By: Morgan Guess
While there are so many ways to celebrate Christmas, what’s better than going to see Christmas lights with some of your loved ones? I’ve been to see many lights, including the Lewis lights, over the years, but I wanted to shake it up a little bit for Christmas 2012. Zoo Lights was advertised on many local billboards, so I decided to give it a chance. Only ten dollars for hot chocolate, unlimited Polar Bear Express and Candy Cane Carousel rides, and some of my favorite things—animals and Christmas lights–why not? People looking for an interesting, family-friendly holiday night out will find the Hattiesburg Zoo Lights to be just that. Right when you walk through the front gates of the zoo, you’re greeted by Santa’s elves and crowds of families making their way to the Polar Bear Express. The jolly conductor led the way through the most anticipated event of the night, the light show. The train weaved its way through the zoo, which was filled with enchanting lights and adorable holiday animals stashed across the grounds that brought holiday cheer to each and every viewer. Magnificently decorated Christmas trees and tables were also set up throughout the zoo offering hot chocolate, unique gifts, and reindeer feed for everyone. While the actual animal attractions were closed, Santa’s elves didn’t disappoint.
At 7:00 p.m., the elves presented the animals for the Holly Jolly Animal Show that featured a variety of birds performing tricks. Children even had the chance to get a picture with Santa Claus and put in their last minute Christmas wishes. Right around the corner, Mrs. Claus entertained a circle of anticipating children with tales from the North Pole, while Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer was wandering near the feed station. Bright, giant candy canes led the way to the Candy Cane Carousel, and delightful carolers sang of Christmas cheer. The Hattiesburg Zoo Lights celebration is a great family attraction, and at only $8.00 per child and $10.00 per adult, the festivities are worth the money and time.
By: Luke Bush
There have always been skeptics who say “Santa is not real.” This, of course, is nonsense. Santa Clause is very much real, but people consider him fake because everyone has been misinformed who Santa really is.
Most have always thought of Santa as an old guy in a red suit who puts presents under the Christmas tree. Now this may be true, but that’s not all Santa is. Santa represents the spirit of giving and has caused countless boys and girls to behave well in order to be placed on the “nice list.” Santa represents the magic of Christmas that too many have forgotten. Santa is not just about the man who drives the sleigh, but instead, he is a figure that represents all of Christmas.
Some people make the mistake of telling children at a young age that Santa is not real. These people don’t realize that they are depriving children from the magic of Christmas. Everyone can remember the magic of Christmas morning and running to see what Santa had waiting for them. By ruining the belief in Santa, the parents are robbing children of wonderful childhood memories.
Believe it or not, Santa can still be found in children on Christmas morning; in the cookies we set out with family and the memories of the holidays remembered forever. Essentially, Santa is the spirit of Christmas and he is real. As long as there are people who truly believe in the spirit of Christmas, there will be a Santa.
By: Amelia Landers, Editor
With the holidays here and football coming to an end, the weekends are a perfect time to have some Christmas fun. Hattiesburg is full of different things to do though some people are not sure where exactly to find them. Whether it’s a night out with friends or family, there is something for everybody. Not sure where to start? Here are a few festivities that will surely get everyone in the Christmas spirit.
Downtown Hattiesburg Art Walk and Candle Lighting
The Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association will host their annual holiday art walk and the annual Christmas candle lighting. The art exhibits will feature local artist who will be showing and selling their work. There will be live entertainment, food, and more. Those who attend will be able to take a step back in time as the Hattiesburg Historic Neighborhood celebrates the 34th Annual Victorian Christmas candle lighting, December 12 & 13, 5 – 9 p.m. each night. This annual event transforms the downtown Hattiesburg neighborhood into a night-time wonderland as residents line their sidewalks with more than 15,000 luminaries and decorate their homes for the holidays. Enjoy carriage rides around the neighborhood, tour the two open houses on Short Bay or listen to carolers roaming the streets. Tickets for the open house tour are $5 and will be available in advance at Main Street Books, The Walthall, and at the homes that weekend. Carriage ride tickets are $5 and will be on sale at The Walthall along with hot chocolate, coffee and snacks. This is definitely an event that should not be missed.
Christmas is not complete without a visit to the Lewis home on White Chapel Road on Hwy. 11 toward Purvis. Watch for the lighted cross that marks the turn onto White Chapel. After a wind down this little country road, suddenly the curve rounds and the view is filled with thousands of Christmas lights in every color. It is amazing to see all of this suddenly appear. After parking, guests will find that lights are only the beginning of the journey. After receiving a mint from one of Santa’s elves (members of the Lewis family), guests go through a path lined with white lights. At each stop there are paintings to enjoy. From the Christmas story to famous characters, visitors always enjoy the colorful displays. One special display is the Lewis family tree. A large tree in the front yard is filled with wooden ornaments for each member of their family. The Lewis family does this treat for the community free of charge though donations will be accepted. Every year, the home is open for guests beginning the day after Thanksgiving and will end around New Year’s. People have been known to travel from as far as Louisiana just to see the Christmas wonderland. Therefore, it is something no one would want to miss out on. No matter the age, this is something that everybody will enjoy. This is a great way to get the holidays started also.
These are just a few ideas; however, the list definitely doesn’t stop here. USM will be hosting Christmas concerts free of charge and churches will be having musicals. Don’t miss out on what all Hattiesburg has to offer during the holidays.
By: Taylor Rigney
This time of year never fails to ignite an infectious desire in the hearts of humankind to give back to society, and the clubs at Oak Grove High School have no immunity to this desire. The Student Council, Red Cross, and National Honor Society are just a few of the many clubs at Oak Grove that are working hard to get into the holiday spirit and spread some Christmas cheer by lending a helping hand to those in the community who are in need.
The Student Council and Beta Club participated in Operation Christmas Child by collecting shoeboxes filled with goodies and toys, which will later be delivered to children who are in poverty-stricken areas all over the world. “Operation Christmas Child is a really good project to get involved with. It’s really amazing how you can affect someone’s life who you’ve never even met and who lives so far away,” Student Body Vice President, Lauren Pace, said.
The Key Club also joined in on the merriment when its members brought joy to the elderly by visiting the Wesley Manor nursing home over Thanksgiving. The Key Club members visited and chatted with the residents of Wesley Manor, played some bingo, and even sang a few songs for the residents. The Key Club enjoyed its visit to the nursing home so much that the members are even hoping to return before Christmas and entertain the residents by singing some carols. “The holidays are about making people smile and having a wonderful Christmas experience. Without joy, people would be angry and grumpy all the time,” Key Club member, Karen Phan, said.
The National Honor Society is no Scrooge either when it comes to helping out others in need. During the chilly winter months, the club will be collecting coats and jackets that will go out to people who are in need of them. The National Honor Society will also be conducting a canned-food drive to help provide families in need with food over the holidays. “I really just hope that by donating a few jackets and canned-goods, I can make at least one person’s Christmas just a little bit more enjoyable. I think we all forget how lucky we are sometimes, but I love things like this because they give us the chance to give back to the community,”Alison Toups, National Honor Society member, said.
The Red Cross will also be collecting canned-goods for those who are in need of them. The club hopes that it will be able to collect enough cans to provide lots of families with food during the harsh winter months.
Remember, it’s not too late to get involved with the generosity that is quickly spreading throughout the halls of Oak Grove High School. Just talk to club sponsors or officers to get more information on how you can help out.
With all the selfless acts students at Oak Grove High School are participating in, it’s obvious that there’s never been a better time to be a Warrior. Students at Oak Grove are quick to realize just how truly blessed we all are, and they are even quicker to jump on the opportunity to make another person’s Christmas holiday a little merrier.
Have a favorite Christmas tradition? Is there something that really gets you in the holiday spirit? What is your favorite Christmas song or movie you like to watch with your family? Do you need some new ideas to brighten up the season? Christmas is finally here and The Warrior Beat staff could not be more excited. Do you want to find somewhere to volunteer this Christmas season? Learn how some OGHS clubs are serving during the holidays. Clubs and classes have already been doing a variety of holiday activities ranging from Angel Tree to present swaps or looking at lights and collecting food for those in need. For some students, Christmas is the smell of trees and warm cookies while for others it is the sound of favorite Christmas carols and songs. Not sure where to get started this season? Maybe you aren’t sure what will be the perfect present to get your parents or where exactly to go for a night of holiday fun with your friends. There are a ton of ways to celebrate Christmas and get into the spirit. Here are some ideas to brighten up the holidays.