Locals flee cold for winter break hotspots


Brian Myers, Senior Features Editor

As December drags along with two more full weeks of school, Rockville starts to look more and more like a scene from the animated Christmas special Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town, in which the dispirited residents of Sombertown hide themselves away in their houses to do work and chores. Watching this holiday special is just one of the infinite number of activities that one can look forward to on Dec. 21 when winter break finally comes to town.

Aside from simply marveling at the snow that could fall later this month, students can take advantage of the weather by tackling the three S’s of the slopes: snowboarding, skiing and sledding. These exhilarating pastimes can be found at places like Liberty, Seven Springs and Whitetail Mountain Resorts, all located in southern Pennsylvania, where sophomore Jason Liu is excited to spend time over the break. “I’m actually going to get to go skiing with my family at a ski resort in Pennsylvania,” Liu said.

Even if snow is not in the forecast for the upcoming weeks, amusement parks like Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Six Flags America and Kings Dominion keep all their attractions open so that visitors may celebrate Christmas or New Year’s by screaming their faces off on roller coasters. Senior Aritra Jindal is going to Hersheypark during its Christmas Candylane festivities, when the park is turned into a winter wonderland overloaded with candy and holiday events. “I thought I was going to be staying home the whole break,” Jindal said, “which is why I was so glad when my parents told me that we were going to Hershey.”

Junior Catherine Kim enjoys going on annual ski trips to Vermont with her family, but she confesses that if she could do anything over the break, a warm vacation in Bermuda would make her the happiest. “Even then, I think there’s a lot of advantages no matter where you go over the break,” Kim said. “What’s great is that each place offers you the chance to get to do something crazy and experience new things.”

Every person has his or her own favorite memory from past winters as well as the opportunity to make a new one this upcoming break. Jindal’s favorite memory so far is a trip he once took to New York, while for Kim, building a snowman with her sister comes to mind. “My favorite winter break memory of all time was on the day after Christmas when I got an Xbox as a gift,” Liu said.

One concern of the student body is the length of MCPS’s break, only lasting from Dec. 22 to New Year’s Day. Meanwhile, local private schools like St. Andrew’s and Bullis do not resume classes until the following week. “It’s not fair that our break is so short,” Kim said. “I don’t get to spend that much time with my family and I still have to do assigned work during that time.”

Although students may not have much time to accomplish everything they want to over winter break, the silver lining is that they get to cherish every moment they have. This year, the residents of Sombertown can appreciate not only the fun diversions of the break, but the exceptional people in the community who help to make lasting memories.