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AFTER HIGH SCHOOL Steps to take before taking the next step


MOUNTAIN UPDATE Merivale donates to a good cause


GIFT SHOPPING As well as how you can survive having a Boxing Day fiasco


Cover Photo By Jeremy Page Teacher Advisor Mr. S. Hughes Magazine Staff Rahimah Adan Tamara Al Hajj Nicole Allain Peter Griggs Mackenzie Hall Ariel Linton Kristen Merke Elizabeth Neilson Jeremy Page Katrina Snyder Julia Spencer Siobhan Ward Hartley Warren Griffin Wright-Brown

Photo by Nicole Allain

Merivale High School 1755 Merivale Road Ottawa, ON K2G 1E2 Phone: (613) 224-1807 Email:

Editorial Here we are with our second edition of eM. The support we have received has been amazing and we thank everyone that sent us their comments. If you have not already done so, please be sure to send us an email and share your thoughts on our magazine. The email address is listed with our contact info on the first page. In our latest edition, we are talking mostly about the upcoming holidays. Whether you are celebrating an event based on a religious belief, or simply the fact that you do not have to be in school for the next couple of weeks, this time of year is certainly magical. As we approach the final school day of Photo by Monica Lommen the year, and the predicted end of the world, it is best to take time and reflect on the year that has passed. The picture shown to the right certainly reminds me of something we should all be doing this time of year: slowing down. This picture makes me think of past days, when things seemed a lot simpler. Nowadays, everyone seems to be rushing to get their shopping done, getting to appointments, trying to get home during rush hour, finishing assignments and studying for tests. The list goes on but I’m sure you get the idea. With the few weeks that are coming up I urge you to take the time to appreciate what it is you have and the knowledge you have obtained this past year. While I’m not a firm believer in New Year’s resolutions as they always seem to be broken, I am a believer in learning from mistakes and celebrating successes. Be sure you take the time to do that. The country band Alabama said it best in their song ‘I’m in a Hurry’ . “I’m in a hurry to get things done / Oh I rush and rush until life’s no fun / All I really gotta do is live and die / But I’m in a hurry and don’t know why” This holiday season be sure to relax, appreciate the friends and family that surround you, and always enjoy every sandwich (that last part will make sense when you read the first story). Once again, thanks for spending your free time with us. We really do appreciate it. All the best this holiday season.

Mr. S. Hughes Teacher Advisor

In This Issue

A holiday concert of hope


Your guide to some great last minute gifts


as well A mountain of charity 06 Life of an unpaid babysitter 12 Procrastination 14 Keep celebrating in 2013 16 Holiday survival guide 20 Boxing day shopping tips 22 Crafting on a budget 24 Happy christmakwanzakah 26

Christmas classic movies 30 Life after high school 32 Holiday recipe 34 Some light reading 38 My favourite five 40 Horoscopes 42

Cheering for the home team


Reviews you can use


A OF CHARITY by Peter Griggs: Everyone knows that a toy makes any child very happy, but there are some underprivileged children who can not afford them. This holiday season, Merivale High School's Leadership class, under the direction of Ms. Dynie, lent a helping hand to the community, through the charitable cause of Toy Mountain. Toy Mountain is a charity for underprivileged children who can not afford toys. Students donated from the kindness of their hearts by contributing money to buy new toys. The toys go to children that are between the ages 0 and12 years. From December 3rd to 21st, the group stopped 6 | DECEMBER 2012 EM MAGAZINE

by classes to collect those shiny coins and boxes of toys. The class that brought in the most toys and money received a special breakfast prize. This year, Colin MacPhee and Lyndsay Clay led the group for Toy Mountain with help from Maria Stecher, Amy Sims, Emma Lanouette and Zubayer Aziz. Together, they made signs and posters to raise awareness at Merivale. In addition to the posters, there was the Buy-in on December 20th, which consisted of watching a holiday movie to support the cause. An additional idea that has never happened before in previous years, was having a visit from Santa Claus, so students

could get a chance to get their picture taken with him at lunch on December 18th. As the last few weeks went by, the toys filled up the Christmas tree in the library. Students were recognized for their contribution on cutout shapes of presents that were posted in the main foyer. If any students still want to contribute, but missed the opportunity at Merivale, you can send your toys to The Bell Media Ottawa building, 87 George Street, Monday to Friday, from 8am-7pm. With Christmas just a few days away, why not make a child’s dream come true, lend a hand, give a toonie and make a child very happy this holiday season.

Maria Stecher, Lyndsay Clay, Amy Sims, Colin MacPhee and Zubayer Aziz take some time out of visiting classes to play with some of their favourite toys (they were sure to put them back after).

Andrew Ochisor, Colin MacPhee, Maria Stecher and Emma Lanouette show us how to really rock around the Christmas tree.

A Santa hat was the main Christmas tree topper for this year's Toy Mountain. EM MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2012 | 7



When former Merivale student Rachel Comba first heard that her mother, Karen Deterding, had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, she went through the natural stages of grief. While most end this process with ‘acceptance’, Rachel went beyond that and decided to hold a benefit concert in her mother’s honour. Her hope is that this concert will bring awareness to this disease as well as show her mother that she is not alone in this battle and has the support of family, friends, and the community at large. Karen has been active in the Merivale community in the past by attending many of our events as well as volunteering her time over many years in our library. We recently had a chance to sit down with Rachel and Karen to get their thoughts as well as information about this event. eM: Can you share with us what it was like to be first told you had cancer? KD: It was very, very difficult to tell my family. I mean my husband was with me when we found out after my test but then I had to tell my mother first, and then our children, and then my siblings. It was extremely difficult making those phone calls and then calling friends but the support I have been getting from friends and family has been absolutely overwhelming. I can’t even put it into words how much it means to me that people have contributed. All the help they have offered from making meals for us to driving to running errands and just being there with me. I think I have a visitor every single day someone comes and visits me in the afternoon for an hour or two and it’s really helped with my spirits. I’m realistic but optimistic about this and thats because I have a lot of support. eM: Where there any sympoms that indicated something might be wrong? KD: When I first [experienced] some abdominal pain that was unusual for me, I saw my family doctor and she ordered some tests and then finally after a CAT scan we found out it was pancreatic cancer. That was on Thanksgiving day actually. Since then I’ve started chemo therapy and thats going as well as it can I think, You know sometimes I don’t feel very well after the treatments but I have to say overall I have tolerated it quite well and I’m being treated at the General [hospital] and the care there is wonderful and I’m

halfway through the first cycle of treatment. I’m hoping that I’ll get some encouraging news in January that maybe the tumor has shrunk and that I’ll start to feel better. eM: In Rachel’s description she mentioned that you were in stage four. What does that mean exactly? KD: That it has spread beyond the pancreas. eM: What was your initial reaction to the diagnosis? RC: I guess the first stage was mostly shock. I mean, I’d known that my mom had a lot of pains and that there was something wrong, because it’s not like my mom to complain about pain or be sick or anything, so we knew that it was something serious. That was difficult. Telling my sister Wendy was pretty difficult because she’s in South Africa. I guess after a couple of weeks of knowing, I went on the pancreatic cancer website and was looking for a run to participate in or perhaps something other ongoing event where I could contribute but it’s a completely volunteer based association and they really, they don’t have regular events, like breast cancer, that have walks all the time and runs. [Pancreatic Cancer Canada] actually has a whole page dedicated to how people can help, from holding an event to volunteering. So they had ideas like bake sales and carwashes, which really wouldn’t work right now. Then I came across the benefit concert and I thought that that would be the one that would not only raise a significant amount of money but would also be a good time for everybody to get together and have like a joyous occasion out of all this and from music lessons that Wendy and I had when we were very young I have a lot of music contacts. That’s when I thought that it would be a good idea so it kind of turned into a more positive thing and a more optimistic feeling and not to much the shock and the sadness and all that. eM: So when you first heard about the concert that Rachel wanted to put on? Did she basically tell you her intentions and went to work or were you given some sort of say on the matter? KD: Well, no, it was really more of the latter. I found out after Rachel had started. Well, my first thoughts were, again just overwhelmed that she would take this upon herself to do this because it’s a lot of work. EM MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2012 | 9

But then I started thinking it’s probably helping [her] also to be able to focus [her] efforts in one direction and not just have something else on your mind besides your mother has cancer. So I’m sure it was something very beneficial for Rachel. But again to go back to, overwhelming seeing that someone would do this for me and seeing all the donations that are coming in for the auction table and everyone is donating their time to doing this benefit so that all of the proceeds from the tickets can go towards the pancreatic cancer society. eM: I’m sure your daughter will be modest so I’ll ask you if that’s ok. How much of this event has Rachel organized on her own? KD: [She has] handled this thing pretty much on her own. I mean, she gets some input from her sister and from her Dad too and my mother is an artist and Rachel said ‘Do you think granny would donate a painting?’ and I said ‘Yeah I think probably granny will donate a painting’. It’s in the mail. (Laughter) So it’s coming… so yeah I’m just overwhelmed that people would do this for me. eM: Your mom mentioned that you’re getting input from your dad and sister. Is a lot of this on you or is it more of a committee where you are able to even delegate people to get prizes and book musicians? RC: I have had a lot of help with the silent auction especially which is great but I guess I am the hub because it all comes back to me. I have delegated some things like ticket sales because its difficult because we are selling them outside of my parents house and my place downtown. That’s not really where you go buy tickets to concerts so I have had some help delegating that to my Uncle and some of my dad’s friends. My sister actually came up with the slogan for the bracelet so that was really helpful. I gave her that job and she did a great job of it. I guess there is a lot of responsibility but I have also had so much help finding bands, Jeff Asselin, my former drum teacher, has been great, and I have had meetings with a lot of people. Jeff helped me at the very beginning try to just, how do you pull of a benefit concert... I have no idea, and he gave me a lot of ideas like the tickets, and 10 | DECEMBER 2012 EM MAGAZINE

to how to ask bands, although he did most of that for me. I also met with someone from Greenfield’s, and she helped me with coming up with ideas for a silent auction and the 50/50 tickets. eM: So most of the people basically asked how they could help once they found out about your intentions. RC: Yeah, basically, everyone fell into place and asked what they could do. A lot of people even just took it upon theselves for the silent auction, someone else would just send me an email being like oh could I have a copy of that endorsement letter that says that you are doing this event? I was like oh wow you’re looking for something? Sweet! So I think there a lot of auction items that I do not know about, so it’s rather large I think, but that’s fine. But yeah, people kind of just heard about it and wanted to do something, and so that’s been really helpful. eM: So, you mentioned so that on the bracelets, you’re selling them as part of the fundraiser… Could you explain the slogan that’s on them? RC: So, I thought of doing bracelets, and I talked to my sister about it and we were trying to think of something, and I was just like, you think about it and you send me your ideas because she’s just craftier that way and so she came up with a few and this is the one we chose. My mom is a very big Warren Zevon fan and he was diagnosed with an incurable form of cancer and David Letterman had him on his show, and he ended up asking him at one point, what did you learn from being diagnosed with this, and Zevon answered among some other things, to enjoy every sandwich. So when Wendy brought it to my attention, I thought it was great because not only is Mom a Warren Zevon fan, but it’s a good message and its also funny because my mom is not really cheesy, so we wanted something that has a good message but was also funny and everyone can relate to enjoying sandwiches, so yeah we thought it would be a good slogan to put it on the bracelet. Letterman asked him to explain his current situation and what’s happened with him and Warren Zevon answers, “Oh you heard about the flu?” And its just funny, he just has such a lighthearted view of it so

kind of to take the same stance on our event and the bat because it’s not common and there isn’t a the whole optimistic side of it. common cause, like you said cigarette smoking to lung cancer, it comes out of left field. So I hope eM: If you could tell us like when the concert is that through more research, they will be able to happening and how people can get involved, find out more and test for it earlier, because it was whether they are able to attend or not. already in Stage IV by the time I found out. So hopefully there will be. But I didn’t exhibit what RC: Right... the event is December 30th, starting few signs there are, so they didn’t look for it. at 3:00 at Greenfield’s Pub in Barrhaven. You can get tickets from me by going to the Facebook eM: So hopefully, concerts like this help them get event page. It’s called End Pan Can and also if the research that they need to find out. you want to make a donation to the Pancreatic Cancer Society go to KD: Yes, yes and get the word out. If you want to make it specifically for our cause, you can actually search an event page and our Both Karen and Rachel would like to thank their page is called End Pan Can as well. family, friends, and community as well as Pancreatic Cancer Canada and the Ottawa General eM: Did you find that getting news like this chang- Hospital for the support they have been shown. es your perspective at all? If you would like to get involved please visit the RD: When you get news like this, you find out that links listed below or get in contact with Rachel your days are numbered, and it can be a privilege through the Facebook page (also listed below) to know, so that you can if you have to set some things right, and also you really learn not to sweat the small stuff, and.. Did you want the story about my mother..? eM: Absolutely! (Laughs) RD: My mother’s up for a couple of weeks helping out and she said, “I’ll fold the towels for you but it’s probably not how you do it,” and then I said, “I don’t care how you fold the towels, that’s just fine. They don’t have to be the way that I do it. Nothing has to be the way I do it anymore, so you don’t worry about stuff like that... yeah so don’t worry about how the towels are folded.” You just have to enjoy what time you have and I think also you know you have to be positive, because it’s not fair to the people around you to not be positive. So I am positive, I’m realistic, but I want to be very positive too, for the people around me because it’s not fair not to be. eM: With some cancers there seems to be a link. Smoking has been linked to forms of cancer. Is there some link for pancreatic cancer?




KD: Pancreatic cancer isn’t one they look for off EM MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2012 | 11



I’m used to feeling all sorts of things: joy, agitation, surprise, annoyance, amusement, pain, and a whole lot of patience, but one feeling, the most cherished of them all, peace walked out the front door the second my aunt walked in with her luggage and 3 young children. 10:00AM The children muttered to each other with mouths full of food, cups and silverware hitting against the table. “I wanna watch Timmy Turmer.” Ahmed chuckled. “We’re not watching Timmy Turmer?” Safa huffed. “It’s not Timmy Turmer, it’s Timmy Turner.” Ibrahim yelled after swallowing down his food. 12 | DECEMBER 2012 EM MAGAZINE

“They made their own breakfast.” I thought smiling to myself. I walked downstairs and saw the little rascals sitting around the kitchen table the area around them was a mess. Puddles of milk and dry breadcrumbs intermingled creating brown pasty concoctions around their nutella-smeared plates. On the counter lay three spoons caked with chocolate. Some of the thick sludge even got on the kitchen carpet. Breadcrumbs and crusts were spread across the already restricted kitchen. My heart cringed looking at the mess. I grabbed a wet cloth, “why am I not surprised?” I asked to no one in particular. 12:00PM

I dragged myself into the living room and let my body sink into one of the leather couches. Finally after two hours of cleaning and running after children I could sit down. Squinting, I inspected the little creases across the arm of the couch. I came to the conclusion that this chair had to be the best at its job. The way I fit into it was uncanny, as if we were one. I could hear the distant sound of kids yelling and my younger sister trying to calm them down. I paid no attention, they seemed like a remote memory. That was the moment I decided I wanted to be a couch. “Rahimah!” I heard my sister screech.

I ignored her. “Rahimah come!” She yelled impatiently. “Oh my God, I don’t care-I’m leaving, you deal with those crazy kids!” She bellowed while stomping up the basement steps. “Get downstairs!” She barked and slapped the back of my head. I peeled myself off the couch, yearning to sit down again, but I knew it was time to depart. “I’ll miss you.” I sniffed stifling back a sob. Just like they say good things never last. 4:00 PM “Am I in a war-zone?” I thought to myself, dazed. Toys were strewn across the basement floor. A single stroke of pasta sauce dripped down the wall opposite the TV. The little monsters ran across the tightly packed space yelling something. “What are they yelling about?” I asked my little sister, her knees were held tightly to her chest she responded with silence. “I’m hungry,” Safa announced to everyone in the room, her voice oozing with attitude. “You ate two seconds ago, take a seat.” I snapped. Grabbing a cloth I wiped away the stain on the wall. Ahmed tugged at my shirt and tried telling me about something funny he’d seen on TV, but I tuned him out. The kids continued crawling, running, yelling and throwing things. As I walked out of the furnished side of the basement one of the children slammed the door on my foot. I restrained a scream. My sister muttered something about this being a waste of another perfectly good Sunday. 6:00PM “One hour to go until bedtime.

You can do it.” I reassured myself rubbing my injured foot. It ached with the first touch. I winced. All of a sudden Ibrahim came running toward me stepping on my injured foot. I yelped as tears sprang into my eyes. “I’m sorry” the youngest child whispered, his eyes bulging out as if he were about to cry. Then came the wailing. “Don’t cry, it’s alright,” I said holding him trying to forget about my pain, which was virtually impossible. 7:00PM I couldn’t help but smile a huge toothy grin. The kind that leaves mouths sore and lips dry. I hobbled up the stairs making sure all the kids had on their pajamas and were in bed. “Good night guys.” I said my voice barely above a whisper. “Good night.” They repeated. 6:00 AM My eyes open automatically, they do that. It’s like I have a built in alarm. I looked around and was greeted by darkness, the soft hum of snoring, and peace. Peace. I looked at my phone and realized I had five more minutes until my alarm would go off, five more minutes until I’d have to get ready for school, but for those five minutes I planned on catching up with an old cherished friend, peace.

Tips on managing hyper-active kids 1. Don’t give them candy. 2. Take away their toys if they’re bad. 3. Bribe them. 4. If they’re being naughty place them in the timeout corner. 5. Don’t let them walk all over you. 6. Reward them with a high five if they do something good. 7. Allow them to play outside in the backyard for an hour, they will be tired once they come back in, which means less work for you. 8. Tell them about “the scary monster who takes away bad little kids”, take into consideration this may result in the children having nightmares. 9. If they get too out of hand fake cry and tell them you’re fed up. 10. If none of the above works threaten to call their parents. EM MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2012 | 13

Tips to Fight the Urge 1 Listen to music! Set a playlist to that isn't distracting.Try out websites like: 2 Get help! If you're not comfortable talking to your teachers you can go to websites like: 3 Plan! Plan! Plan! Start your work early, even if only for 15 minutes at a time. It will add up and you'll feel like you're barely working. 4 Procrastinate with purpose! Avoid doing difficut tasks wih easier ones. No worries ... you’re still working. 5 Organized Studying! Make study notes using the split page method: Organize the page into 2 columns. You will read faster and more easily with this layout.


Pro cras ti na tion noun - the act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention: She was smart, but her constant procrastination led her to be late with almost every assignment. by Tamara Al-Hajj ‘Tis the season to be stressed out! You’re drowning in summative work, which you of course put off. Oh no, you have to write that speech for your presentation, which you of course also put off. You need to buy gifts for the holidays, which you have of course put off. Don’t forget to write that magazine article for eM, which you of course put off. Oh and everything else you have managed to leave to the last second, you must finish it all now! Your teacher may as well be Mr. Scrooge because winter break is almost here and they’re making you work. Bah humbug! They will tell you to stop being lazy and manage your time better. “You should buy a day planner”, they tell you. Like a simple list will solve all your problems! The problem with this is procrastination, not that you are bad at time managing or even that you are lazy! People procrastinate for lots of different reasons making it ridiculous to think buying everyone an agenda will make everything better. Some people are trying to avoid their fear of failure, and will insist that they’ll “get it done tomorrow”; others will do it for the thrill, and feel they “work best under pressure”. Whatever the reason,

the result always is a sleepy and upset student, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Psychologists have connected procrastination to hyperbolic discounting which is a fancy term for you like reward now more than later. However, what you want now and what you’ll want later are completely different ideas. We often forget this while checking Facebook and watching movies. So, what can you do? Figure out what you need to get done and why you are avoiding it. Then meditate over it. No joke, sit quietly away from the world and think, until you forget about your current fears and desires. Your teacher will not kill you over a bad paper and furthermore you will feel better when there aren’t 6000 things to get done at once. If you think about the long term rewards instead of the short term ones, you can overcome your procrastination. Whenever you are faced with the decision: work or play, choose work! Even if it's only for 15 minutes each time, it'll add up! Oh, who am I kidding? You could probably just do it tomorrow.

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YOUTUBE CHANNELS WORTH A VIEW 1 Are you interested in history,






chemistry, biology but your classes aren't doin' it for you? Check out Crash Course! 2 Here's an idea! Watch the PBS Idea Channel and you will be suprised each week with an interesting view on today's culture. 3 If you love food, laughing and British guys you'll love Sorted. 4 The Daily Grace is a super funny vlog that will leave you breathless... Literally! She is definatly worth watching.


larious ariticles and videos daily. You'll never get bored! 2 has a ton of clever comics to keep you distracted! 3 = crazy fun


H-odd-iday Fun Every month, days arrive when its time to celebrate. Take December for example. There are many religious holidays and other non-religious days. January also holds a number of holidays. Holidays that you would never really consider an actual ‘holiday’ but are actually recognized. Below, is a list, day by day of some hilarious or strange holidays, or not as strange holidays. Open up your calendars people! January 1st – New Years Day Day to celebrate! Happy New Year! January 2nd – Run up the Flag Pole and See if Anyone Salutes Day Not exactly sure what's going on here... January 3rd – Humiliation Day Festival of Sleep Make someone look stupid! Or take a nap! January 6th – Cuddle up Day Cuddle up with someone today. January 8th – Bubble Bath Day Relax in the tub with a drink and enjoy. January 9th – National Apricot Day National Static Electricity Day January 10th – Peculiar People Day All the peculiar people come out to play. January 11th – Secret Pal Day Now's the day to talk to that non-existing person. January 12th – Work Harder Day Today's the day to get 90s on tests! Or make your boss happy... 16 | DECEMBER 2012 EM MAGAZINE

January 13th – Rubber Duckie’s Birthday Happy birthday to the beloved Rubber Duckie! January 14th – National Dress up Your Pet Day Dressing up your dog to whatever style you want. January 16th – National Nothing Day Like the title, nothing happens today. January 18th – Winnie the Pooh Day, Hat Day Go outside and wear a hat! While you’re at it grab a Winnie the Pooh plush toy. January 20th – Penguin Awareness Day, Cheese Day. Time to become aware of penguins and eat cheese January 21st – Squirrel Awareness Day National Hugging Day Back to back Animal Appreciation days, today is Squirrel Appreciation Day. It's also National Hug Day! January 23rd – National Measure Your Feet Day What size are your feet? Well today's the day to find out! January 25th – Opposite Day Time to wear your shirts and pants backwards! January 28th – Fun at Work Day Why not have some fun for once at the workplace? January 30th – Yodel for Your Neighbours day Time to annoy your neighbours to the extent of extinction.

New Years Eve 2013 Penguin Awareness Day

Bubble Bath Day EM MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2012 | 17

By Elizabeth Neilson 18 | DECEMBER 2012 EM MAGAZINE

(Last Minute)

Holiday Gift Guide By Elizabeth Neilson

It's that time of year again, the season of giving. It gets harder every year to think of great gifts to give your friends and family, without breaking the bank, but have no fear, this article will rid you of all your holiday gift worries.

This festive little guy doubles as a lip gloss and will make any teenage girl happy. You can find them at http:// for $4.95

These gloves are great for the winter time. They have touchpoint technology so you can use your touch screen phones while still keeping your hands warm. You can find them at American Eagle for $11.90

Nail polish is another cute, inexpensive gift. You can buy multiple bottles and try different colour combinations to give. You can buy Essie nail polish at most drug stores for $3-5. Phone cases also make a great gift, usually to the people who have phones to go into the cases. The ones pictured above can be bought at http:// don't have to be boring, there is actually a lot of funny ones like the ones above. You can find all theses book at EM MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2012 | 19

Fruitcake 101:


SURVIVAL No matter what you celebrate, the holidays can be a trying time. Relatives that won’t leave you alone, the stress of walking through the crowded malls before Christmas, and of course stress caused by recieving gifts that you frankly, don’t want. People pester you constantly “what do you want for [instert name of gift giving holiday that does not offend you here]” until you want to scream in their face “Just get me a giftcard! That’s fine! That’s enough!” The danger, though is those people who you like, but wouldn’t go so far as to consider yourself “close” with, who gets you some

typical gift like the Christmas horror: fruitcake. What can one do with fruitcake? No one actually eats it?. Or do they?

Only in eM Magazine will you find a feature on ways to repurpose your unwanted fruitcake and maybe make your holidays a little better! Your lesson in fruitcake is followed by one about surviving bad holiday gifts. Ugly socks from grandma? No problem! CD from a band you liked 10 years ago, but can’t stand now? No sweat! Not with this guide!

1. Use the fruitcake to build muscles. A fruitcake may weigh several pounds, so use it for arm curls or leg lifts. Repeat until you have fabulous muscles. 2. Re-gift it to someone you don’t like. Fruitcakes could potentially last for years, as so far, no one can taste the difference. Wrap it up and pass on the joy. 3. Use the fruitcake as a doorstop or as a tire block. If your door won’t close or your car is rolling down the driveway, use your “yule cake” to stop it. Fruitcakes are hardy and can last for years, so you will not have to replace it right away. Or maybe ever. 4. Use fruitcake as your next art project. Place it on a pedestal, or maybe attach it to a board and hang it on the wall. A+ for sure!

Tamara Al Hajj does not enjoy her gift from Santa. Maybe someone was on the naughty list...

DID YOU KNOW? Top Gifts of 2011 Electronic: Sony Xperia Play Toy: Rory's Story Cubes Video Game: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Book: "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson

How to Deal With a Bad Holiday Gift 1. Look happy, no matter what you open. Nothing is worse to a gift given than a look of shock and horror followed by a forced smile. Smile at the gift the whole time, no matter what it is. 2. Avoid cliché phrases “I love it!” and “how did you know I wanted this!?” Everyone uses these phrases. Unless you are a great actor, you won’t get away with using one of these and a cheesy grin. 3. Avoid asking “where did you ever get this?” Honestly, at this point you may as well be asking whether or not the store gives cash for returned items. 4.Once you are alone, open the gift fully and check for tags or gift receipts in order to return the gift later. Beware of monograms or personalized gifts, as you will not be able to exchange these.

CD: "21" by Adele DVD: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Parts 1 & 2) Clothing: Levi's Men's 501 Jean Beauty: Olay Pro-X Cleansing System Phones: Samsung Galaxy S II EM MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2012 | 21

"I am a huge impulse buyer. If I have the money to buy things, I will" -Julia Spencer on Boxing Day Shopping.


As Canadians, we always hear about the chaotic Black Friday sales in the United States. We hear about the pushing, the shoving and the crazy people who stay in Wal-Mart for the whole day. In Canada, we don’t really have a similar event. I mean, some stores have sales on Black Friday, but it’s not a work holiday up here, so the stores aren’t nearly as chaotic as the US. All we have is Boxing Day. With this guide to Boxing Day shopping, you will no longer have a reason NOT to go! Tip 1: Come prepared. Bring a bottle of water, or several, as well as food. That way, you can avoid the chaos in the food court, leaving you more time for shopping. Tip 2: Make a plan of where you want to go so that you do not end up wandering aimlessly around the mall. Try to go from one end of the mall to the other before moving up or down a floor so that you can pass all of the stores. Tip3: Be ready for impulse buys and have a plan. Are you feeling rich today? Then bring extra money and be ready to buy that super cute pair of jeans for half the price. Otherwise, make a list of what you want to buy and only buy those things. Maybe bring someone along with you to drag you out of stores to keep you from buying things. Tip 4: Bring your own cloth bags. The cloth bags that you can bring from home will probably be bigger and easier to carry than any bags in stores. Cloth bags will allow you to carry more items comfortably than store bags. Tip 5: Beware of old sales. Some stores will not have special Boxing Day prices, but they will just continue regular sales. Though these may seem great, it might not be the best idea as you can easily buy items for the same price without wasting your Boxing Day time. Tip 6: Know when it’s time to leave. When the stores are all crowded and you’ve bought everything you want, you should probably leave. This will help to prevent crankiness as well as impulse buys of things you really do not actually need.

Student Julia Spencer (pictured left) is nothing short of an expert when it comes to shopping. We sat down with her to ask her some pressing questions: What is your favourite part of boxing day shopping? My favourite part of boxing day shopping would have to be comparing how broke I am at the end of the day to how broke I would be if it wasn’t boxing day. Feels good man. When did you first start going? Who do you go with? I have always done boxing day with my family. We’ve always been frugal but we do love our game consoles, which can be super expensive. What is your number 1 tip for first time shoppers? Bring an over-the-shoulder bag or a backpack to keep your hands free while browsing. Make sure you have all your necessities- a water bottle, your wallet, and a list of things you need. Also, don’t worry if you aren’t the first person in the mall, it’s always more important to be prepared before you get there. What was the best thing you ever bought while boxing day shopping? Where did you get it? How much did you pay for it? The best thing I got was an Xbox 360 and it was super on sale. I got mine for somewhere between $100 to $200 at Best Buy a few years ago. What was the worst impulse buy you bought on Boxing Day? I learned the hard way that buying expensive Starbucks drinks is a terrible idea. Firstly, it made me need to pee so I lost valuable shopping time. Secondly, it was way overpriced and I could’ve used the money for something else that would’ve lasted me longer than a few minutes.


Reindeer Gift Bags For Under 5$

Step 1: Gather the needed items: 1 brown paper bag, 4 brown pipe cleaners, red glitter, 2 different shades of brown construction or scrapbook paper, white paper, scissors, a glue stick and a stapler.

Step 4: Apply glue to the back of the eye ovals, and paste them onto the bag. Glue the brown eye circles ontop in the desired fashion. Once securely in place, paste the large nose circle so it over laps the bottom of the eyes.

How To Craft On A Budget and a Crafting has become the forgotten art, and in recent years I’ve noticed a decline in the field. What was once such an important part of my education and childhood is slipping away and I blame the root of the problem – expenses. I truly believe the love for crafts is still there, but goods to make crafts have become more and more expensive. However, there are ways around expensive Popsicle sticks and overpriced pipe cleaners. Crafts are a great way to spruce up your home year round, and with some clever tips you can keep the fun alive! First solution is to avoid art supply stores 24 | DECEMBER 2012 EM MAGAZINE

for basic needs. There is no reason anyone should be buying glue, tape, paper or other basic items at Michael’s when they can all be found at the dollar store. Though dollar stores are notorious for ripping you off and providing poor quality, most basic crafting supplies can be easily bought there. A wide range of scrapbook paper, pom poms and googly-eyes can be found. But don’t think you’re limited to just that, hidden gems lurk in the aisles and you often find surprised like pre-cut tissue squares and rocks. Don’t think this is a stab at the specialty stores! They’re a great resource for stamps, decals

Step 2: Cut a large oval out of the lighter construction paper, and 2 small circles from the dark construction paper. Also cut two long ovals from white paper to make the eyes, and one medium circle which will be the nose.

Step 3: Pour the glitter onto a small plate. Take the circle that was cut for the nose and apply glue to the front and press it into the glitter. Set it aside to dry.

Step 5: Braid together the pipe cleaners so the ends resemble antlers. Set them aside and glue the red glitter nose in the center of the large construction oval. Let it dry, then open the bag and instert your gift.

Step 6: Place the pipe cleaner antlers against the back of the bag so either end is sticking out. Fold over the top of the bag to hold the antlers in place and close the bag. Staple the bag shut.

Holiday Craft Approved by Ms Gale

by: Kristen Merke

and more elaborate items like feathers and beads. However there is a trick to shopping there. Wait for sales in off seasons and stock up. You can often catch great deals on supply sales, which might lead to new inspiration. Don’t be afraid to buy an excess of something! You might think I only need 4 feathers for this craft, but after a few more hours of browsing the internet you’ll soon realize you need 20 feathers for 2 other crafts. It’s better to keep a well stocked inventory than run out and constantly spend money on just a few items. Recycled materials are your friend as well!

There is an endless amount of “trash” that can be turned into cute and fun crafts. Paper towel rolls, film canisters and water bottles are among the many things that can become your new tree topper or centerpiece. Keep a box in storage for common items like these that might turn crafty. It’s a great way to reduce waste and reinvent something. Many DIY blogs feature crafts that can be created with only house hold items. A little searching can lead to your next art project soon! With these three things in mind there is nothing to stop you from being a craft master! EM MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2012 | 25


VS HAPPY HOLIDAYS! by Griffin Wright-Brown Well, it's that time of year again. Time for the ridiculous and confusing debate over whether or not we should be allowed to say “Merry Christmas”. Personally I wish people would just look at the subject rationally and realize how ridiculous it all is. I have no problem with people talking about “The Holidays” if they're actually talking about the multiple holidays. It's fine to call December “The Holiday Season” because there are a lot of holidays that take place during it. A lot of the people actively supporting “Merry Christmas” act like Christianity is 26 | DECEMBER 2012 EM MAGAZINE

the only religion in Canada, and that’s simply ridiculous. But December 25th is not Holiday! It really annoys me when people just replace the word “Christmas” with a “Holiday”. A perfect example is the fact that some Christmas tree farms are now selling Holiday Trees. Really?! I mean, it’s not like there are multiple holidays that use trees! Of course, the reason they replaced “Christmas” with “Holiday” is because they’re scared of offending the people who don't celebrate Christmas (because if they did, their Christmas tree farm would lose so much

business). This shows a disturbing trend of Christmas slowly making its way towards the multitude of old politically incorrect words. There is no reason this should be happening! It's not really clear why it is. It isn't the minorities trying to do it, as some of the more extreme and delusional Merry Christmas-ers think, and you'd have to be crazy to think it's actually a commie plot (as some people seem to, unfortunately). My best guess is that it's simply good intentions run amok. In the hopes of creating a tolerant and respectful society the Happy Holiday-ers

have accidentally become kind of intolerant of anyone who openly celebrates Christmas. It's not too bad yet, as it seems that most of the persecution against people who celebrate Christmas is in their imagination, but there have been cases of this going way too far. In what seems like a ridiculous satire of political correctness, my old school district back in B.C. went so far as to completely ban Christmas and all references or symbols of it. Teachers were forbidden from saying “Christmas” and students were forbidden from wearing Santa hats or Christmas sweaters. Ultimately common sense prevailed and Christmas was returned, but the essential problem of political correctness gone insane remains. Why is it that we care so much about equality for all holidays in December

but couldn't care less about the ones that fall in other months? For example, Hanukkah is in no way considered to be the most important Jewish holiday, but we never hear of any of the other ones. Honestly, until I looked it up on Wikipedia just now I didn't even have the faintest idea what time of year Passover falls in. And Easter is still a statutory holiday, while no non-Christian religious holiday is. Honestly I have no idea why December is the magical month of political correctness. My only explanation is that society is simply insane - which is how I explain almost everything, really. Look, isn't it time that we stopped having to worry about offending someone with whatever we're celebrating and embrace our differences without suppressing them? If a store wants to say “Happy Holi-


days” then let them, especially in a multicultural place like Ottawa. It's really the only way to embrace everyone's holidays without listing every single one on the sign. If you celebrate Christmas, don't be afraid to say “Merry Christmas”. I really doubt anyone's going to get offended. But don't just mindlessly replace the word “Christmas” with a blanket “Holiday”. That's not embracing multiculturalism, it's suppressing culture. On the flip side, don't boycott stores that say “Happy Holidays”, like a lot of Merry Christmas-ers are doing these days. That's completely against the Christmas spirit. So let's stop the petty bickering, and start spreading the spirit of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, International Talk with a Fake British Accent Day, or whatever else you celebrate!



by Joy Knowles Winter brings familiarity: snow, school holidays, jackets, a lack of fans, scarves and mittens. Fans? No, not the plastic and paper constructions overly-warm human beings wave around to get cooler during the blazing hot summer days, but the people in the stands who cheer and yell for their school team. With the beginning of winter sports, such as girls volleyball, girls hockey and boys basketball, most players on teams are willing to accept the fact that only a few fans will be out to watch the games. Unless of course a few players manage to convince their friends, which brings the total number of fans to about...eight, or 1% of the Merivale student population. In the states, where sports seems to be much bigger, stands at football games and basketball games are packed. So why is 28 | DECEMBER 2012 EM MAGAZINE

it in Canada, and at Merivale specifically, we get so little support at sporting events? Now, I saw a few minutes of the junior boys basketball game the other day, and there were about twenty or so people in the stands. These twenty people were made up of Merivale juniors, parents and the opposing teams fans. This low number is reflected in the fans of most other winter sports teams as well. Girls hockey sees maybe ten or so parents sitting in the stands at home games, and practically no parents at away games. The number of Merivale fans? None. Boys hockey gets a little bit more: five to ten people, which is 1.5% of Merivale’s student population. There could be a few reasons for this great lack of people: a) the game times, b) few games are held at Merivale, c) lack of school spirit, or d) a combination of all the above.

Having a school day that ends at 2:15 is a plus for all the students who like to go home, or have practice, or have band at the end of the day. It’s also a plus for all the teachers who want to go home and mark. For the days when there are after school home games that don’t begin until 4pm it’s no longer such a benefit. Most schools don’t end at the same time as Merivale is the reason for the late games. Not many people really want to stick around for an hour and a half, waiting for four o’clock to roll around with virtually nothing to do in the hallways. Most students tend to go home, leaving a lack of students at Merivale to watch the game. To further this point, not only do we have a late start time for the games, most games aren’t even held at Merivale, especially when it comes to hockey. Since we don’t have an arena inside our school,

home games are off site. Though the arena is only a short distance away from Merivale, the fact that it’s not easily accessible, as in, right in the building, coupled with the hour and a half wait for the game seems to highlight why there are no fans. Volleyball and basketball games are easier, since they’re right in the gym, but there is still a lack of home games to attend. Finally, only part of our school population is made up of athletes or people that enjoy watching sporting events. For the purpose of proving

my point I will say 40% are these type of people. That means 60% are not. Out of these 40% only a select percentage would actually attend the games, which brings it down to 20% and then if you add in the above factors that number will dwindle more, to about the 1% I mentioned before. It isn’t just the above two factors mentioned, it might also be a lack of school spirit, as in it’s not that important, we’ll have more games later that keeps fans away. People just don’t care to go out and support our teams.

There are a few exceptions to this general rule: buy ins and playoff games. Buy-ins are successful because any excuse to get out of class is usually always welcome, while high-energy-ramped-up-playoff games draw out a crowd ready to support the team that is having a successful year (if it’s nearby and not too late of a time). It’s important to support teams, friends and fellow Marauders, so this Christmas season, be the fan that’s in the stands!


All I Want For Christmas is...

More Holiday Classics!

by Hartley Warren

whole family. The great movies that make Christmas time your favourite time of the year. When it is Christmas time and you want to get into that Christmas spirit, the classics like Scrooge, The Grinch, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Miracle on 34th Street are heartwarming, and in my house This time of year tends to get - like many others- watching A people excited for a variety of Christmas Story is a tradition. They reasons. Some children are waiting are enjoyable even if you don’t for the arrival of Santa, while celebrate this specific holiday. others perhaps are just happy to Obviously Christmas isn’t the only have a vacation away from school. winter holiday and if you want One thing that I would always to settle down and watch a lightlook forward to is getting together hearted movie about Hanukkah, with my family to watch a holiday for example 8 Crazy Nights is classic movie. Lately though, I definitely the go-to movie. But have been wondering a lot about coming from a house where we these traditional movies. Where celebrate Christmas, I memorized have the classic Christmas movies the dialogue from these holiday gone? The great movies that make classics at the age of nine and I you feel like a little kid. The great still would like to do nothing else movies that you watch with your than cuddle up and watch them 30 | DECEMBER 2012 EM MAGAZINE

over and over again. When these Christmas classics were released, it was a time when creativity and imagination were alive. People could make a great movie based off of an idea. We need more passion and vision from the writers and directors in cinema. These new holiday releases like Elf, Fred Claus, The Santa Clause, and Four Christmases have some good laughs, but they don’t have the potential of sticking around. We need more of the type of movies that could eventually become classics. Speaking from my perspective, these classics are essential. Not only do they bring Christmas cheer, but they always send a positive message and put a smile on your face. It gives everyone hope that there is something good just around the corner and all they need to do is be patient for happiness to find them.


‘Tis the Season

To start the application process GETTING STARTED It’s time, grads, the moment you have been waiting for your entire high school career: post secondary school applications. During this time you may find that your anxiety levels have risen, you’re more stressed than usual and that you have no idea what is going on. This is natural, you are not alone. Here you can read: how to choose the right university or college for you, what to look for on your school’s website, how to impress the university/college of your choice once you’ve gotten to the interview, and what a postgrad student is glad she did and what she wishes she did differently. IS THIS THE RIGHT ONE? Choosing a school is a lot like choosing the person you want to marry. You have to ask yourself, “Is this the one?” Choosing the right university/college is nerve racking and can take a lot of time and perseverance. It’s 32 | DECEMBER 2012 EM MAGAZINE

recommended that you look at many different options before you start applying and never, ever just apply to one. This can lead to a great disappointment and hinder your chances of getting into other schools if you don’t get accepted. A great way to see if it’s the school for you is to go visit. A tour of the campus and a Q&A session with an admissions counselor can really help you answer all of your questions. A tour can help you get a better feel for being at the school and you can get a look at where you will be spending the next few years of your life. If you go to the school of your dreams and it turns out to be a nightmare, don’t fret because you can always transfer to another school if you must. Make sure that the next school is definitely the one. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? If you’re into sports, check out what sports the school offers. If you like art or technology look to

see if they have clubs that match your interests. All of this can be found on the school’s website. If you are going to be living on campus, school websites will usually have a list of their student residences which you should look into to see where you will fit in. Universities and colleges usually have a long list of clubs and activities that you can join and participate in. Most clubs are student run and made which means that even if the right school doesn’t have a club that you want to join, it is possible for you to create it yourself. Keep in mind, running your own club will take time and effort. When looking at schools, look at the surrounding towns and cities as well. The area that your school is in can be a large factor in social and entertainment experiences. You can find a lot of information on school websites so just be sure to spend some time looking through it.

5 Questions You Should Ask At An Interview

1 2 3

What is the average class standing and GPA for incoming freshman?

How many students stay in their chosen major?

What types of safety net programs do you have to ensure freshman are involved in extracurricular activities and are adjusting well to college life?


Do I have to live on campus for the first year?


What types of counseling services are available?

WHAT ARE UNIVERSITIES ARE LOOKING FOR AND WHAT ARETHEY NOT? You are already aware that your grades are scrutinized by the university and college admissions board. Schools also look at your class rank (college or university level courses), the quality of your writing samples (essays

and applications write ups), and references from your school or community. If you plan to attend a school in the U.S. then you will be required to take your SATs. SAT scores are looked at by American universities and colleges as a factor for your acceptance or declination.

A POST GRAD’S OPINION! Natasha Weltner, a student from Merivale who graduated in 2011, walks us through her application process and what she wishes she could change if she could and what she is glad that she did. Q. What do you wish you did differently when apply for universities? A. I wish I looked into the programs more before I applied. I didn't look up much about what universities have the best program for me. Q. What are you glad that you did? A. I'm glad that I applied to a University that I currently didn't have the average for because it pushed me to improve my average.

Q. What advice would you give for the grads who are applying this year? A. Don't wait til the end to apply. Look into any university that has crossed your mind and find out what they have to offer. Don't be closed minded about applying to university. You never know if a small university has the best reputation for the program you want. And don't stress about picking a major already. It's fine if you change your program once you get to university. Many people change majors while in university.


eMAGNIFICENT with Julia and Jeremy MEALS

This month: Gingerbread Whoopie Pies

What you need: 10 ounces flour (about 2 cups, but start with 1 1/2 and add as necessary), Baking Soda (1 1/4 tsp), 2-3 rounded tsp of ground ginger, 1 tsp cinnamon, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup dark molasses, 1 egg, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1/3 cup boiling water For icing: 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese (room temp), 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 2 tsp cream or milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract Preheat oven to 350째F Mix all dry ingridients (flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, cinammon, ginger in a large bowl. Combine until there are no discernable concentrations in any ingredient.

Add wet ingredients (egg, oil, molasses) except for water. Combine ingredients until a uniform brown colour has been achieved. When the ingredients are combined, it will be relatively stiff and quite dry. To this we add the 1/3 cup of boiling water. This loosens the mix and gives it a different, much more cake-like feel.


Whisk the mixture until thoroughly combined. It should have the appearance of chocolate cake batter. When oven is hot, cut parchment paper to the size of a baking sheet and line sheet with the paper. Spoon rounded portions of batter onto the baking sheet. BEWARE: mix will spread and expand quite a bit, so leave rougly 5 centimeters clearance between the clumps. Bake for 12 minutes, or until cookies gain a slightly cratered appearance, like pumice stone.

In a mixing bowl, combine the powdered sugar, milk, cream cheese, and vanilla extract. Whip until light and creamy. Between two cooled cookies, ice to desired fullness. When complete, set cookies to chill in the refrigerator. Makes roughly 9-12 complete cookies!

For a festive touch, use extra powdered sugar, strained through mesh for that snowy look. Delicious!


He Said Borderlands 2

Starbucks' Peppermint Mocha The Starbucks seasonal drinks are always a public favourite, and the Peppermint Mocha is no exception. With a delightful chocolatey base and just enough mint syrup added to the mix, the Seattle coffee giant has hit the nail on the head. While the taste may not be for some (thin mint haters, I'm looking at you) this drink, along with countless other holiday innovations, is sure to keep your hands and tastebuds warm and contented.


The Borderlands style is one which has been ingrained into the heads of many modern teenagers. Run and Gun with your friends, all while hilarious characters drive you into crazy antics, all towards a crushing ending. Wait. What? Where Borderlands ended with nothing but tentacles and disappointment, its successor has picked up the slack, and crocheted a fantastical world which takes the blank slate left by the original game into a truly memorable experience.

Disney Channel Holiday Julia is right on with this one. This album is a must-have. Disney's next holiday project which evolved the company's marketing style into a modern tour-de-force. Holiday opens with the melancholy Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, the album creates an eerie atmosphere which.. Ah, who am I kidding? It's a holiday album, you'll be sick of it in a couple weeks. Also, it has nothing to do with the Sticks.

She Said Disney Channel Holiday This album is simply fantastic. Not only can you listen to Billy Ray Cyrus singing Run Rudolph Run, but you can use the CD as a paperweight, as a doorstop, and even as a gift for that truly special someone. Ain't that right, Jeremy? (He'll be gettin' one o' these babies for Christmas this year). Throw your copy onto a piping hot batch of french toast for that je ne sais quoi on Christmas morning.

Borderlands 2 For me, the graphics in a game play a huge part in the enjoyment of it, and Borderlands 2 does not disappoint. I have been content just watching Jeremy play because of the outstandingly different style that this game has. Speaking of different, the dialogue is unexpectedly hilarious, which is something that doesn't often happen in games. Most games are formal and dry, but thankfully the Borderlands 2 characters speak in a familiar language for teenagers.

Starbucks' Caramel BrulĂŠe Can I get an oh yeah? OH YEAH. Can I get an overpriced? OVERPRICED. Yes, as per usual, this drink is delicious but too expensive. Sometimes treating yourself is worth it, though, and this is one of those times. If you're worried about the calories, switch to a tall size and get nonfat or soy milk instead of 2%. As far as drinks go, this one has got to be one of my favourites from Starbucks. Go get one!



A Christmas Carol By Charles Dickens Holiday/Fantasy In Library

of spending time with family and enjoying life, as hard as it can be at times. It is always magical to witness a A Christmas Carol is person go through such probably one of the a big change as this, by most famous stories of the end you can't help Christmas. Come on, but smile at the child we have all heard or like attitude Scrooge watched the story of the possesses on Christmas three ghosts of Christmas day. As good as the and how they change story is though, the an old man’s view on writing style is older than life and help him find I am used to and some the true meaning of of the sentences took Christmas, but how many longer to decipher. The of you have actually book is also for people read the story? If you who don't want to read have not yet read it, it is a long book, this novel worth the read, though only having five chapters not as action packed and around one hundred as the novels that I twenty four pages. normally read. The story truly makes you think about the importance 38 | DECEMBER 2012 EM MAGAZINE

Other books you may like How The Grinch Stole Christmas By Dr. Seuss Holiday/Humour The story of how the Grinch dresses up as Santa Claus and works a scheme of how to steal Christmas from the unsuspecting Whos.

The Dark Is Rising By Susan Cooper Adventure/Fantasy Another book that makes you really think. The book follows a boy named Will Stanton and his discovery that he is an Old One, he is now immortal and must collect each of the six medallions, iron, bronze, wood, water, fire and stone before the mysterious Rider casts the town in a permanent winter, using the powers of the dark. Despite the name the book has a strong Christmas presence as it takes place during the holiday time. This novel also shows the power that gathering as a family or

community can have on all of us. The novel, though strange at times, is well written and can be read as one book, but can also be read as a series, as there are four other books. This is the second book in the Dark Is Rising Sequence, but the first book Over Sea, Under Stone does not need to be read first. The Dark Is Rising deals with a new cast of characters from the first one, but there is one familiar face that does show up.

The Little Match Girl By Hans Chrstian Anderson Fantasy The short story of a little match seller trying to make some money before she ventures home, she uses the matches that she sells to bring happiness into her life.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever By Barbara Robinson Holiday/Humour Is the story of the Hurdman family and how they discovered Christmas story for the first time, with this they soon take over the pageant.





Holiday Edition

It's only fair that one of my favourite holiday movies makes this list. Home Alone (and Home Alone 2) would definitely qualify. This movie tells a story any kid (or adult) can relate to. At one point or another we've all wanted to be left alone and Kevin gets that wish. He shows us everything we wish we could've done as kids but didn't. From gorging out on ice cream to staying up late watching movies Kevin is living the life. That's where this movie gets special, at the end of the day Kevin needs his family and it shows the true importance of Christmas.


Perhaps even better than getting a gift from a friend, is getting a gift from a surprise friend. Secret Santa gift exchanges make this list for the simple reason they're absolute fun. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, getting an unsuspecting gift is so much better than knowing someone is going to get you one. They might be hard to organize sometimes, or a hassle to keep up with but there's nothing more rewarding than surprising someone with a gift and getting a little surprise yourself. It's never too late to organize one, you still have time!


Perhaps a smaller part of the festive season wrapping paper is a great way to get into the holiday frame of mind. It can be found at any store including the dollar store, making it a cheap way to celebrate. The range of prints, patterns and colours are endless! And even though wrapping paper isn't just for the Christmas season, I much prefer it this time of year. The fun paper makes tedious gift wrapping a far easier task, especially right before the big day: December 25th!


Though Christmas lights come in the traditional colours, red and green, and most recently blue LED, purple lights will always be my favorite. It makes decorating less about Christmas and more about lighting up the night. Variety is more important than littering your house with hundreds of red bulbs, and those who choose to mix it up and add purple get a big thumbs up from me. I hope orange lights get in season soon!


Every year Lush releases a series of products that make my heart scream. Snowfairy Shower Gel is is the answer to any girl's prayer. Filled with candy floss and sparkles, it makes every warm winter shower better. Plus, it's (somewhat) affordable! More often than not Lush is labeled as overpriced and I won't argue against that, but a small bottle of this wonderful concoction is only $10 and worth every penny! Don't miss out, it doesn't last long, and personally I find the spring collection lacking. EM MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2012 | 41

Your End of the world Predictions Predicted by Madam Shazaam Aquarius: This is a good time of year to spend more time with your cat. He misses you. If you don’t have a cat, go get one! Your lucky food is tomato soup.

Gemini: Furbys will cause your downfall this month. Beware of Toy Stores, small children and AA Batteries. Your lucky drink is grape juice.

Libra: Your jokes will not be funny this month. No matter how much you try you can not get laughs. Are you just not funny anymore? Or were you never actually funny? Make sure to eat lots of green beans this month to prevent bad luck.

Pisces: Beware of shadowy figures lurking in your future. Though I cannot see any right now, it’s always a good idea to avoid shadow-y things. And maybe things that don’t have shadows. Like vampires. Actually, just avoid vampires altogether.

Cancer: You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why: everyone is tired of your endless whining. Stop complaining, Cancer, everyone is getting tired of your melodrama. Seriously.

Scorpio: This month you will have problems with your health. You should be eating more oranges to prevent scurvy. Your computer will briefly stop working. While you’re doing a major assignment. That’s due the next day. Oops.

Aries: This month will bring confusion into your life. You will be faced with hard decisions about food. Avoid the lower gym, as it smells funny, and the fumes will only further your confusion. Your lucky colour this month is cyan.

Leo: Make your feelings known this month! Stop trying to hide your secrets! Tell people that you love Jello and do not think that any dessert is complete without it! Love yourself and your obsessions.

Sagittarius: Danger! Danger! Warning! Warning! Beware of falling into the trap of holiday food and stuffing yourself with too much deliciousness and never moving again. In case you’re curious, your lucky marine animal this month is the Octopus.

Taurus: This month all of your left socks will go missing. Blame the sock eating monster that lives in your dryer. It’s ok though, socks will make up the majority of your gifts this holiday season.

Virgo: This month you will take up a new hobby. It will be fun for the first little while, and you will probably spend far too much money on it... It’s okay though, by next month you will have moved on to something else more expensive.

Capricorn: Happy birthday Capricorn! Unless you’re lying. And you aren’t actually a Capricorn... Well then. That’s awkward. This will be a decent month for you. Not too bad. Not fantastic. Watch out for falling walruses, they’re dangerous this time of year.


DISCLAIMER: Madam Shazaam is not responsible for any misguided predictions. Predictions are not guaranteed to be true. In fact they may have been made up. I mean, they were definitely predicted from star patterns. Predictions may cause stress, or in extreme cases, hangnails. Please do not read your horoscope before operating heavy machinery, as this may result in death. EM MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2012 | 43


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Merivale High School's Online Magazine