December-Holiday Issue 2022


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Wingspan Staff Wish Everyone a Happy Holiday Season and New Year!

The Wingspan staff wish everyone in the Overlook community a very happy holiday and new year. We look forward to continuing to offer our online monthly publication to the students and staff of Overlook. Thank you for your continued loyalty and readership.

Overlook Celebrates

December Holidays

By Wingspan Staff


In the Christian faith, Christmas is the historical celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Whether celebrated for this religious reason or solely as a cultural celebration, Christmas traditions vary around the world. While Americans celebrate with Christmas trees, visits from Santa Claus, and dreams of snowy landscapes, Christmas falls during Australia’s summer, where it is popular to go camping or to the beach over the holiday. Some Australians decorate a “Christmas Bush,” a native Australian tree with small green leaves and flowers that turn red during the summer.

In England, Christmas traditions are similar to those in the United States, but instead of leaving milk and cookies for Santa Claus, children leave mince pies and brandy for Father Christmas. In Iceland, capital city Reykjavik turns into a winter wonderland with its Christmas market and for the children, there is not one but thirteen Santas, known as Yule Lads. One arrives each night in the thirteen days before Christmas, leaving small gifts in shoes left in window sills. Read more about how Christmas is celebrated around the world here.


Hanukkah, or Chanukah, is an eight-day Jewish celebration that commemorates the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem following the Maccabean Revolt. Those who took part in the re-dedication witnessed what they believed to be a miracle. Even though there was only enough untainted oil to keep the menorah’s candles burning for a single day, the flames continued to burn for eight nights.

Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar. Celebrations revolve around lighting the menorah. On each of the holiday’s eight nights, another candle is added to the menorah after sundown. The ninth candle, called the shamash (“helper”), is used to light the others. Typically, blessings are recited and traditional Hanukkah foods such as potato pancakes (latkes) and jam-filled donuts (sufganiyot) are fried in oil. Other Hanukkah customs include playing with dreidels and exchanging gifts. Learn more about Hanukkah here.


Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 after the Watts riots in Los Angeles. He founded US, a cultural organization, and started to research African “first fruit” (harvest) celebrations. From there, he combined aspects of several different harvest celebrations to form the basis of Kwanzaa.

The name Kwanzaa comes from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits” in Swahili. Each family celebrates Kwanzaa in its own way, but celebrations often include songs and dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading, and a large traditional meal. On each of the seven nights, families gather and a child lights one of the candles on the Kinara, then one of the seven principles, values of African culture, is discussed. An African feast, called a Karamu, is held on December 31. Learn more about the principles of Kwanzaa here.

Book Review

By Tatum Bahosh

Need a book to read? Well I have one for you!

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street

This book has 320 pages.

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser is a charming, funny, and heart-warming book about the five Vanderbeeker kids—Isa, Jessie, Oliver, Hyacinth, and Laney—and the plans they concoct to stay in their beloved Harlem home after their grumpy landlord decides not to renew their family's lease.
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Holiday Recipe Corner

By David Holdbrook Smith

White chocolate snowflake


  • 1 x 200g block best quality white chocolate

  • silver cachous


  • Search online for a snowflake pattern that you like, repeat it on a blank document then print out.

  • Melt the white chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring until smooth. Transfer to a snap-lock or piping bag.

  • Lay a piece of baking paper over the snowflake stencil.

  • Carefully snip a tiny corner from your bag of melted chocolate and pipe snowflakes onto the baking paper using stencils as a guide. Don't worry if the first one or two don't work out perfectly. This is a real case of trial and error; you'll soon figure out how much to squeeze the bag, how best to trace the pattern with chocolate - and the best thing is that any "wobbly" ones will still taste delicious. Pop a silver cachou in the centre of each snowflake then set aside to set completely.

Reindeer cupcakes


  • 125g butter, melted

  • 3/4 cup caster sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour

  • 125ml (1/2 cup) milk

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • white icing

  • chocolate Tiny Teddies

  • brown Mini M&Ms

  • red Smarties


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C or 160°C fan-forced.

Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy.

  • Add eggs one at a time, beating after each.

  • Add flour, milk and vanilla extract, beating again until just combined.

  • Place red patty cases in a 12-hole cupcake tray and pour in mixture.

  • Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Cool.

  • Ice with white icing. Decorate with two Tiny Teddies for antlers, two brown mini M&Ms for eyes and a red Smartie for a nose.

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By Brooke Newcomb

Once there was a boy named Hazza and he loved to ice skate and he had a friend named Zayn. One day they were Ice skating and Zayn found a cave in the mountain they were near and they went to explore it and they found jewels in a chest and a treasure map. Zayn and Hazza use the treasure to become famous singer-songwriter with their friends Louis, Naill, and Liam and they write many songs and live to they good old days


By Olivia Lahey

Yellow is as bright as happiness

It happens when someone complements

It sounds kind someone laughing

It smells like the warm sun


In The Glowing Grotto Pt. 1

By MJ Peterson

Bio-Luminescent water droplets dripped slowly onto the stone floor. Agni watched as the glowing fungi growing off the caving walls let the water off of its stringy petals. The grotto he lived in was lit with a dim, gloomy cyan tint. Like always, the only thing Agni could do was watch the slowly pulsating, white heart of the fungus.

Every night, the bright pulsating of the fungi stopped, their petals drooped, and they began humming softly. They had done that every night since Agni had been a child. Agni was now millions of years old.

That night, he scratched a tally into the grotto walls the same way he always did. This was night 5,782,451.

The colors had been vibrant

The first few years

I used to be conscientious

Not at all cruel

Privacy was a blessing

A huge reward

Now I feel guilty

I don’t want you to be sympathetic

Under revision

I judge

With prudence

The scenic outdoors

And go back inside