I eat dinner, which is usually a turkey or ham with all of the fixings, and spend time with my wife,. I have to start packing my briefcase and get ready for my shift at the factory. It’s a good job and it pays well. There are 250 factories and I work in factory 19 with my buddy Ed. Not to brag but Rudolph himself is our supervisor so I get to talk to “THE Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer” every day! So when I leave to work in my wind up toy car, I park in my parking space which is 12B and walk into the factory and sit in my positional place.

Now that the sun has set and I’m in my workplace. My job is to receive lists and the toy parts I ordered to the office and start building. Since there are 7 billion people in the world and about 3 billion children. There are only 3 million elves. So my list is pretty big. My list usually is about 30 kids a day for 25 days. Now you’re probably thinking “Oh, that’s not that bad.” Well, you have to remember that kids want more than one gift under the tree. So I work until about 11;00 p.m. and get in my Christmas pajamas and go to sleep. That is a day in the life of an elf and it is just about the perfect life. Thank you for reading my story.

Holiday Story: An Elf’s Adventures in december

by Audrey Roberts/Staff Writer

Day 1

December 1, 2020

Most people think we elves work all year round to get presents for everyone.  But that’s not true.  We don’t start work until July.  The term Christmas in July actually originated when it leaked that we start work again in July.  But whatever.  Anyway, we’ve been at it for months now, figuring out what everyone wants and then starting the toy-making process.  While most elves are in the toy making departments-crafting, wood work, painting, gears, naming, fixing-I’m one of the elite elves that works in the researching department.  We get the special honor of figuring out what a kid wants.  As we go through each kid’s life and their likes and dislikes, we figure out what everyone wants.  While it’s tiring going through a lot of the same lives every year, it’s always fun to see how someone’s done since the last time we checked a year ago.

Because interests change, kids don’t get exactly what they want, but if we worked to make sure everyone got what they wanted, we’d be making every single toy at the last minute!  Anyways, my boss, Jingle Wreath (Mr. Wreath), gave me this journal as my ten-year anniversary present.  I’ve worked at this job for ten years and I’ve made sure to work hard.  Considering we only work for half the year, we got to prove we deserve our long breaks!  Anyways, I think I’ll write til Christmas and then take a break until next year.

So long for now, journal.

P.S. My name is Cheery Stocking.

Day 2

December 2, 2020

Today I got to research more last-minute kids.  Last-minute kids are what we call December born kids.  They’re the ones that are tiny little babies that get born in December.  This one girl really stood out to me though.  Her name is Sally Banitch.  Sally is the cutest little baby, but her birth was a hard one.  Her dad died in a car crash and her mom went into early labor because of that same car crash.  Her mom had been so sad because of her husband’s death, but her face got so happy when she saw Sally.  I can tell that they’re going to have a good life together, even if they get a little lonely.  Plus, I can tell Sally will bring back the light into her mother’s eyes!

We all decided that she should get little socks with her name on them for Christmas.  The clothing elves are great at making the softest and warmest clothes, especially for babies.

Also, my friends and I all went to Rudolph’s Hot Chocolate Parlor for dinner!  It was Snowy Bell’s idea and treat.  We all got hot chocolate (of course) and chocolate chip cookies with some candycanes on the side.  It was nice to hang out with them since I’ve been swamped with work.

I’ll write again soon!

Day 5

December 5, 2020

You’ll never believe what happened.  The power went out.  It’s only gone out a few times in Claus history.  Unfortunately, the snow storm was so bad, they still haven’t gotten the lights and trees back on, let alone the equipment everyone needs.  Nothing got done today!

On the bright side, all the departments got to have a free day in the workshop.  The Research department went down and read old records of past children and their histories.  My favorite was about a little boy who made a new Christmas List every month because he couldn’t decide what he wanted.  This all stopped when he turned 10, but his old lists were so cute.

One of them said:

My Christmas lest:

1.I want a buny rabbet

2.I want a fun trip to Disney World

3.I want a twin sister

4.I want Marcie Jones to sit next to me on the bus

5.I want to meet a raindear

I can’t wait to get back to work, even though it’s starting to slow down.  Soon the Research Department will have to join up with the Travel Route Department to help make any adjustments to kids they missed or added that were or weren’t on the list.

Until tomorrow!

Day 6

December 6, 2020

I was cleaning out my closet and found an old picture of some friends I made when I was an intern.  Not all elves get into the Workshop and you have to be an intern first.  In the picture, I realized that five of us didn’t make it.  Unfortunately, one of us got Mint Bite (a very serious winter condition for us elves) and was sent to Florida as an agent.  Merry Icicle got sent to the South Pole to handle the upstart who had been stirring up our naughtiness-meter by spreading lies about Mr. Claus.  He even spread one that made Mrs. Claus seem like a Hippo.

Luckily he’s entered an agreement to always get a present as long as he doesn’t say anything else about the North Pole and its inner-workings, whether true or false.

Then I realized that my best friend in that picture was still my best friend now: Mistle Star.  We both work in the Research Department and can’t wait to go on our annual Skiing trip we take in January to celebrate a job well done.

Write to ya next time!

Day 7

December 7, 2020

I’m so mad I could yell!  Candy Candle came in and demanded, demanded, that we rewrite all of November’s present choices.  She claimed that no one would want anything we had put on that list and we had to start over.  She thinks that because she’s Mr. Wreath’s daughter she owns our department but she certainly does not.  She’s only 12, and already set up for a job in the Painting Department.  Whatever, she won’t have long before she will have to focus on her internship instead of bossing us around.  Either way, her father, our boss, came in and put a stop to her anyway.

In a week, half of us will go to work with the Travel Route Department and the other half will stay in the Research Department to deal with any new comers.  I do hope I get chosen to help with the Travel Route DepaPerrtment.  I’ve never had the chance and would love to try it!

Well, I guess I’ll find out on the 15th.  Write later!

Day 8

December 8, 2020

Today I learned that adding candycanes to your mint tea works better than adding sugar!  It sounds disgusting, but when I told some of the other elves and they tried it, they agreed that it was the most wonderful tasting cocoa they’d ever tasted.

Afterwards, I-

Wait, someone’s knocking on the door…

Alright.  So nobody was at the door but there was a secret letter.  Here’s what it said:

Dear Cheery Stocking, 

This year you have been chosen for Santa’s Holiday Party Committee (SHPC).  As you know, every year, we elves throw a big Christmas celebration in honor of everyone’s hard work, especially Santa who spends almost his entire year working with every department to make each Christmas a success.

Tell no one you are a part of this committee.  Come to the Holiday Meeting Room at 9:30 P.M. tomorrow night.  If you don’t arrive, we will assume you’re uninterested and will invite someone else to the committee.

Don’t be late,

The head of SHPC

I can’t believe it!!  I’ve only heard of the legendary committee!  They’re said to be legendary people, myths, that are so secretive no one knows if they’re real.  For all anyone else knows, the Holiday Party comes from thin air.

I can’t wait for tomorrow night!

Day 9

December 9, 2020

You will never guess who the head of the committee is for the SHPC.  It’s Mrs. Claus!  She was beautiful, too.  Everyone thinks she’s really old with grey hair, but her hair is dyed gray.

Apparently, every year, she invites five new people to the committee to keep up the flow of new, creative ideas for the party.  This year, she decided to pick Starry Mistletoe, Candle Bow, Crimson Present, Ginger Frosting, and me.

This meeting was just about the rules, (don’t tell anyone you’re in the committee, share every idea, give good advice, never make fun of someone elses idea or degrade it, and have fun).  She also said that next meeting we would plan the theme.  Every year the theme is different.  Last year the theme was reindeer and everything was reindeer styled.

Day 8

December 8, 2020

Tomorrow night I get to go to the second meeting.  I’ve been thinking about what theme ideas I could come up with.  I made a list of my best ideas in order of my favorite to least favorite:

1.Gingerbread theme

2.Snowman theme

3.Christmas Tree theme

4.Starry Night theme

The ones that have been done that I remember are the Snowball Fight theme, the Present Swap theme, and the Christmas Carol theme.  I liked the Christmas Carol theme the best!  Everyone would be laughing and having a good time when someone would randomly start singing a carol, and the rules of that party were if anyone started a song, everyone had to finish it together!

So long for now!

Day 10

December 10, 2020

She loved my idea!!!  She thought very highly of my Gingerbread theme and it’s in the top 3.  We get to think them over and then we get to vote for them in two days at our next meeting.  The other two options are an Ornament theme and a Christmas Lights theme.  I really hope my idea goes through, but if everyone else likes a different theme better and thinks it will be more fun, then I want that one to be chosen.

I also got another last-minute child.  This one was a little boy with the name of Joseph Smith.  Joseph is a super-grouchy, but adorable, little boy.  His blue eyes sparkle with mischief whenever he opens them.  I can’t wait to read about his life every year!  I decided to put him down for a cute shirt that says, “My present to you is mischief!” in green and red letters.  On the back of the shirt will be a picture of the Grinch.  I think it will be a great present for him.

Day 11

December 11, 2020

Mr. Wreath came by with some forms and asked us to fill one out if we wanted to be considered for the group that goes to help the travel Route Department.  Of course I filled one out.  A few more people filled some out as well.  There weren’t too many so I think I’ve got a good chance of going this year.

In the cookie room where we go on our breaks, I heard someone talking about the Annual gift exchange.  Ever since the Present themed party a few years ago, someone has left a box with names in the cookie room on December 10.  Every elf takes a name and they get a gift for that person.  I had completely forgotten in all my excitement about getting on the committee.  I went to pick out a name and I got Snowy Bell!  (She’s the one who treated us to Rudolph’s Hot Chocolate Parlor a week ago.

Ooh!  Thinking about that got me to figure out what her present will be!  She brought us to the parlor because she loves hot chocolate and wanted to hang out with her friends.  I’ll get her a hot chocolate machine for her present.  I hope she’ll like it!

Bye for now.

Day 12

December 12, 2020

IT WENT THROUGH!!!!  My idea!  Mrs. Claus and everyone, myself included, voted and mine had the most votes.  Don’t worry, though.  I didn’t vote for my own because that’s cheating and rude.  I voted for the Ornament theme.  Maybe that’s the idea we’ll use next year!

After we figured out what theme to use, we started brainstorming ideas for the party’s theme.  Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Snacks:

-gingerbread cookies

  • Snowflakes
  • Christmas trees
  • Ornaments
  • Presents
  • Bells
  • Reindeer
  • Wreaths
  • Gingerbread men

-hot chocolate

-eggnog

Decorations:

-gingerbread houses/other gingerbread structures put all around the main entryway (where the party is held), and in all sizes:huge stands and miniature table toppers

-gingerbread cut-outs that go hang up in the room

-the main Christmas tree can have all its ornaments replaced with gingerbread men

Music:

-Christmas music of course

I’m so excited!  I can’t wait to share all my ideas during the next meeting. 

Till tomorrow!

Day 15

December 15, 2020

I better watch out!  I just keep getting good luck.  Today I got my form back that I sent to try to get into the group going to the Travel Route Department.  I’m in!!!

I can’t wait.  I finished up one more last-minute child and then started shutting everything down.  I get to go over tomorrow with some of the others and I’m so excited!!

Plus, earlier, at the SHPC meeting 

Day 20

December 20, 2020

I’m sorry I haven’t written in a while.  We’ve been busy mapping Santa’s route and trying to predict where the storms, blizzards, and any other hazards will show up.  On top of that, planning the SHPC has become another full-time job.  We are busy making all the decorations and finalizing the plans for the treats and activities, plus the music needs to be chosen and put in an order that flows and still keeps the holiday mood in full bloom.  I never knew how much work went into planning the party.

Either way, There are only 5 days left until Christmas and only 24 before Santa’s big sleigh journey.  The work is piling on and I go to sleep exhausted every night.  But it’s the good kind of tired.  It’s the kind you feel when you’ve worked hard and can tell you’re accomplishing something.

Day 22,

December 22, 2020

The route for Santa has been finalized, checked, and quadruple checked.  Now, we all just need to keep an eye on the weather and hope nothing goes wrong.  I remember watching the Santa tracker and, like everyone else, freaking out when the 2004 Great Christmas Eve Snowstorm came roling into Texas.  The people working in the Travel Route Department were so cool, though.  They stayed calm and collected and helped Santa finish his deliveries with no harm to him, the reindeer, or the presents.  Though the sleigh was a bit beaten up.

I hope nothing like that happens this year, but if it does, I hope I can keep as calm and collected as they did.  Along with my mind on that, the decorations are finished and we’re getting ready to hang everything up.   While Santa is delivering presents and everyone else is watching the Santa Progress Tracker, the elves in SHPC all go and hang the decorations up, get the food and drinks set out, and make sure everything is ready.  Of course Mrs. Claus doesn’t get to help us because elves would wonder why she wasn’t watching the Santa Tracker.

Though I doubt she minds since she also seems a bit worried whenever Santa goes on his big trip.

Talk to you soon!

Day 24,

December 24, 2020

Alright.  I know it’s really early but I don’t think I’ll have much time to write once Santa takes off.  Since I’ve last written, the treats were made yesterday, the decorations are hidden and ready to go, and the Travel Route hasn’t changed.  And…one sec, someone is knocking.

It was Starry Mistle.  She says Santa is leaving soon.  When Santa leaves, all the elves and Mrs. Claus gather in the main hall to see him off.  The reindeer take off at his signal, Rudolph’s nose always shining bright, and then the big front doors open up and away he goes.  Once he’s gone, everyone will go to watch the Santa Progress Tracker.  Once he’s halfway done, the elves in SHPC will go set everything up and come back a few at a time, making it look inconspicuous.

Got to go.

Day 25

December 25, 2020

Christmas was incredible.  No weather changes caused any problems and Santa’s ride went without a hitch.  When he got back, he was thrilled to find the theme of the party was a Gingerbread theme!  All the elves partied until early this morning.  We all ate, and laughed, and talked, and sang, and exchanged presents.  Snowy Bell loved the hot chocolate machine I got her.  Turns out, through sheer coincidence, she pulled my name out of the box!

She’s so thoughtful and notices everything.   She knew that Mistle Star and I also go on our annual skiing trip as a job-well-done and decided to get me new skis.  I love them.  They’ve got little stockings with goodies in them to represent my last name.  She had them handmade by a specialist.  She’s so nice that way!

Anyways, after the party slowed down, Santa called our attention to the main Christmas tree, (which was covered in gingerbread ornaments to continue the theme), and we all got our holiday present from him.  This year we all got magical candy canes!  They sound lame, but everytime you lick them, you taste another flavor.  And, some of the flavors will turn your hair a different color, make your eyes have all the colors of the rainbow, and more (but don’t worry, it’s not permanent!).

We’ve all worked so hard, it’s sad to see another year go by.  But I’m glad that I’ve been given so many chances this year.  I’m now a member of SHPC, I got to work with the Travel Route Department, and I’ve read so many wonderful stories about the lives of so many incredible kids.  Plus, now I’m going to leave to go on my skiing trip with Mistle Star!

I’m glad my boss, Mr. Wreath, gave me this journal.  It’s been fun writing about my time.  I can’t wait to look back on these memories and remember how much fun I had!

Well, I’m off!  Until next year!!! And Merry Christmas!

EXCHANGE STUDENTS compare notes on differences between gC, schools in home countries

by Iris Pinto Hidalgo

Photo Caption: Sara Cassitta

According to my experience and those of the other exchange students, I have been able to verify that the American and European schools have many differences, from schedules, exams, homework, to the very structure of the high school.

I think that what impressed me the most on my first day of class is how big the building is, besides that you constantly change classmates. I had never eaten at school before, although there are schools in Spain where it is also possible, but it was a new thing for me.

When the exam week came I was surprised that these were very different from those we do in Spain. We do one for each topic we see, they are all written, we can only write them with a pen and we do not have any kind of help as the notes of the agenda. We have to learn everything by heart.

Another thing that seemed very different to me was the schedule. Here I have 4 periods of an hour and a half. School starts at 8:30 and ends at 3:30, and we have a half-hour break. In Spain I have 6 periods of approximately 50 minutes: first I have 2, a twenty-minute break, another two and another 20-minute break, and the last two classes, ending at 2:30. We consider that we have classes in the morning and 2; 3-30 is the perfect time to eat.

Homework is not given as much importance as here. Teachers send it and it is part of the grade, but not much.

About the teachers in Spain. the truth is that there are all kinds, some are closer and friendlier, others are only interested in their work and do not even care about your learning. But there are some that I will never forget and that have helped me to be who I am today.

It is a difficult choice, but I think I like school more here. The way of learning is more fun and it makes class days go faster. In Spain students suffer a lot of stress due to the large number of exams we have and I think it is something that does not happen here, and of which I feel proud. 

Emily Schreiber, 11

She is an exchange student from Germany and she says,

“The thing that most impacted me on my first day here was that we do everything on the iPad. The other thing was the lunch break; we don’t have one on my school in Germany. My classes in Germany are only about 45 minutes long and we have 5 minutes breaks over classes and 20 minutes breaks after two classes. In this time you can go outside and walk or whatever you want to do.

Instead of here in my country we take the exams on paper and we have very long exams like 90 minutes long; we don’t have short tests.

My schedule changes all the days. Some days I can finish my lessons at 1p.m and the other at 4 p.m. I have 14 classes in total; not all the days are the same.

I only have homework in my important classes like math or German.

We don’t really have high school so we have 4 years of elementary school and then 8 years of the other school, 12 years of school in total.

My teachers in Germany are very close to their students they call us by name and even have inside jokes and stuff with some of them. we go on many class trips which brings us close together and because I’m always with the same group of people in my class the teacher has always the same class. they grade sometimes after sympathy which is not always fair but can also be a plus for some!

The building looks really different. I cannot see any similarities between them.

 I think I like the American school better, because here you can choose your classes depending on what you are interested in and you can use your iPad and also it’s kind of easier here than in Germany.” 

Sara Cassitta, 11

The exchange student from Italy has these thoughts about the differences on the high school:

“When I went to Greenfield-Central High School for the first time I was very lost because the school is so big and has a lot of classes. In Italy the schools are so different. They are smaller and they don’t have a cafeteria because in Italy we don’t have lunch at school and we have just one break in the middle of the morning. I go to school from 8:10 to 13:20 but I also go on Saturday. In Italy we have 5 years of high school and we have the same classmates for all 5 years, because the students don’t change the classes, but we have one class for all the subjects and the teachers change it. The teachers are more severe than here in US. Here you have one school with all the subjects and students can choose the subjects. In Italy, it’s so different, we can choose the school not the subjects because we have different type of schools, like one for science, one for languages, arts, economy and technical school. So the students go to school with other students who have the same interests as you.  The schedule in Italy changes every day, but every week is the same. In Italy the teachers don’t give us so much homework, other than math or subjects in which you need to practice, but they give us to study. To study I mean sit for hours to read, underline and repeat, because most of the tests are oral and the students have to go to the teacher’s desk and explain what they studied and it’s so difficult to achieve sufficiency. So the school is harder than here.  

Now with COVID-19 in Italy all high school students are online and they have to leave the camera on, they have to explain all the subjects with oral test because the teachers don’t trust written tests because the students can copy on the internet. 

Here teachers are closer and nicer, in Italy they only teach. So we don’t have more of a relationship than learn and teach.

In general I really like the school better here because it’s easier and funnier and in Italy we don’t have sports to play at school. We go to school just to study.”

Meredith, Players Excited for New Season

by Kyler Rhoades/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Gavin Robertson, 11, attempts a 3-point shot against Guerin Catholic on November 24th, 2020.

With the 2020-21 season now here, all eyes are on second year Greenfield-Central head coach Luke Meredith and the Cougars as another new chapter in GC basketball is among us. After a 12-12 campaign in Meredith’s first year at the helm, Greenfield-Central is losing five seniors who played an integral role in the success of the Cougars a year ago. Due to these losses, returning players stepping up and filling the leadership roles left behind will be a major factor in the success of this year’s Greenfield-Central team, along with staying completely invested in the culture that Meredith established in his first year as head coach.

The players on this year’s squad recognize the importance of staying bought in, and by hearing them speak about it, you quickly realize just how strong of a culture it is that Meredith has instilled in this program in the short time he’s been with the Cougars. Adam Lester, 11, said, “In the short time he’s been here, he’s already changed the culture and brought a new swag to Greenfield. He led us to a very good season last year, and even more are going to be surprised this year.” Guard Gavin Robertson, 11, also had high praise for the job Meredith has done. “Coach Meredith has done a phenomenal job to say the least, and he is one of the hungriest people I’ve ever met. His will and drive to win games as a coach was such a big factor in the success that we had last year, and it will continue to be, especially this year in particular with a young team.” With how highly the players speak of him, the impact of the job Meredith has done since taking over the program is no secret.

When it comes to the 2020-21 season, players and staff are excited, and are looking forward to the opportunity of proving any doubters wrong. Head Coach Luke Meredith said this about what the team needs to do to succeed this season. “The keys to our success hinges on players continuing to improve and relishing their new roles. We are going to play a lot of guys that quite frankly are not ready to play in varsity games, but will be called upon to play and will be given an opportunity. Many guys are in new roles and we are a young team looking to prove ourselves. Continuing to build the program, get the kids to believe we can compete, and show everyone we belong in our conference and sectional. I am excited to coach this group and hope we continue to play hard even if adversity hits us in the win/loss column. The goal is to be better in March than you are in November, and I believe we will be one of those teams.”

Coach Meredith also outlined his main goals for the team this season, saying, “The goals for our team is to uphold our standard of play. Whoever comes to watch us play needs to see that we are playing hard and competing every play. If we have “Bring the Juice” on our shooting shirts, it can’t just be a slogan; it must be a way of play. Uphold that standard and bring energy and enthusiasm on the court to represent our basketball program and continue that standard set by last year’s team. This is who we are and this is who we must continue to be to compete in our sectional and conference.” 

The belief in this team isn’t just present in Meredith and the staff’s mind; the players share the same belief as well.  Robertson, the second leading returning scorer on this year’s GC team, said, “I think this team is capable of competing in every single game on our schedule. The goal is to get better each and every day, and with how much improvement we’ve made as a team during the offseason, the results will come.” Lester shared a similar belief, saying, “We’re all used to playing with each other, and the chemistry on and off the court has only grown throughout the offseason. I think we’re capable of shocking lots of people.” 

The history of some major holiday traditions across the world

by Jeremiah Edwards/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Jeremiah Edwards, 9, stands by the decorated Christmas tree in front office at GCHS.

All around the world people celebrate different holidays close to the same time. For many Americans, it’s Christmas, but many don’t ever get to see or appreciate the ways other people celebrate their special winter holidays. 

    Christmas is celebrated on December 25. The holiday is founded on the birth of Jesus Christ, though even before Jesus was born, early Europeans would celebrate during the winter solstice. Yule was celebrated by the Norse in Scandinavia on December 21. On this day fathers and sons would bring home logs to burn; this activity could take up to 12 days. The Norse believed that with each spark of the fire a new pig or calf would be born the next year. In the early years of Christianity the birth of Jesus was not celebrated because we do not know the exact date he was born, as it was never mentioned in the Bible, though it became the universally accepted date. There are many different views on how this would come to be. December 25 was first identified as Jesus’s birthday by Sextus Julius Africanus in 221. 

       The eight day celebration, Hanukkah or Chanukah, commemorates the rededication of the second temple in Jerusalem. Legend says, at this temple the Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean revolt. Jewish priest Mattahias and his five sons led a large scale rebellion against Antiochus and the Seleucid monarchy. When Mattahias died in 166 B.C, his son Judah took the helm. Within two years the Jews had successfully defeated the Syrians, pushing them out of Jerusalem. The rebellion relied on guerrilla warfare, which is when small groups of combatants engage in tactics to disarm and surprise their opponents.

Judah wanted his followers to cleanse the second temple, rebuild its altar and light its menorah. The gold candelabrum whose seven branches represented knowledge and creation were meant to burn every night. This story of Hanukkah doesn’t appear in the Torah because the events that inspired the holiday happened after it was written, though the story appears in the New Testament in which Jesus attends a “feast of dedication.” The celebration revolves around the kindling of a nine branched menorah, just like mentioned earlier. The shamash or helper is the ninth candle; it’s used to like the other eight over the course of the celebration. 

     Kwanzaa, unlike the other two holidays, was just created only 54 years ago, in 1966. The holiday was created by Maulana Karenga, a professor at California State University. The idea came after the Watts riots in Los Angeles, and the racial division that was apparent in LA. Karenga wanted a way to bring the African-American community together. After establishing an organization, US, he started to research African “first fruit” celebrations. Karenga combined the aspects of these many celebrations, a couple being those of the Ashanti people and those of the Zulu. 

The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza;” in Swahili it means “first fruits.” The celebration is seven nights long, and on each night a child lights one of the seven candles. Afterwards one of the seven principles or Nguzo Saba is discussed. Each is a value of African culture; these contribute to the strengthening of the African-American community. Along with the seven principles are the seven symbols, which all represent something of African culture. At the end of the celebration an African feast, called Karamu, is held on December 31. 

These holidays are a few of those celebrated all over the world. It’s important to shine lights on holidays that people might not hear or learn about. Christmas is a holiday many people at Greenfield-Central celebrate and a lot is already known about it, though it’s still important to look at the earlier history of Christmas.