Home for the holidays: students celebrate over break

A survey of 45 students from Dec. 21 to Jan. 4


A survey of 45 students from Dec. 21 to Jan. 4

Luke Sassa

During normal times, many students within the CHS community partake in cherished holiday traditions alongside friends and family. However, with the pandemic raging on, most students have had a wrench thrown into their plans.

“Typically on Thanksgiving, I meet with my family friends since I don’t have any immediate family nearby. We all gather at one person’s house and each family brings a signature dish, but we couldn’t do that this year,” said senior Nawaal Mudassir of Manalapan. She explained that the pandemic forced her family and friends to alter their plans, as they instead divided up the food between households and celebrated on their own.

Mudassir wasn’t the only one who saw a drastic shift in the way their family celebrated Thanksgiving, as senior Rachel Fisher of Ocean also noted that her family had no choice but to improvise.

“My Thanksgiving plans were different this year because we usually have a large gathering at my house, but instead my family only saw my grandparents and we kept our masks on throughout the night,” Fisher said. She mentioned that her immediate family even ate dinner in a separate room from her grandparents to keep them safe. 

In addition to seeing her Thanksgiving plans go by the wayside, the Hanukkah celebrations Fisher had become accustomed to also had to change.

“This year is different because we aren’t going to be seeing our extended family and exchanging gifts with them as easily,” Fisher said. Still, she indicated that she has felt a sense of enjoyment during this holiday season in spite of her inability to see extended family.

The same issues have arisen for the many students at CHS who are unable to gather with loved ones in celebration of Christmas.

“This year is definitely a bummer because seeing my cousins and my family is something I always look forward to, as I only get to see them a handful of times throughout each year,” said junior Drew Lepping of West Long Branch. His household typically visits extended family in Pennsylvania for the holidays, but will not be doing so this year in an effort to keep elderly family members safe.

Senior Catie Procyk of Colts Neck also saw her out-of-state Christmas plans deteriorate, as her family’s annual trip to visit relatives in North Carolina was canceled. Still, she has tried her best to find a silver lining in the midst of a tough situation.

“The holiday season feels more lonely this year, but I feel like my brothers, parents and I have gotten even closer because of it,” said Procyk.