Orange And Black
Local Christmas Tree Now the White House Tree
I wonder if people have ever wondered where the White House gets it trees well I interviewed the tree farm that won which is actually called Dan and Bryan’s tree farm in Shepherdstown WV, and I asked Dan and Bryan’s about how the White House picked the tree they said “You have to win the contest for the Blue Room honor. You have to win at the state level(and they won Maryland) and then compete at the National level. The National meetings are held every 2 years, so they pick 2 winners. We won for 2020.”
I also asked them how exciting it was to get picked because it must be a great honor and they said “It was very exciting! The trees on the outside come from our farm every year. We have been doing that since 2008. The Blue Room is a different story. You have to compete to earn the privilege. This was a big honor!” The tree that won and is in the Blue Room is an eighteen and a-half foot Fraser Fir. So, asked them what a Fraser Fir is and what makes it better than a Douglas Fir which is the tree that most people get, they said “Fraser firs are a stronger branched, shorted needle tree. They are more sturdy and have the ability to hold heavier ornaments. The Douglas fir are a more “elegant” tree. They dress up well with lights, but their branches aren’t as sturdy as the Fraser. Needle retention for both is about the same. Since the win I also thought that maybe there is a special routine that happens every year for the winning tree. They said “The usual routine is that the White House sends their representatives out and they select the tree. This year, due to Covid, it was done unofficially when they were here to pick the inside trees. We had hoped to get the choosing ceremony in, but it didn’t work out. This year, we delivered all the trees, inside and Blue Room, together and we used a trucking company. Usually, we deliver the inside trees ourselves.
I really wanted them to if they have won before because I know Dan and Bryan’s said they always get picked for the outside trees. So, I thought that since they always do those trees that may the White House would have picked them before and they said “No, the farm has won the Blue Room tree several times before under the previous owners, Eric and Gloria Sundback, in 1979, 1981, and 2009. This farm has great trees to win 4 years of being in the Blue Room. If you want to go to their farm in Shepherdstown and get a tree it is open Friday: 2-5pm and Saturday and Sunday: 9 am- 5pm.
Martinsburg High Gives Back This Christmas!
Holiday season has arrived, and it is a perfect time to give back. Martinsburg High School clubs and students have special plans in place for this Christmas. This year has been difficult for most, so Martinsburg decided to bring the holiday cheer back! Clubs and students are participating in food, clothe, and toy drives for Christmas. Students also participated in food drives for people this past Thanksgiving. Student Council teamed up with other clubs to distribute the Thanksgiving food to the less fortunate. Martinsburg High School Clubs are working extra hard to get as many donations as possible. Here are some clubs and information on the charities.
Martinsburg High Leadership class is excepting donations for two charities this year, Martinsburg Union Rescue Mission and Martinsburg’s Children Shelter. The project “Martinsburg Cares” is the official name of this project to give back to our community. The Martinsburg’s Childrens Shelter was accepting donations, such as shoes, winter coats or hoodies, personal care items, arts and craft supplies, sports equipment, socks, underwear, word find or sudoku books, sketch pads, journals, clothing, hats, and gift cards to Gabes or Walmart. The Martinsburg Union Rescue Mission was accepting gloves, clothing, wash cloths, soap, toothpaste, dental floss, lip balm, comb, deodorant, razors, tissues, flashlights/batteries, hankies, and candy. All these donations were to be left in Mr. Gallagher's room and taken on December 18th at 2pm to the charities. These donations have the potential to give someone a better Christmas.
Martinsburg Student Council is participating in an “Adopt a Family” project. Student Council will pick a family to take care of their whole Christmas. Donations on personal products, toys, and food will be given to the families. President Maria Amores explained how student council felt about this project, “In times where so many are in need and with the holidays coming up, I am thankful I have an advisor, officers, and members that all feel strongly about giving back to our community! Student Council is also giving out food donations for Christmas to other local charities. All of the members of Student Council have donated lots of time and donations for this holiday season.
Christmas is a special time for lots of people, even though it might look different this year. The cold has arrived and many people need help staying on their feet. Martinsburg High School has achieved a lot of donations and time for those people. The clubs and students keep working hard to make all of this possible. Our Community has supported us greatly through attendance on sporting games, and help with fundraisers. It is the time to return the favor and give back to everyone in our community this Christmas!
MHS Students Holiday Traditions
Holiday traditions play an important role on how families spend time together and celebrate this time of the year.
Different types of families celebrate different types of traditions for this time of year. A tradition could be as simple as spending time with your family. There really is nothing else like drinking some hot chocolate, sitting around the fireplace and just talking with everyone. You could also just celebrate the holidays in your own way. Cannon Evans a MHS student told me, “My family makes reindeer food with carrots, birdseed, and glitter. Then we throw it in the yard on Christmas Eve.” I never knew this tradition existed which is why I thought of it as being a cool idea that anyone could do.
Visiting your family is such an important thing for a holiday tradition. Chance Boulware said, “We usually go to a different country in the world.” Making that trek all that way to see family is very difficult but worth it. Going to another place and seeing your family is a holiday tradition many people have.
Lots of families celebrate this time of year by making their own food and drinks for their family to enjoy. Daniel Markovits another MHS student told me, “We make Glug a Swedish drink for adults and it tastes like orange, black licorice and we set it on fire. We put it out so you can have the alcohol in the drink.” Having things like this that your whole family can participate in is amazing. Carlie Eversole told me in an interview, “Normally, we will go to my grandparents' house and cook food and eat a lot with my family. On Christmas Eve we exchange gifts, cook, and hang out with each other.” This is a nice way to celebrate as it brings everyone together.
This time of holidays is the time of year that should bring your family together. Even if something is going on put it aside and celebrate this special time of the year with them. If you do spend the holidays with not many people or even by yourself be glad that this year is over and next you will be the start of something new.
Local Christmas Activities to Get You in the Holiday Spirit!
We all know this holiday season looks very different compared to years before. Some usual traditions are not able to be done. However, there are still plenty of options of activities to do this year of COVID. Whether it is outdoors or with a mask, there are still many ways for you and your family to feel the holiday spirit this year!
Cutting down Christmas trees for the holidays is an activity many families take part in. The good news is this has not been affected this year. There are an abundant amount of local farms that are still open for business. While all requiring a mask, they are open as per usual for all the families looking for the perfect tree. A few local places are Pinecrest Tree Farm, Clouse’s Pine Hill Farm, Tranco Farms, and many more.
Another fun tradition is taking a trip to see Christmas lights. The safest way this year is to drive around in your own car to see neighborhood’s decorations. However, some popular light show businesses are still open. Clearbrook Park in Clearbook, Virginia annually puts on a light show in their park. Tickets are required to be purchased online this year and the number admitted is limited. Planning ahead and wearing a mask can get you to this super fun Christmas activity!
Ice skating is another popular activity at this time of year. This can be fun for people of all ages. Hagerstown Sports Complex has an indoor rink that is open at specific times with a limited number of people. You can purchase your tickets at the door and are required to wear a mask. Reston Town Center and Tyson’s Corner Center both are homes to outdoor skating rinks. These are always a fun option during the holiday season as you take a break from gift shopping.
Christmas at Our Local Farm Market
As Christmas is approaching rapidly, many people want to go out and enjoy different events being held around town. However, we are limited to what we can do with COVID-19, but Orr’s Farm Market has many different outdoor attractions that draw large crowds on the weekends and even the weekdays.
“This year had been very hard on everyone,” says Katy Orr, owner of the market. “It’s nice to know that our farm can bring everyone joy. We have many new additions to our activities this year. We added a hot chocolate bar when you can get many different holiday flavors that are sure to make you smile and be filled with holiday joy. We added a live nativity seen as well. Over the summer, we had an immense amount of people come out to our petting zoo. I believed we could use our new baby animals and incorporate them into the nativity.” Says Mrs. Orr.
I visited the local market myself over the weekend. I ordered a smore’s hot chocolate from the Hot Cocoa Bar and was nothing but delighted. There are also Christmas trees for sale and their markets are open as well. New products continue to come in as the holiday season continues. I spoke with Monica Power, an associate at Orr’s Farm Market for almost two years.
“The holidays are always my favorite. This year especially. While the pandemic has everyone down, I have found that my jobs brings my so much joy. This year I got to dress up as an elf and take photos with kids at the petting zoo, which was amazing to see kids smile.”
The pandemic has made things hard for everyone, however, Orr’s has found a way to make Christmas a little better for everyone.
What Christmas Movies Does Netflix Have?
At Christmas time everyone gathers with their family and friends to celebrate the joy of the holiday season. This holiday holds a special place in everyone’s heart. Around this time of year, the temperature drops so low, that snow falls to the ground and covers the grass like a white blanket. It is the time of year where everyone is bundled up in blankets, sitting next to their families, with hot coco in their hands. Laughter and joy fill the air during this holiday season. In their own way, all these things make Christmas special, but it wouldn’t be the same without the classic, fan favorite Christmas movies.
People all over the world use Netflix to stream their favorite movies and shows. Since it is the holiday season, Netflix has introduced some new Christmas movies. The new movies that are trending now on Netflix are Jingle and Jangle: A Christmas Journey, The Christmas Chronicles 2, Christmas On the Square, Klaus, The Princess Switch: Switched Again, A Christmas Prince 3, Let It Snow, Holidate, and many more. My sister, Morgan Joseph says, “These new movies are the perfect way to make your day more fun-filled and make Christmas even better with your family.” Watching these new Christmas movies is a great way to bond more with your family and bring joy into your home.
Netflix has not only released new movies for the holiday season but has made reruns of some of the classic Christmas movies we all love. One of the most classic movies to appear on Netflix is How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Jim Carrey stars in this movie as the Grinch and the messages behind this heartwarming comedy is amazing. According to the Irish Post, “The Grinch is rated number 3 for America’s favorite Christmas movie,” (Beresford). Another old-time favorite movie on Netflix, is Christmas with the Kranks. This movie is about a family who lacks Christmas spirit and tries to do whatever it takes to win their street’s annual “best decorated street” award. It is hilarious and a great movie to watch with your family. Other movies on Netflix are White Christmas, A Very Merry Christmas, Get Santa, A Bad Mom’s Christmas, and many more. Emily Valls says, “I love to watch classic Christmas movies and I am so glad Netflix has some of them. I spend a lot of time on Netflix, so it is nice they have my favorite Christmas movies on there.” Christmas time is the perfect time to watch your favorite movies with your family.
Christmas Online Resources to Expand Your Gift-Giving Options
Winter is one of the busiest shopping seasons of the whole year. People are usually out all through December finding Christmas and New Year’s gifts for their friends and family. Unfortunately, due to the spike of COVID cases this holiday season, many people are forced to stay home instead. However, a safe replacement for malls is online shopping!
Sites such as Etsy are a wonderful place to order unique gifts and crafts that you are not able to buy in store. They allow you to put individual thought in the gift that is custom to the receiver. Not only can you buy from this site, but you can also sell crafts that you have made. Their site specializes in things such as jewelry, bags, clothing, vintage, and home décor. Their price range is flexible and if you are on a budget, they have many items under 10 dollars with free shipping.
Apps such as Depop and Poshmark are popular resale platforms. Within these apps you are able to buy and sell clothes, shoes, and accessories. Unlike thrift stores, these platforms give you a more fashionable and trendy selection of clothing while remaining affordable. Your shopping experience can range from unique handmade items to lightly worn designer brands.
With the reality that online shopping is the most effective way of shopping this year, I asked a few students what theirfavorite online shops were. Briana Holston replied, “I used the Poshmark app to sell a pair of brand-new shoes I never wore. I was able to sell them for a reasonable price and the shipping was simple.” Rylee Smith replied, “Last year I ordered a pair of earrings off Etsy for my mom. She loved that they were handmade and unique rather than the traditional design.”
Happy Holidays! A Look at a Variety of Winter Celebrations
It is now December, and with December comes amazing holidays and traditions! While 2020 has not been the greatest year, at least we can end it with most people’s favorite time of the year! Even though most people celebrate Christmas, it is oh so important to also acknowledge how other people of different religions celebrate the holidays.
When it comes to Christmas, it was traditionally a Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus, but in the early 20th century, it also become a secular family holiday for Christians and non-Christians. We celebrate with Christmas Eve and Christmas, where they give each other thoughtful gifts, set up and decorate things such as Christmas trees and our houses and of course, leave milk and cookies for Santa. Madison Weatherholtz, a relative of mine who attends FCA says, ‘’My favorite Christmas tradition is wearing matching PJ’s and watching ‘’It’s a Wonderful Christmas’’ on Christmas Eve with my family’’, and what she loves the most about Christmas is the joy and renewal it brings every year and reminds her to focus on the true joy all year long –Jesus. Christians spend the Holidays with family, and some people even decorate gingerbread houses, bake and decorate Christmas cookies, and watch endless amounts of Christmas movies!
Another very popular way holidays are spent, is Hanukkah! Hanukkah is celebrated by many modern Jewish families and is an eight-day celebration that occurs in December. Hanukkah is a Jewish festival commemorating the recovery of Jerusalem, and it is also known as the Festival of Lights. The celebration of Hanukkah includes a variety of religious and nonreligious customs. According to Britannica.com, they stated, ‘’The most important of all is the lighting of the menorah, a candelabra with eight branches plus a holder for the ‘’servant’’ candle that is used to light the other eight candles’’. There are also several nonreligious customs associated with Hanukkah. Potato pancakes (latkes), doughnuts, and other treats fried in oil, which recall the miracle of oil, are immensely popular. Children receive presents and gifts of money (Hanukkah Gelt), which is sometimes distributed in the form of chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil. Card playing is common and the children like to play with a dreidel!
Now, let's talk about Rohatsu! Rohatsu, also known as Bohdi Day, is celebrated by Buddhist. This Holiday celebrates the historical Buddha’s decisions and vow to sit under the Bohdi tree until he reached spiritual enlightenment. It’s celebrated through meditation and is embraced similar to how Christians celebrate Christmas to honor Jesus Christ. Rohatsu is celebrated by Zen Buddhists December 8th, and January 20th for others!
No matter how you spend your Holidays, I hope you spend them with your closest friends and family and follow through with all your traditions, safely! Happy Holidays!
What Do Different Religious Cultures Eat During the Holidays?
Muslims: They eat food that they can fast over. One of the main foods are called Maamoul and it is a mamoul biscuits and a smaller one with a full biscuit and half a one. Next is Cambaabur with is bread with sprinkled sugar and yoghurt. There biggest dish is called the Tajine and it is a table layed out with appetizers such as samosas, berries, and salad and a big plate of Tajine. They have this green stuff called Tufahija which is a Turkish coffee and sugar and a desert glass with Tufahija
Jewish: Three most popular foods eaten one Jewish holidays include loukoumades, pancakes, and latkes. Loukoumades are deep fried puffs dipped in honey or sugar. Another one of there foods are called Rosh Hashanah and it is a meal with a hole bunch or meats, sweets, nuts, vegetables and beans. And the last main thing they eat during the holidays is called Tu b’Shevat which is made up of fruits and nuts and four cups of wine.
Christians: The most eaten foods are turkey, stuffing, mash potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and vegetables. Other meats can be used such as roast beef, and ham.
These are some of the religious cultures and what they eat for the holidays.
By Emily Beck
Berkeley County is growing at an incredible rate each year. This makes our county the fastest growing in the state and the economic hub of the eastern panhandle. This growing population has been the source of major efforts to revitalize the historic downtown Martinsburg. A huge contributor to this revitalization is Main Street Martinsburg, a group of volunteers who are working to promote and enhance the economic strength of downtown Martinsburg.
Main Street Martinsburg has held events to promote local businesses and help ring in the holiday season. Christmas on Main was the first of the events. It took place on November 30th and the night was kicked off with the unveiling of the Christmas windows at Flowers Unlimited. Throughout the night local business doors were opened and downtown was lit by Christmas lights. The night ended with the Christmas Tree lighting at the square. The following weekend the square was filled with local artists and crafters who were selling their products at the 2020 Martinsburg Christmas Market at the Square. The event was held on Small Business Saturday and offered anything from homemade soaps, to handmade jewelry. Mathan Baxter was in attendance on Saturday and said “I support local businesses because I support my community and the people who are trying to start off and build their own platform.”
Christmas is not the only time of year downtown Martinsburg has things to do. The historic downtown also boasts an array of restaurants and shops. Brix 27, Blue White Grill, Good Natured, Pattersons, and Sweet Hut Cafe are all located on the historic streets of downtown Martinsburg. If you are looking for shops, downtown Martinsburg may have what you are for, with Bank Books, Bells and Bows Florist, Berkeley Art Works, Berkeley Pottery, and The Virtual Soccer Outlet Store.
There is so much growth and development happening in downtown Martinsburg. It is more important than ever to support local businesses . Come do so in our own historic downtown and explore what Martinsburg has to offer.
Winter Sports, Will They Happen?
With COVID-19 levels rising, speculation about winter sports has also risen. Winter sports have already been pushed back to January 11th when they were already supposed to start during November. I wanted to see what participants of these Winter Sports thought about the start date being pushed back. This has also affected Spring Sports such as baseball, where workouts could’ve started in January but will now start in March.
I was wondering where a basketball player’s mind was at about this whole situation, so I interviewed K’Marion Dowe, a junior who plays for the varsity team. I asked him about what his initial reaction was when he heard the news. “I was definitely a little upset and a little angry because I was very hyped and excited for this upcoming season and where the team was headed.” Dowe stated, “This is a much different feeling when compared to last year getting shut down. Last year, we were about to head to states for a chance at the title, and I think we had a good chance of taking the thing home. Whereas this year, we get a fresh start for the upcoming season and no games are affected.” When I asked if there were any positives to the delay, he said, “There is only one true positive for the delay, and that is that we have more time to get in game shape and continue to harness our craft so we can better ourselves and increase our chances to win games.”
I then had a short interview with Matthew Asanovich, who is a baseball player for the school, about his opinions on the Spring Season being pushed back. I asked him if he was impacted at all by the push back, and he responded with, “No not really, it just gives me more time to get ready for the season, and I’m just glad we get to have a season this year since last year was cancelled after our first scrimmage.”
This is all unexpected for everyone involved and no one knows what tomorrow will bring. Just a friendly reminder, wear your masks and stay safe everyone!