A year like no other calls for a holiday season like no other

Although+many+gatherings+this+holiday+season+will+be+less+conventional+as+a+result+of+COVID-19%2C+many+are+still+capturing+the+celebratory+atmosphere+by+setting+up+Christmas+trees.+Others+like+sophomore+Rorie+Stone+hope+to+head+up+to+Lake+Tahoe%2C+with+ski+resorts+being+open+whilst+implementing+precautionary+guidelines.

Photos courtesy of Rorie Stone and Michelle Moshkovoy

Although many gatherings this holiday season will be less conventional as a result of COVID-19, many are still capturing the celebratory atmosphere by setting up Christmas trees. Others like sophomore Rorie Stone hope to head up to Lake Tahoe, with ski resorts being open whilst implementing precautionary guidelines.

Michelle Moshkovoy, Staff Reporter

As winter break approaches, so does the prospect of yet another unprecedented change marking 2020, as people prepare to celebrate a holiday season during a global pandemic. Some students are finding creative ways to capture a festive atmosphere this year despite the lack of traditional celebrations. 

Sophomore Sasha Grett is going to do a secret Santa with her friends for the third year in a row, socially distanced. She admits that not being able to gather normally won’t be the same.

“Having everybody gather around to have a celebration, I’m always going to miss that,” Grett said.   

Grett also plans to ring in the new year with her immediate family, compared to having family friends over like in previous years. Her family doesn’t celebrate Christmas on December 25, as they are Russian orthodox, opting instead to open gifts on New Year’s Day.   

“My mom will cook dinner. We’re going to have a fiesta and then at 12 we’re going to open gifts,” Grett said. “We have a special dinner with food that represents the animal of the next year [the ox for 2021].”

Others hope to gather with loved ones outside of their immediate family, like freshman Anastasia Prusakova. Pre-COVID, her grandparents came on Christmas and New Years was celebrated at a family friend’s house or vice versa.   

“[We’re] probably going to do the same [this year]. We’ve gotten together before and none of us tested positive for COVID, so I think it’ll be safe to get together,” Prusakova said.

Sophomore Rorie Stone also usually gathers with her extended family during the holidays, however these plans are subject to change. 

“For [Christmas], my parents aren’t really sure of what we’re going to do yet, in terms of seeing my cousins. We may do a small outdoor gathering, but it’s definitely going to look different,” Stone said. 

For New Years, Stone and her family usually travel to Northstar in Lake Tahoe and she hopes to do something similar this year. 

“We have a house in Sunnyside, Lake Tahoe. So, we’re probably going to go up there and celebrate New Year’s there,” Stone said. 

Stone acknowledges that despite still being able to spend time with her immediate family, there are certain aspects of the holidays that can’t be replicated. 

“One thing that my family does every year is we have a Christmas party for our friends. It’s one of my favorite things because I get to see all my friends in one place at the same time. And we’re not going to be able to do that this year. It’s just being able to see friends and family, I think that part is irreplaceable,” Stone said. 

With the seemingly endless bad news and events this year has brought, the holidays are still a time for relaxation and appreciation. 

“[What I want to get out of this holiday season], is just to be grateful and spend time with my family and be in the moment,” Prusakova said.