Page 1


FOURTH ESTATE Nov. 24, 2014 | 2014 Holiday Guide George Mason University’s official student news outlet | @IVEstate




Holiday Guide



Mason Winter Weather Outlook


NICK STASIAK MCN WEATHER For those who favor a cold and snowy winter, this could be your year. Below average temperatures and average to above average snowfall highlight our winter months. This past Tuesday, Dulles International Airport recorded a record low temperature of 13 degrees Fahrenheit for the 18th of November. If temperatures continue to stay below 50 degrees Fahrenheit until Saturday, the 22nd, another record will be broken. It could be the longest stretch of below average temperatures on record for the month of November. Though we can’t rely on these early freezing temperatures, they are definitely a good indicator of what’s to come. I’m predicting slightly above average snowfall with below average temperatures. This doesn’t mean we’ll be looking at another intense winter with 13 snow events like last winter. I’m expecting less snow events with more accumulation. I’m also predicting the cold

pattern to be more consistent and stable than last year when frigid temperatures threw a curveball every other week. Our first snow event should hold off until mid-December. The amount of snow we get during that first event is up for debate, but I’ll go ahead and say no more than 2 inches. The Fairfax area usually gets between 10-20 inches of snow every year. At a minimum, we should expect at least 15 inches this year. The maximum snowfall could be as high as 30 inches. As for a large snow event such as the 2010 Snowmaggedon, that’s up for debate as well. Judging by winter trends, this year could be the year for another monster snowstorm though. A weak El Nino is being forecasted for this winter and if it’s anything like past El Nino winters, we should expect more snow than 70% of winters in our area. An El Nino event simply means that sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean will be warmer than average. Something else leading me to believe that this winter could be a snowy one is the positive

phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). The PDO is a measurement of the difference in sea surface temperatures from normal. When the PDO is negative, that means warm and dry conditions for the area. When the PDO is positive, that often means snowy and cold conditions in the area. We’ve been in the positive phase of the PDO for over nine months now. In summary, expect below average temperatures and slightly above average snowfall. Frigid temperatures will stay consistent this winter with less cold air outbreaks. There should be less snow events, but more accumulation. As for our first campus closing due to snow, I don’t think we’ll have to worry about that until we get back from winter break. However, I do expect our first snowfall around finals time. Keep an eye on the weather and have an extra jacket and gloves handy. Stasiak does weekly weather reports on Mason Cable Network’s news show and is on Twitter, @GMUweatherman



Holiday Guide


Letter from the Santa-in-Chief

Ho, ho, h-oh jeez. What did the elves and Mrs. Claus sign me up for now? A short letter for the student newspaper at George Mason University, you say? Surely, being an omnipresent, immortal figure is not taxing enough a job but now I’m writing a guest freelance column with truly some prime real estate in terms of placement of the guest writer of honor. Gosh, what is there to say about me and Christmas, besides the fact that we’re both great and that I’m very real. I see further along in this holiday guide, heathens have been given space to espouse their feelings on me. On page nine, I’m portrayed as some dark, dastardly figure denying a child of his own birthday. Hogwash. I’m great. You will never steal my shine because I give joy and hope

to children across the world. The remembrance of your day of birth is nothing compared to me soaring across the sky over the course of night on some mystic reindeers while spreading gifts. As if your one day even matters. On page eight, you have some scrooge that’s employed by this paper going so far as to trying to convince you that I don’t exist. Well, look who’s superseding you, buddy. I’m certainly not the big, bearded and jolly figure that I’m portrayed as. I’m not even this meek-looking Asian boy you see in the headshot at the end of this. I assume any identity I please because if I were to actually reveal myself to the masses, it would be similar to opening the Ark of the Covenant. Now time to leave you with tips so that you don’t incur my wrath, er, tough love.



Driven to make a difference? Discover The New School for Social Research. The New School for Social Research is a graduate school with a distinctive intellectual tradition in the heart of NYC.

Only leave out cookies of the highest quality for me -no Chips Ahoy. Santa does not abide by your sub-optimal cookie purchasing habits. Also, don’t leave me skim milk otherwise it’s coal for you and any of your generations to come. Please don’t try and wait up to catch me working, Santa has to go all around the globe and wants to be comfortable so I’m most likely going to be wearing sweatpants or big jeans. No one needs to see that. And yes, be merry and enjoy your Christmas with loved ones.

We offer programs in: Anthropology (MA /PhD) | Economics (MA /MS/PhD) | Philosophy (MA /PhD) | Psychology (MA /PhD) | Sociology (MA /PhD) | Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism (MA) | Global Political Economy and Finance (MA) | Historical Studies (MA) | Liberal Studies (MA) | Gender and Sexuality Studies (Graduate Certificate) Fellowships available. Learn more at


Equal Opportunity Institution Photo: Martin Seck



Help Wanted


Part time position at Ice Skating Facility. Weekday and weekend shifts. Customer Service/Cashier/Skate Patrol. Will train. Call or email Jimmy at (703)323-1132 or apply 3779 Pickett Road Fairfax, VA 22031

Help Wanted

Help Wanted


Fairfax Ice Arena seeks Ice Skating Instructors to teach beginner/intermediate level students,group and private lessons.Call or email Jimmy at (703)323-1132 or apply 3779 Pickett Road Fairfax, VA 22031

Help Wanted

Help Wanted

Help Wanted

Mason Cable Network

FEMALE TALENT/HOST(s) NEEDED for local tv show on Cox, Channel 10. We cover live events such as various fashion shows in the DC metro area. Part time, no experience necessary, must be photogenic. Also looking for Spanish speaking host. Call Chris (571)244-6824

College student needed to help 3rd grader with Math. 1 to 2 times a week. Competitive pay. Please contact Cynthia at (703)282-9591 or email at

$20/Hour Job: Need someone to be available to move and load furniture. Burke, VA. Provide own transportation. Must see to hire. Frank - (703)447-1448

MCN is currently looking for Camera Operators, Technical Directors, Production Assistants, News Writers, Videographers, News Reporters, Sports Broadcasting Production Crew, Video Editors, and Graphic Designers. If interested please apply at



Room for rent in twobedroom house in Alexandria, VA, near Kingstowne and Huntington/ Van Dorn metro. $1200/month, utilities/Internet included. Contact

Loving childless couple wishing to adopt an infant. Willing to pay legal and medical expenses. Please call 866-333-8686 or email suzanneanddonadopt@gma


Holiday Guide




All of the {Christmas} Lights RAQUEL DESOUZA STAFF WRITER

U.S. President Grover Cleveland had the first electrically lit Christmas tree in the White House in 1895. After that, electrical Christmas lights became popular decorations in American households. Today this tradition carries on as a way to celebrate the holidays. Below is a list of places around Mason and the nation’s capital where people can enjoy Christmas tree and light displays.

Festival of Lights and Carols

When: November 14 thru January 4, 7 days a week 5:30-10pm.

What: S’mores, cider, music and lights just a short distance away from campus.

Cost: Ordering online is $13 for adults and limited tickets at the door are $14 for adults.

Where: Sherwood Community Center, 3740 Old Lee Hwy City of Fairfax, VA 22030. Less than a 2-mile drive from Mason or a nice walk there. When: Dec. 6. Festival is 12-7 p.m. and music show is at 7:30 p.m. Cost: $5 for adults.

Meadowlark Winter Walks of Lights What: You can walk around and see the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens lite up for the holidays. Also on December 5, 5:30-9:30pm is Food Truck Friday.


Where: 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court Vienna VA, 22182. 10-mile drive from GMU.

Bull Run Festival of Lights What: If you’re lazy, then this is the trip for you. You can see two and a half miles of Christmas cheer decorations without even getting out of your car. But if you don’t mind to get out of the car, you can eat s’mores around a bonfire at the Holiday Village in December. Where: 7700 Bull Run Drive Centreville VA, 20121. 12-mile drive from Mason. When: Nov. 19 through Jan. 4. Mondays-Thursdays 5:309:30pm. Fridays-Sundays and Holidays (Thanksgiving, Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1) 5:30-10 p.m. Cost: Monday-Thursday $15


Holiday Guide





per car. Friday-Sunday $20 per car.

Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights What: Boats compete in multiple categories for their creative decorations. They go along the Potomac River from Old Town Alexandria to the National Harbor. Where: The Alexandria Waterfront (between King and Cameron Streets and along Union Street) Alexandria, VA. 18-mile drive from Mason. The Washington Waterfront, or National Harbor, 165 Waterfront Street National Harbor, MD 20745. You could take the Metro Green Line to the Waterfront stop or the L’Enfant stop. When: Dec. 6. 5 p.m. Parade starts at Alexandria Waterfront and from 6-7 p.m. the parade is at the Southwest Waterfront in Washington, D.C. Cost: Free! Parking varies by hourly rates.

National Christmas Tree Lighting What: The White House Christmas tree will light up in the beginning of December and then Christmas singing groups will perform in front of the tree for three weeks. Artists make tree ornaments representing each of the 50 states, all the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. Where: In front of the White House in Washington, D.C. A 20-mile drive from Mason or take the Orange line to the Farragut West metro stop. When: A free ticket lottery is needed to attend the lighting ceremony on Dec. 6, but the tree and music entertainment will continue until January. The tree is lit from dusk until 10 p.m. Cost: Free!

National ZooLights

old-school style. At night there are candlelight-guided tours, cider, ginger cookies, caroling and dancing.

What: There is plenty to do at this event. The zoo is decorated with lights set to a music show. There’s also food, holiday shopping and you can visit the nocturnal animals in their exhibits. A fun note is that all the lights are environmentally friendly LED bulbs.

Where: GW’s house, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway Mount Vernon, VA 22121. 22-mile drive from Mason.

Where: Smithsonian National Zoological Park, 3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 21-mile drive from Mason or take the Metro Red Line to the Cleveland Park or Woodley Park stops. When: Nov. 28 through Jan. 1 from 5-9 p.m. Closed Dec. 24, 25 and 31. Cost: Free entrance! Parking for non-members at the zoo is $16.

Christmas at Mount Vernon & Mount Vernon by Candlelight What: Yes this is a bit of a drive and more costly, but if you’re a history buff or want to know more about American history, then you may be interested in this trip. During the day you can see 12 Christmas trees, camels (President Washington had these to entertain his guests) and make your own chocolate treat

When: Daytime activities are from Nov. 28 through Jan. 6, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. The candlelight displays are up on the weekends from Nov. 28 thru Dec. 21, 5-8 p.m. Cost: Daytime tickets are $17 and nighttime tickets are $22 for adults.

Holly’s Tacky Christmas Lights What: This is another holiday activity to do if you don’t want to get out into the cold. You can visit over 50 residential houses in the D.C. area that annually decorate their houses to the extreme. Just make sure to be courteous. This means don’t be that person who walks on the lawns. Where: Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, Fairfax, Falls Church, Reston, Springfield, Sterling, Vienna and Woodbridge. When: Holiday Season Cost: Free!


Holiday Guide



Celebrating two traditions


That is the picture most prominent in my memories of Hanukah. It is the small glow from that menorah and the (slightly wobbly) candles that is somehow able to envelop all four of us in the kitchen, as my dad and sister sing. A similar glow is present on Christmas morning, but it doesn’t come from candles. Rather, it rests inside us. Christmas morning is the one day I can distinctly remember a look of happiness on each face of my family. And it comes every year. Sometimes, words fail. Christmas morning is one of those times, and so are the nights of Hanukkah. I’m unable to write what’s in the air when the only source of light comes from a giraffe and other animals sitting on the kitchen counter. When my dad and sister softly sing:


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam


always have decorating the house for Christmas, and the sound of carols that began months earlier. I remember gazing at the light of our tree with a warm dog on my lap.

Every year of my life I’ve celebrated both Hanukkah and Christmas. My sister and I were raised by a Jewish dad and a Catholic mom, a hardly uncommon circumstance. With the holiday season approaching, I figured it might prove beneficial, to me anyway, to reflect on my memories and try to appreciate this aspect of my life.

Simple, no greater meaning involved. That’s why there is so much joy.

I’m not going to talk about how the confluence of these two religions is of profound significance, although of course it is. I’m here to say that the holidays are simple, the kind of simple that’s tinged with warmth and comfort. When I think of Hanukah and Christmas, little comes to mind that exists outside my home. I think of our menorah that looks like Noah’s ark - eight animal candle holders, including a giraffe in the middle. I think of the wobbly candles that my dad can never securely fit, and of my relief that a candle has never fallen and started a fire. (I have wondered why we never got another menorah, one that would hold the sticks of fire steadily, but in a way, the wobbly candles are crucial to my family’s Hanuklah tradition.) I think of the fun my mom and I

There’s something so comforting in the familiarity and simplicity of my holiday memories. I’m fuzzy on the history of Hanukah, and I know a little more about Christmas (Who doesn’t?), but to me it’s not important why we celebrate the holidays, it’s the fact that we do. I guess, technically, my family wakes up every morning on Dec. 25 and hands out gifts because Jesus died for mankind on the cross. But then, why is my dad there? Jesus is not his savior. I’m sure, though, that my dad loves those mornings as much as the rest of us. There’s equal enjoyment and love on all of our faces. It’s a way we’ve expressed our love for each other for many years. Honestly, Christmas morning is not when I’m overcome with gratitude that God sent his only son to die for our sins; that usually happens at other times, other places. Also, I’m pretty sure my dad is not thinking about the fire that lasted for eight days when he’s lighting the menorah. I bet his listening to my sister sing the prayers with him, and appreciating this moment when we’re all together.

asher kidishanu b’mitz’votav v’tzivanu l’had’lik neir shel Chanukah. Amein



Holiday Guide




Jingle Bells is playing in department stores all across America and Gingerbread lattes are being served at Starbucks. All signs point to one thing: it’s the holiday season again. However, with all the commotion of the Christmas season, it’s easy to forget that many people also have birthdays during this time. Whether or not you have a birthday during the holidays, it seems that everyone has an opinion on the subject. As someone whose birthday happens to be on Christmas day, I often get the reaction of, “Wow! You have an awesome birthday!” or, “That sucks! You have to give people gifts on your birthday!” All the comments aside, having a Christmas birthday is just not as great as a birthday on a completely ordinary day. Although December birthdays more than a week before Christmas have the chance to have a birthday dinner or go out somewhere special, they still get lost in the holiday hype. Birthdays a few days before, or on Christmas, do not even get that. Personally, I’ve never had a birthday party less than a month after my actual birthday. I’ll never go out for drinks or get a birthday dinner. It will always be Christmas dinner. Sophomore Tiffany Taylor and freshman Meagan Arnold both agree their December birthdays get overshadowed by Christmas and the holidays and they do not get celebrated in the same way as birthdays in other months. “My birthday gets lost between all the hustle and bustle of holidays, and the few times I did have ‘birthday’ parties, most of my friends thought I was inviting them to a Christmas party,” Taylor said. “I definitely think my birthday is shadowed underneath the craziness that is Christmas. There are always Christmas parties going on, present shopping, exams, or something on my birthday,” Arnold said. “I know last year, my high school had the state championship game for football on Dec. 15. We were driving back exhausted, and my mom said ‘Oh no, we forgot to get you a cake!’” Sophomore Paul Helfgott may not get as many cvomments, but even he is happy he does not have a birthday directly on Christmas.

buy another gift? “My birthday is a lot different than all my friends for sure. Because my birthday is over winter break, I never have really had many people turn out to celebrate it because they are off with their own families,” Helfgott said. “Having a Holiday birthday doesn’t receive the same type of attention a midyear birthday receives.” Above all, at the risk of sounding narcissistic, I would just like to know what it is like to have a day of my own. I will never get to just have a day to feel special. A fun day in the middle of the year to go out with friends and get a gift that is just a birthday gift. And as stated before, I end up spending all my money to give people gifts on my birthday. How is that even right!? So next time you want to make a comment about someone’s birthday that is during the holidays or plan on giving them a Christmas and birthday gift combined, just put yourself in their shoes. “If you’re giving me a present for my birthday, don’t outright tell me it’s for both my birthday and Christmas, or vice versa,” Taylor said. “I’ll be fine with just one. But combining the two makes both of us feel awkward, especially if I’m giving you a Christmas present later in the month.” The Guyliner says it best: “It’s the birthday equivalent of getting married and having all of your guests turning up in a bridal outfit, year upon year. It just would have been nice to have it acknowledged that my birthday and Christmas were, ARE, two separate events.”

“Honestly the only type of reaction [I get], if any, is they comment that I was almost a Christmas baby, which I am very glad that I am not,” Helfgott said. There is also the issue of gifts. Presents are hardly the most important part of birthdays or Christmas, but people love to sign Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to the same gift. “With the holiday season you never get a ‘birthday’ present,” Taylor said. “It’s always, here’s a present on your birthday but it’ll also serve for Christmas! Or ‘I’m giving you your birthday present at Christmas’ - even from my family!” Combined gifts are just a letdown. As The Guyliner of the Huffington Post accurately puts it, “Imagine turning up to a child’s birthday party in July, handing over a gift and telling them it was for Christmas too. There’d be mutiny. And when the hell are they supposed to open it?!” One of the least appreciated aspect of having a holiday birthday is you never get to celebrate with your friends and even some family. Everyone is just too busy running holiday errands and traveling all over the place to get people together for a party. Not to mention, who needs another excuse to eat too many calories and


“With the holiday season you never get a ‘birthday’ present.

It’s always, here’s a present on your birthday but it’ll also serve for Christmas! Or ‘I’m giving you your birthday present at Christmas’ - even from my family!” -Sophomore Tiffany Taylor


Holiday Guide




What it’s like to not celebrate Christmas


SUHAIB KHAN PRINT NEWS EDITOR When I was in fifth grade, I told one of my classmates that Santa Claus was not real. To my surprise, he got very defensive and upset, and told me that the reason I hadn’t ever experienced Santa was because I didn’t observe Christmas. I took pity on the poor kid, and gently broke it to him that his parents had been lying to him all these years. Although part of my motivations behind this was a sense of childhood intellectual superiority, I was also just genuinely shocked that he believed the myth of Santa Claus. Here I was, the enlightened man of rationality educating this poor, dogmatic child. He ended up telling our teacher, and I got a color change for insulting his religious beliefs. I remember defiantly storming out of school that afternoon (read: being picked up by my mom) and questioning the entire idea of Santa as a religious figure – he wasn’t even in the Bible! Christmas was a farce, I concluded, and it was my duty to rise above the foolish consumerism that characterized the holiday and educate my peers. “Christmas is nothing but an opportunity for corporations to exploit the working class,” I declared in 7th grade. “The proletariat needs to recognize her oppression and overthrow the bourgeoisie.” Um, maybe I didn’t say that. But I did empathize with the Grinch and found the entire idea of Christmas

to be a little baffling (aside from presents.) In my head, Christmas Eve had something to do with a ham and Christmas day was about waking up, changing into hideous sweaters, opening presents, and then doing nothing for the rest of the day, apparently. Post-presents Christmas day was an enigma to me, and to this day, I still don’t understand what y’all spend the entire day doing. Christmas day for me involves waking up, ironically wishing my family a Merry Christmas (we don’t observe, in case it hasn’t been clear), and then flipping channels between It’s a Wonderful Life and live church services on TV, which I always found really interesting. I’m writing this from the perspective of an immigrant Muslim family that doesn’t celebrate Christmas because it was never part of our tradition. Of course, there are plenty of Muslim families that do celebrate Christmas, because Muslims love Jesus too, and so I’ve always took pity on how uncertain people are on how to treat Muslims on Christmas. “Merry Christm- I mean, oh I’m so sorry…do you – I mean, are you – happy holidays I guess.” At that point, I generally feel so bad for them that I jump right into the grave they’ve dug and help them finish up. You can wish us a Merry Christmas, people. It’s fine. I know that the running gag is that Jews spend Christmas ordering Chinese food and going to the movies (which sounds awesome.) But I don’t think

Muslims have established a clear, uniform itinerary as to what we’re supposed to do on Christmas day. (Because let’s be real, what can Muslims agree on?) But here are my proposals: Join the Jews at the movies with Chinese food and make it a whole interfaith bonding exercise – Shalom/ Salam, Ishmael/Ismael – that sort of thing. Go door-to-door to inform the infidels observing Christmas that they will be subject to eternal damnation. (I’m kidding, Homeland Security. Please don’t send me to Gitmo.) Jam to the new Taylor Swift album – which you should (illegally) download if you haven’t already, because it’s great. Destroy white supremacy and/or the patriarchy. (Although some intersectionalists would argue that you can’t do one without the other.) Go door-to-door caroling! Real talk: I actually love Christmas and the holiday season as a whole. Any excuse we have to get together with our loved ones and be merry should be taken advantage of, and as we get closer to Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, I can’t help but be thankful that we have this entire time of year – one in which we all get together to express gratitude, appreciation for each other, and celebrating life. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas, friends!



DIY Fabric Wreath

Holiday Guide




DIY fabric wreaths are an inexpensive and festive holiday decoration and gift. Materials: 12-18 inch Styrofoam wreath (available at most craft stores) Screwdriver or wooden skewer (depending on thickness of Styrofoam) Different color/printed fabric Fabric scissors or pinking shears Ribbon Cut the fabric into 1-inch squares with the fabric scissors or pinking shears. If the Styrofoam wreath is fairly thick, use a screwdriver for the next step. If it is thinner, use a skewer. Poke the fabric into the wreath using either the screwdriver or the skewer, makings sure not to poke a hole all the way through. Alternate different colors and prints around the wreath. When the entire wreath is covered with fabric, tie a ribbon on the top to hang.





Holiday Guide




Recipes to make the Holidays Tastier... Linzer Cookies (ANNAMARIA WARD/FOURTH ESTATE)


Originating in 18th century Austria, linzer cookies have been canonized as a traditional holiday cookie in most parts of Europe. Traditionally made with almond flour, butter and fruit preserves, the recipe can easily change to fit your preferences. With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add in the egg yolks, vanilla extract, spices, and salt. Turn off the mixer, add 1 cup of all purpose flour and ½ a cup of the almond flour, and incorporate with a rubber spatula. Repeat with the remaining all-purpose and almond flour. Add up to 1 tablespoon of milk if the dough is too dry. (HAMNA AHMAD/FOURTH ESTATE)



1 cup almond or hazelnut flour

¾ cup granulated white sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon cinnamon

2 egg yolks

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon milk

½ teaspoon salt 1





1 cup filling of choice (fruit jam, preserves, chocolate, etc.)

Divide the dough in two and roll each half between two sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap until ¼ inch thick. Refrigerate the rolled dough until firm (30-60 minutes), or reserve it in the fridge for up to two days. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare two non-greased baking sheets with parchment paper. When the dough has chilled, remove one half at a time. Use a cookie cutter of at least 2 inches in diameter to cut out the cookies. Place one inch apart on the cookie sheet.

Use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out the centers of half the cookies to create a window cutout. Place the baking sheet in the fridge for ten minutes before baking to keep the cookies’ shape. Repeat with the second half of dough. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, until lightly golden brown at the edges. Turn the tray halfway for uniform baking. Remove and let cool before assembling. Once the cookies have cooled, spread the filling on the full cookies and sandwich them with the cutout cookies. The cookies can be stored in the refrigerator for a week. Yields 26 sandwich cookies.

For a healthier version: Replace up to half a cup of butter with apple sauce, mashed bananas, or pureed pumpkin Replace a quarter cup of sugar with an equal amount of honey Replace up to one cup of all-purpose flour with wholewheat flour


Holiday Guide




How to Wine and Dine during the Holidays CONNOR SMITH STAFF WRITER

These recipes have been selected from as holiday favorites and the wine suggestions have been chosen from our staff writer and wine sommelier, Connor Smith. The holidays are the perfect time of year to bake to your hearts’ content and to test out different foods. It can get expensive ordering specific food plates from stores and restaurants to cater a friendly get-together. Below are recipes and wine suggestions that are useful for the holiday season to serve to family and friends when gathering together to celebrate. Sweet Potato Souffle 20 minutes prep and one hour cook time This recipe makes eight servings Ingredients needed:

on the beater and remove. Pour sweet potato mixture into the casserole dish. Prepare the topping in a small bowl by whisking together the brown sugar, flour, butter and pecans. Sprinkle mixture over potato mixture and bake for 40 minutes. Wine Pairing: You want something with a high acidity to cut through the rich sweet potatoes. A sommelier’s best friend with tough pairings is always riesling. They can range from off-dry to insanely sweet, so pay attention to the label, but no matter your preference as far as residual sugar goes the acid is still there and can take some of the inherent weight out of this dish. If red is more your style, I recommend a big California Zinfandel. NO! NOT the pink wine your great aunt drinks, white zin, do not under any circumstances buy that monstrosity. But a true California zinfandel will have medium tannins as not to weigh down an already heavy palate, but also bring forward some absolutely stunning fruit flavors like dark plum, blackberry, and blueberry.

6 sweet potatoes 1 cup white sugar ½ cup mlik ½ cup melted butter 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 eggs, beaten ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup dark brown sugar 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/3 cup melted butter

Sausage, Apple, and Cranberry Stuffing 15 minutes prep and 25 minutes cook time This recipe makes 10 servings Ingredients: 1 ½ cups cubed whole wheat bread 3 ¾ cups cubed white bread

1 cup chopped pecans

1 pund ground turkey sausage


¾ cup chopped celery

In a large stockpot, cover sweet potatoes with one inch of water; boil for 20 minutes, or until fork tender. Drain, allow to cool and remove skins. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease or butter one two quart casserole dish. Place potatoes in a mixing bowl and with an electric mixer, beat on low speed until potatoes begin to break up. Increase speed to medium high and blend until smooth. Reduce speed to low and add sugar, milk, butter, vanilla, eggs and salt. Mix well. Allow any potato ‘fibers’ to remain

1 cup chopped onion 2 ½ teaspoons dried sage 1 ½ teaspoons dried rosemary ½ teaspoon dried thyme 1 Golden Delicious apple, cored and chopped ¾ cup dried cranberries 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley 1 cooked turkey liver, finely chopped ¾ cup turkey stock 4 tablespoons melted



Directions Preheat oven to 350 degree F (175 degree C). Spread the white and


whole wheat bread cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for five to seven minutes in the preheated oven, or until evenly toasted. Transfer toasted bread cubes to a large bowl. In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onions over medium heat, stirring and breaking up the lumps until evenly browned. Add the celery, sage, rosemary, and thyme; cook, stirring, for two minutes to blend flavors. Pour sausage mixture over bread in bowl. Mix in chopped apples, dried cranberries, parsley, and liver. Drizzle with turkey stock and melted butter, and mix lightly. Spoon into turkey to loosely fill. Wine Pairing: Our white wine should absolutely be a Gruner Veltliner! This is Austria’s most famous white, it is light in body with a wonderful honey fruit prescience, but what makes gruner stand out, and perfect for this dish is its beautiful white pepper notes on both the nose and palate. Our red option has to be a bold, dark Syrah or Shiraz, depending on what country it comes from. These are dark brooding reds with dark dried fruit and loads of black pepper that will bring out the best aspects of the sausage in our stuffing.

Autumn Cheesecake 30 minute prep and one hour and 10 minutes cook time This recipe makes 12 servings Ingredients: 1 cup graham cracker crumbs ½ cup finely chopped pecans 3 tablespoons white sugar ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted 2 (8 ounce) packages craem cheese, softened ½ cup white sugar 2 eggs ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 4 cups apples – peeled, cored and thinly sliced 1/3 cup white sugar ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ cup chopped pecans Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Then in a large bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and melted butter. Press the ingredients into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar. Mix at medium speed until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in vanilla; pour filling into the baked crust. In a small bowl, stir together 1/3 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Toss the cinnamon-sugar with the apples to coat. Spoon apple mixture over cream cheese layer and sprinkle with 1/4 cup chopped pecans. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes. With a knife, loosen cake from rim of pan. Let cool, then remove the rim of pan. Chill cake before serving. Wine Pairing: Traditionally port would be the best option for just about any dessert we would be serving at Thanksgiving, but they can be very cost prohibitive, and there is such a wide world of port out there that depending on the age and vintage, it could lay flat or over power our cheesecake. So I recommend a good Sauterne from southern Bordeaux. These rich sweet wines show phenomenal notes of raisins, honey, and apricots. Serve it chilled.​


Holiday Guide



Gifts on a budget





As the holidays approach and the Secret Santa sticks are drawn, college students everywhere are on a budget and struggling to find decent presents for their friends and family. With the end of the semester also looming near and finals on the mind, time is of the essence. Here’s a quick fix to start the inspiration wheel rolling for all of your gift-giving needs. A good place to begin is knowing the interests, hobbies and likes of the receiver of your gift. Yes, this means no socks, scarves and hats as a cop-out; lets save the clothing presents for our parents. For a music lover, you can put together a care package complete with something simple. A good buy for this type of person are earbuds from the 5 and Below store and a mixtape CD, filled with all of their favorite holiday songs. If they can appreciate a more old school style, vinyl records from Goodwill or other thrift stores is another option. These can also work as both decoration or collectors items, so its a two-fer. Photographer wannabes can appreciate a well thought out scrapbook; this works especially well if you can add a personal touch with photos like inside jokes to personalize it. If you’re feeling creative, buying a frame, decorating it yourself and

putting a picture of the both of you inside of it is a simple and super cheap way to show that you care.

this is simple and everyone’s happy when they decide to bring you along for the treat.

“Foodies” are a little harder to find gifts for and can be more expensive too. However, sites like allow you keep it original, but inexpensive to customize your own candy bar. First, you choose a base chocolate flavor and from there you can add toppings from various categories like nuts or fruits for around $0.70 per topping.

If you want to make it really personal, small gift baskets are always a winner. You can go Movie Themed; with a couple packets of popcorn, their favorite candies, and a DVD or two. Or a “Girls Night In” with nail polish, magazines, movies, and cookie dough. If you are truly in dire need of crafting help, my motto is “When in doubt, Pinterest always has a way out”.

Another idea is to go off the concept of a mixtape playlist, except for recipes, and fill up a book of some yummy holiday dishes. You can never go wrong with a gift card to their favorite spot like Dunkin Donuts, or Panera Bread;

Hopefully at the end of the day we keep the holiday spirit in mind; remember it’s about opening our hearts, not our presents. But let’s not kid ourselves, gifts are pretty awesome too.

(Valid for Carry Out with GMU ID or Delivery to GMU Fairfax Campus Only)

One Large 1 Topping Pizza…


(tax and delivery charge not included, $9 Minimum Delivery)

MORE STUDENT VALUE DEALS! One Medium 1 Topping Pizza…$6.99 each Choose any Two (or more) items…$5.99 each

Small 10” pizza w/2 top / Sandwich / Pasta tin / 8pc Chicken (Code 9181)

3 Mediums w/ 1 top each…$5.55 each (Online only Code 9116)

One Xtra-Large Cheese…$8.99 (Online Code XL) 2 (or more) Med pizzas w/2 tops each….$5.99 each (Code 9193) (online code items good for both on & off campus delivery) (Remember some deals are not available online. Pan & Brooklyn crusts additional) Must mention special when ordering. Offer can’t be combined with other offers or specials. Prices do NOT include sales tax. Delivery areas may be limited to ensure safe driving and excellent service. Pan & Brooklyn crusts are additional. Delivery charges may apply. Drivers carry LESS than $20.00 MINIMUM DELIVERY is $9.00

HOURS OF OPERATION during GMU School Year… Mon-Thurs 10:30am until 1am and Fri-Sat until 2am (Summer and Mason school break hours we close at 12mid Mon-Thu and 1am Fri-Sat)

(703) 352-0990

10649-A Braddock Rd (University Mall)


13 Holiday Guide Talking about the holidays should not be this hard GMUFOURTHESTATE.COM @IVESTATE


Our news editor/resident grinch Alexa Rogers and online lifestyle editor Hannah Menchhoff were enticed to talk about their awkwardness during the holidays AR: Holidays are really difficult to discuss. Don’t get me wrong, I love almost every minute of them but after Thanksgiving, unless you’re crazy like me and have already started listening to Christmas music, the world just opens this Pandora’s box that explodes of shopping, music, stress and food that’s so multi-faceted. Talking about one thing is just too hard. HM: Yeah I mean, we have reached the point where holiday music starts November 1 and we cannot get away from it for two and a half months. Now we are being asked to talk about the holidays and be witty and wise in 800 words. Might as well start where our conversation did, with holiday movies. AR: This is awful but Love Actually is my go-to holiday movie. It’s horribly romantic in cheesiest way but somehow it’s my family’s favorite. I think I like the main aspect of it, that no matter how convoluted life gets, it all ends up working out. I feel like that’s a pretty big thing people realize at the end of the year, like oh well that all kind of sucked but I’m making it to next year so maybe it wasn’t so bad. And it’s cute, who doesn’t enjoy watching an elementary school kid try to figure out how to tell his classmate he’s in love with her? HM: True, that is a great part about the holidays. We have made it to the end of the year and everything we were stressed about doesn’t really matter. And I can’t judge you for liking it. I always have the worst taste in holiday movies, many judge me for my love of Halloweentown. My favorites are some of our more pessimistic and judgeable holiday films: “Home Alone” and “The Santa Clause.” In the end everything works out, but they are both on the darker side. A family leaves a ten year old behind to fend off burglars and Tim Allen scares Santa Claus off of a roof in the other. Very uplifting. AR: Yeah, I feel like that’s just Hollywood’s way of causing some drama. It’s a holiday movie, we’re all know they’re going to end

happily with everyone appreciating each other and all of the problems that happened on the way there. There truly isn’t much for us to be upset about once they’re over. Unless maybe you’re that kid in National Lampoon’s Christmas that almost “freezes to death” in pursuit of the perfect Christmas tree, which is a holiday tradition I love, frozen or not. HM: I am always envious of family’s holiday traditions! My family cannot really commit to one. We do something for a couple of year’s then we always forget about it. We used to get a Christmas tree, but then we got cats. My mom made the excuse that they would keep knocking needles to the ground. 15 years later, this excuse still confuses me because our fake tree still drops needles everywhere and the cats still swat at it. AR: And that’s why cats are the worst...haha, no but honestly it’s a really fun tradition. Watching my mom and I use a tiny saw to cut down a tree is really more of a comedy act than anything else but it’s really satisfying to bring it home and decorate it. HM: Important question. Do you guys have a common color palette or theme you use? That is a big thing my family also never got around. AR: It’s a weird thing to establish honestly! One year my dad wanted to decorate his tree with half colored and half white lights one year but it wound up looking horrible and totally indicative of his decorating inabilities. But my mom and I stick to white lights and all of our ornaments just seem to be odds and ends that we’ve collected/I’ve made in school over the past 20 years. My mom always strings beads on the trees which isn’t something else I’ve noticed on other trees so I guess that’s our own piece of flair that we add. What’s your main tradition, you seem to bounce around each year. HM: Oookay! Fine, I give in. I guess this is a tradition. Every year, and I have no idea how this started, my family makes lamb biryani. So I guess we have made a tradition and broken one too. Instead of being the Jewish family that eats Chinese food, we eat

Indian food. Also, we drive around with my grandma and insult people on their cheesy Christmas decor. Those people with giant inflatable snow globes, they are the worst! However, those people who cover their houses with lights and make a video to the Trans Siberian Orchestra, they win. AR: Holiday decor is the biggest time for judgement and therefore, the best time of this whole thing. My mom and I always drive around after dinner on Christmas Eve and look people’s lights. I always admire how much work some people put into their displays, I’m a sucker for some great white lights and maybe a random reindeer hanging out in the front lawn. But I seriously think those people with inflatable lawn ornaments have all entered some private, tacky decoration contest that we don’t know about. Have you ever found yourself simultaneously looking inside their houses too? I remember my mom commentating on someone’s wallpaper once. HM: Oh they have to be. How else can those guys afford the electricity bill they rack up every year? Yes, it is impossible not to! I always like to notice what they are watching on TV and if I can judge them based on that too! AR: Like is it Love Actually or Home Alone? Or maybe you’re a grinch and watching something not cheery, to which I continuously judge. But to wrap this up here (pun intended) I feel like that’s the main point we hit, we’re all just kind of awful and judging each other’s traditions during the holidays while simultaneously not caring that we’re being judged, which is really kind of okay in my opinion. I get to spend time with my family, that’s all that matters to me. HM: Yes, absolutely. Even though we are secretly being horrible people, we at least know that we aren’t really doing it to be a Scrooge. We just love to appreciate what we do with our families, the one time of year we can slow down to be with them. That is really important, since as a society we are always running around not noticing anything around us. This judgement/not caring about judgement has also brought ugly sweaters back into style, which I am also totally okay with.

FREE TICKETS FOR MASON STUDENTS! SERAPHIC FIRE CHRISTMAS Carols by Candlelight Nov. 29 at 8 p.m. $50, $43, $30 CA 2 Free Tickets per ID avail. NOW CHANTICLEER Nov. 30 at 4 p.m. $50, $43, $30 HC 2 Free Tickets per ID avail. NOW MASON SYMPHONIC BAND Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. $10 adu., $5 stu. CA 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. NOW


MASON DANCE COMPANY Winter: Dance Innovations Dec. 5-6 at 8 p.m. $15 adu., $10 stu./sen. HT 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. Nov. 25 VIRGINIA OPERA H.M.S. Pinafore Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. $86, $72, $44 Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. $98, $80, $48 CA 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. Nov. 25


7 0 3 - 9 9 3 - 8 8 8 8 O R C FA . G M U . E D U / S T U D E N T S


MASON OPERA Dec. 5 at 8 p.m., Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. $20 adu., $15 sen/stu. CA 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. Nov. 25 MASON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Holiday Concert Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. $10 adu., $5 stu. CA 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. Nov. 25 ART AND DESIGN SENIOR SHOW Dec. 8-12 FREE FG


HOLIDAY CELEBRATION WITH THE 5 BROWNS Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. $50, $43, $30 CA 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. Dec. 2 AMERICAN FESTIVAL POPS ORCHESTRA Holiday Pops: Songs of the Season Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. HC Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. CA $50, $43, $30 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. Dec. 2


7 0 3 - 9 9 3 - 7 7 5 9 O R H Y LT O N C E N T E R . O R G / S T U D E N T S



Holiday Guide




Washington D.C. Theater Scene




The Washington area has a thriving theater scene. Every year brings new ideas and diverse shows. The winter season is no different. “Bad Jews” Studio Theatre: 1501 14th Street NW. Washington, DC Run: Nov. 5-Dec. 21, 2014 Written by Joshua Harmon, Directed by Serge Seiden A comedy featuring three cousins with inappropriate timing, who fight over the family heirloom after their grandfather’s funeral. They do have to discuss it eventually, I guess. “’Bad Jews’ presents a complicated family drama in the frame of a side-splitting comedy. It has found a way to bring to light real questions about personal and religious identity in an approachable and comedic manner, without making any character the laughing-stock of the play,” Studio Theatre’s communications apprentice, Dorothy Trigg, said. “‘Bad Jews’ shows the very real struggle that many twenty-somethings are facing as we try to find our place in our families and in the world. And I couldn’t stop laughing!”

“Holiday Celebration with the Five Browns” Mason’s Center for the Arts Run: Dec. 12, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.

Five talented siblings, all Julliard students accepted at the same time, play holiday favorites on five pianos. In case math is not a strong suit that is 50 fingers playing 440 piano keys all in one performance. “The quintet has brought their dynamic performances, which feature the siblings performing individually or in various combinations from duos to complex five-piano arrangements, to prestigious stages across the globe, including China’s Grand National Theater, Japan’s Suntory Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center and Chicago’s Symphony Hall,” Jill Graziano Laiacona, the media relations coordinator at the Center for the Arts wrote in a press release. “They have also soloed with orchestras around the world, including the National Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre de chamber de Paris. The 5 Browns are the authors of ‘Life Between the Keys,’ a lighthearted collection of personal stories, which was published by Phoenix Books in 2009.”

“A Christmas Carol” Ford’s Theater, 511 Tenth St, NW, Washington, DC Run: Nov. 20, 2014-Jan. 1, 2015 Written by Charles Dickens, adapted by Michael Wilson, directed by Michael Baron A Christmas classic produced by the theater every year. The ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, take the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge on a midnight journey, basically to make him feel bad about himself. Or, you could say the ghosts take him on a journey, to expose Scrooge to the consequences of his actions, so he can seek redemption. “A Christmas Carol” features Mason theater professor, Edward Gero, as Ebenezer Scrooge.

“Is it worth coming back to see Christmas Carol, even if it is a yearly thing? Of course. Because in the story there lives the spirit of the season: renewal,” Gero said. “In the darkness of the year, like the darkness of Scrooge’s life, we celebrate the promise of a new beginning. I think we can all use a little bit of that each year, and especially in the kind of geopolitical world we live. Hope springs eternal. And if that is can be true for the likes of Ebenezer Scrooge, why then, the rest of us just might have a chance.”

“A Very Pointless Holiday Spectacular” Pointless Theatre Company Run: Dec. 2, 2014- Jan. 3, 2015 Show location: 916 G Street NW ,Washington DC A cabaret incorporating improv, puppetry, and a “funky reindeer band.” What really could be better than that? “Our goal is to create an alternative holiday show that is geared towards adults, a winter wonderland with a twist. Our show is intended for mature audiences. It is not family entertainment, unless you want to sit next to your grandmother and your little cousin Sally while you watch a saucy Mrs. Claus talk about sex with Santa,” Frank Cervarich, the co-director for ‘A Very Pointless Holiday Spectacular, said. “We have a crackerjack team of elves that perform tap dance, puppetry, and acrobatics alongside a trio of misfit toys who guzzle booze over the course of the show. We aren’t pushing a moral or a message like so many other holiday shows, we creating an immersive environment that is sincerely festive but irreverent towards traditional holiday fare.”


Holiday Guide




Season’s greetings from Fourth Estate Here’s our staff members’ favorite things to do in the winter! Hau Chu

Suhaib Khan

Amy Rose

Ryan Adams


Print News Editor

Photography Editor

Distribution Manager

In the winter, I mimic the majestic bear and catch up on all the sleep I missed through the fall. Spending time with family and friends is pretty dope too.

In the Winter I really look forward to watching Harry Potter on ABC Family and hanging out with friends over hot chocolate.

Every winter my family and I search for a huge Christmas tree at local tree farm. I love picking out the best one a decorating it with my family.

Daniel Gregory

Sara Moniuszko

My favorite thing to do in the winter is driving around town with my family to see all of the lights. Every year we get hot chocolate from Wawa, blast Christmas music, and go to the celebration in lights.

Managing Editor

Niki Papadogiannakis Managing Editor

In the winter, my friends and I end up baking way more food than we can eat and watching A Christmas Story too many times.

Alexa Rogers News Editor

My favorite part of the holidays really is spending time with my family. There’s truly nothing better than sitting around the table, eating, yelling and laughing with each other. It feels like home.

Avery Powell Online News Editor

In the winter, I love to go ice skating or do other winter focused activities like tubing and skiing. It’s also a great time to catch up with family and old friends.

Lifestyle Editor

One of my favorite winter activities is Secret Santa shopping for my family and eating my mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning!

Hannah Menchhoff Online Lifestyle Editor

My winter is pretty #basic. I drink coffee and eggnog. And I lay in my bed and pet my cats.

Savannah Norton Print Lifestyle Editor

This holiday season, I am really looking forward to hanging out with my family and puppies! When it snows, I love hanging out outside all day with my brothers and then coming home to drink hot chocolate and watch holiday specials on TV.

Amy Podraza Asst. Photography Editor

In the winter, I always enjoy being home with my family and eating homemade food. Also, every year we drive around to look at the lights throughout the city.

Walter Martinez Visual Editor

Jill Carter Copy Chief

The best part of winter is snuggling up next to the fire with a good book, a hot toddy and my dogs.

Laura Baker Illustrator

I like to bake a lot during the winter. I live up to my name.

NOW HIRING: Paid staff positions are available for Spring 2015 in news, sports and design. We are also always looking for writers, photographers, videographers, copy editors and columnists. Email for more information. Fourth Estate will return on January 20, 2015 with “Volume 2, Issue 13” Fourth Estate is printed each Monday for George Mason University and its surrounding Fairfax community. The editors of Fourth Estate have exclusive authority over the content that is published. There are no outside parties that play a role in the newspaper’s content, and should there be a question or complaint regarding this policy, the Editor-inChief should be notified at the email provided. Fourth Estate is a free publication, limit one copy per person. Additional copies are 25 cents payable to the Office of Student Media. Mail Fourth Estate George Mason University Mail stop 2C5 4400 University Drive Fairfax, Va. 22030 Phone 703-993-2950


$1000 A WEEK




• Earn up to $27/hr in fares

• 2005 vehicle or newer

• Applying is easy and takes less than 5 minutes

• Valid driver’s license, insurance, and registration

• Drive whenever you want

• Age 21 or older

• Get access to exclusive vehicle discounts and financing rates

Nov. 24, 2014  

2014 Holiday Guide

Nov. 24, 2014  

2014 Holiday Guide