Pierce Pioneer

Things to Do This Summer

 

 

This one goes out to all the fathers out there. I know it’s not easy, I’ve seen my dad struggle with the best of them. I wasn’t always appreciative as I should be to my dad, but as time goes on I realize how much he sacrificed. It took time, but I realized sometimes showing appreciation comes in the form of just growing up and trying to shoulder the same burden our dads did. That journey of self-growth, becomes the catalyst to the only on-going relationship some of us will have with our dads.

I never had a great relationship with my dad. He provided for me, I never went hungry or cold, and he told me stories. But talking with him wasn’t a normal thing by any means. The relationship I have with my dad is non-verbal, and the ways in which I grow to be like him are from the non-verbal parts of myself that not only learned from him but came from him.

Whether gift or a curse, fathers hold a major part in our lives, something I intend to continue to set further out on my life to understand.

8 ways to spend Memorial Day 2021

What is memorial day? Why do we celebrate it?

America’s tradition of honoring fallen soldiers is not new to the 20th Century. Dating back to the Civil War, which took the lives of over 600,000 men, citizens have mourned and gathered in remembrance of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Originally known as Decoration Day, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, founded the holiday on May 30, 1868. During this time, it was known as “Decoration Day” for the act of decorating the graves of buried soldiers with flowers and reciting prayers.

When the country was faced with WWl and WWll, the Decoration Day commemorated the deaths of soldiers from all wars instead of just the Civil War. From 1868 to 1971, the nation honored and mourned on May 30, but in 1971, Memorial Day was established as a federal holiday and moved to May 31.

Today Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and attending parades. It is a time to be thankful for our freedoms, honor the men and women who sacrificed their lives, and to give back to those who serve. There are many ways to observe this holiday, here’s a few to get you started for Memorial Day 2021.

Things to do for Memorial Day 2021:

  • 1. Give thanks to veterans

    Suggest calling a loved one, family friend who has served, or their family and thanking them for paying the ultimate sacrifice. Or if you want to send a letter or package to a soldier that you don’t know, think about participating in organizations such as A Million Thanks and Operation Gratitude.

  • 2. Visit a cemetery

    Pay tribute to those who lost their lives fighting for our country at a veterans cemetery near you. The Tahoma National Cemetery, is a great local cemetery to visit and honor Washingtonian veterans. If you can’t find a local veterans memorial, you can sponsor flowers to lay on a veterans grave through Memorial Day Flowers.

  • 3. Watch a documentary

    To get in the memorial day spirit and understand what our veterans have gone through, watching a war documentary is a great way to learn about our history. Here is IMBd’s Top 100 list of the best war documentaries of all time.

  • 4. Donate to veteran charity/non profit

    To directly help veterans and their families, consider donating to a charity or non-profit organization of your choice. Research trusted groups and determine what cause you want to support, either being homeless veterans, the wounded, their families or those struggling with PTSD.

  • 5. Shop veteran owned business

    Shopping veteran owned businesses on Memorial Day or any day, is an opportunity to support our heroes financially and keep our communities flourishing. Veterans Owned Businesses and Washington Department of Veterans Affairs are easy portals to find a business near you.

  • 6. Fly a flag

    A simple way to pay your respect and show love for America is flying a flag. This could be a large flag placed on the side of your house, or smaller flags stuck in the ground. Here’s a few things to remember when displaying your flag and performing proper Etiquette.

  • 7. Take a moment of Silence

    No matter what your plans are for Memorial Day, take a moment of silence at 3 p.m. local time for The National Moment of Remembrance. Taking one minute of silence to send your thanks and prayers to all who have served and or are currently serving, will remind you of what to be thankful for in America.

  • 8. Get outdoors

    If you’re looking to get outside and enjoy the nice weather, taking a hike is a great way to appreciate America’s beautiful landscapes that veterans have died to protect. Also, get together with family and friends for a barbeque or a picnic to honor our veterans’ sacrifices and celebrate our freedoms in a way for all to enjoy.

COVID Affecting the Holiday Spirit

How online shopping and COVID restrictions is affecting our yearly holiday festivities

This time of year my family would be overjoyed with the Christmas spirit. We’d watch movies and drink hot chocolate together as we’d happily wrap gifts for everyone. But now it’s different; I feel depressed and not in the mood to do anything festive this year.

This is especially the case after Thanksgiving, where all we did was buy food and go to my grandma’s house for the holiday. After we ate, we left because everyone was tired. This pandemic has affected my family so much, and has left many of us stressed and drained.

For me, it’s having to do schoolwork online with the pressure to pass that has affected my holidays. On the other hand, my parents are worried about money and having to work during the pandemic.

Gov. Jay Inslee put the restrictions to prevent more cases, such as limiting group sizes for gatherings or in-store shopping. Yet many people, including my family, have gone Black Friday shopping, by either using curbside pickups or shopping online. 

I thought Black Friday wasn’t going to be a big thing like the years before. However, while it was, it mostly took place online with events like Cyber Monday. But to me, shopping online isn’t the same as going to the store and picking the item out yourself, wrapping it and giving it to someone. Instead, if you shop online, you can just ship the gift to the person.

Many things have changed since the pandemic, but we can change too. We might not be able to shop like we could previously, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to do for the holidays. Doing little things at home, such as baking and giving them to our families can return some of that festive spirit that seems to be missing.

One other thing people can do to make this year a little better is visit the Pierce County Light Shows, with the Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Lake Park, located on 14905 Bresemann Blvd. South, Spanaway, taking place daily from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. all the way until Jan. 3.

This can make someone’s day, even if that something is as little as baking cookies, watching a movie, or just driving around seeing Christmas decorations. So let’s not be as gloomy as the Grinch and get up. Watch something with your family and do the traditional things you would before. COVID does not have to define how you end your year.

Hanukkah Dishes for the Holidays

A list of dishes and recipes for those looking to diversify their tables for this year’s holidays.

The holidays are a lovely time of year for everyone, as well for me; Hanukkah is an especially great time of year because it means some of the tastiest dishes of our culture get to be indulged in for eight days. Here is a list of all my personal favorite foods to eat during Hanukkah and what makes them so special!

 

Brisket

 


What it is: Braised beef.
What it means: Chances are you’ve already heard of brisket, it’s a popular meat all over the world. My grandma used to serve brisket at all of our holidays, Hanukkah, Passover, etc. The braising of the meat makes it tender and juicy and very flavorful, making it a year-round favorite for the community.

Gelt

 


What it is: Milk chocolate circles wrapped in colored foil that resemble Jewish coins.
What it means: Gelt is something akin to an edible poker chip for anyone playing a game of dreidel. Everyone starts out with about 10 pieces of gelt and then takes turns spinning the dreidel, depending on which of the four sides it lands on you’ll either take all the gelt in the pile, take half of the gelt in the pile, lose all your gelt, or do nothing and move on to the next person. Aside from being a game currency, gelt is also gifted to children during the holidays.

Gelt can be bought from a multitude of places in Pierce County, including the Cost Plus World Market in Tacoma and Party City in Lakewood. Gelt can also be ordered on Amazon.

 

Knishes

 

What it is: Fried dough stuffed with either meat or potatoes.
What it means: Unlike the other items on this list, knishes are a more unorthodox choice for Hanukkah, but since they’re usually fried I like to eat them around this time of year. In theory, stuffing a pastry full of mashed potatoes or ground beef may sound strange, but really knishes are just the Jewish version of an empanada or a samosa.

 

 

Latkes


What it is: Fried potato pancakes, usually topped with applesauce and sour cream.
What it means: Next to matzo, latkes are somewhat of a staple dish in the Jewish community; they’re easy to make and a lot of regular grocery stores carry the ingredients or even have latke mix to make them. On Hanukkah latkes are one of the stars of the show since they are fried in oil, but they also make for a delicious breakfast with some cold applesauce and sour cream to complement this hot dish.

Sufganiyot


What it is: Powdered jelly donuts.
What it means: Sufganiyot, pronounced soof-gah-nee-ah or soof-gah-nee-oht, are little fried balls of dough filled with jelly or sometimes custard and they are almost exclusive to Hanukkah. Like regular doughnuts, sufganiyot can be made differently and depending on where you go, they can range from pretty basic to very extravagant; but, in my opinion, you can’t go wrong with the classics.



Moving here was a bit of a culture shock for me, I didn’t realize how used I was to being surrounded by stores and delis that had everything my family needed until I was over a thousand miles away from it. 

Even though the Jewish community here is small, it still exists and with several places in Seattle like Dingfelders and Zyldberschteins that have some classic Jewish soul-food. So whether you’re a fellow Jew looking to reach out to another member of the community or you’re just looking to expand your culinary horizons, don’t be afraid to spice up the holiday season with a few new dishes this year!

Writen by, Lizbeth Martinez-Santos

Grocery stores in the Pierce and King County area have seen a spike in shoppers, with many aisles empty approaching the holidays. This follows Gov. Jay Inslee’s announcement Nov. 15, which would have state-wide restrictions on social gatherings taking place until Dec. 14.

In a matter of hours following the announcement, people began stockpiling groceries from store to store, buying food and supplies. One such store hit hard by panic-buyers includes Costco, as the store quickly sold out of items such as bottled water and toilet paper.

As reported by Kara Kostanich from Komo News, panic-buying across the region had grown worse within 24 hours of the announcement. “A small line formed outside Costco in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood,” Kostanich stated. “A drastic difference from Sunday when lines wrapped around Costco warehouses across Puget Sound.” At one point, Costco placed a white board outside their store which listed what they did and did not have in stock.

Shopping increased over the last two weeks, but not because of the holidays. Despite being around the corner, shoppers aren’t actually thinking of the holidays at all. Most shoppers are simply looking to have enough to eat this Thanksgiving week. According to an annual report conducted by the WSU Insider, 83% of shoppers do not plan to do any in-store shopping for Thanksgiving, while 77% said the same for Black Friday.

As stores like Costco or Winco continue to resupply during the uprise in buyers, shoppers could consider visiting other stores not hit as hard by shoppers, such as Target. As of Nov. 25, Target continues to have most of its supply in stock. El Jalapeño, a small business located on 1012 72nd St E in Tacoma, is another grocery store stocked with food and supplies, having in-store shopping for all customers.

Shoppers should look into attending smaller stores within their community if trying to avoid big crowds or a shortage in supply. Going to stores such as Fred Meyer and Target make good alternatives for places like Costco. More information will be available on this topic in the following weeks.

Holidays Around The World

Jill Wellington / Pixabay / Courtesy Photo

Every winter, people decorate their houses with lights, set up Christmas trees, and celebrate the new year with fireworks. Christmas and New Year’s are largely recognized as traditional holidays of the U.S., but what about winter holidays that are celebrated in other countries that we may not know about?

Pashminu Mansukhani / Pixabay / Courtesy Photo

Diwali

Frida Gabot / Pixabay / Courtesy Photo

St. Nicholas Day and St. Lucia Day

Diwali (Festival of Lights) is a Hindu holiday that occurs in either October or November. Good is celebrated over evil by decorating houses with colorful lights and by gifting others. They also worship the Hindu goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. Diwali has become recognizable worldwide from India to the United Kingdom, and the vibrant festivals last up to five days.

In Europe, Christian festivals such as St. Nicholas Day and St. Lucia Day are celebrated. On Dec. 6, St. Nicholas Day is celebrated similarly to Christmas. Children write letters to Saint Nicholas and he leaves presents for them in the morning. Then, on Dec. 13, St. Lucia Day honors Saint Lucia, a Christian martyr. Children dress in white with the eldest daughter serving coffee and sweets to family members. It is a ceremony of lights and songs, celebrated mostly in Sweden.

Anza Trail NPS / Flickr / Courtesy Photo

Las Posadas

Micheal / Pixabay / Courtesy Photo

Hanukkah

Over in Latin America, the Mexican holiday Las Posadas occurs from Dec. 16 to Dec. 24. People parade the streets singing Christmas carols and holding candles. Communities are brought closer with dinner and parties. After dinner, members of the community take turns hitting a piñata which represents the seven deadly sins. Each night is a party until Christmas day.

Hanukkah (Chanukah), a historical Jewish holiday, begins Dec. 22 to Dec. 30. In Israel, they celebrate a victory won in battle over the Jewish Temple years ago. Also referred to as “Festival of Lights,” a menorah is lit every night for eight nights in a row. To thank God, blessings and the Hallel prayer are spoken. Children play with dreidels and are given money as presents for good behavior.

Thinkstock / Courtesy Photo

Kwanzaa

stock luong / Pixabay / Courtesy Photo

New Year's

Kwanzaa takes place Dec. 26 to Jan. 1 and is widely celebrated by African Americans and African culture. The Seven Principles (Nguzo Saba) has each principle observed for each day. These values contribute to the progress and hard work that people of African heritage have had to go through. Red, black, and green clothing are worn to symbolize the efforts for social change of the past and the future.

New Year’s is observed diversely around the world with some events on different days. On Dec. 31, Japan calls it “Omisoka” where cleaning one’s home and self is important as they enter the new year. In Denmark, citizens smash plates and jump off chairs to bring good fortune. On Feb. 8, both the Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year) and Korean New Year (Seollal) brings family reunions and hosts parades. During the Chinese New Year, family members give out money in red envelopes to symbolize good luck.

International winter holidays may not appear to be as prevalent in the U.S. but they’re still joyfully celebrated elsewhere. It’s an opportunity for families to truly take a break from their busy schedules to spend time together. Whether holidays are celebrated religiously or culturally, individuals can end the past year on a good note and look forward to the start of a new year worldwide.

“Klaus” blesses the season with traditional animation

Netflix / Courtesy Photo
This animated holiday movie is set in a surreally gruesome place, filled with surreally gruesome people.

With the holidays right around the corner, Netflix has gifted viewers with a new 2D animated Christmas movie, Klaus. Even for viewers who don’t celebrate Christmas, it is well worth the watch. The movie perfectly captures the true spirit of the holidays with beautiful traditional animation

The movie pulls us into an adventure with Jesper (Jason Schwartzman), a self-centered postman, who is forced by his father to work in a chaotic town called Smeerensburg. Jesper must mail enough letters to go back home. This proves difficult when all of the citizens only want to fight each other.

Jesper learns to work with an old toymaker, Klaus (J. K. Simmons), in the woods to help him achieve his goal of getting out of there. With Christmas approaching, Jesper takes advantage of the holidays to encourage the children to write lots of letters to Santa. Klaus and Jesper must work together to respond to these children’s wishes. In the meantime, he learns about the origin of Smeerensburg and the tales of local citizens while he struggles to make it as a successful postman.

The plot travels along at a steady pace, comedically tying in the original stories and traditions of how Santa Claus came to be. The humor is full of sarcasm and witty comebacks which make the movie an enjoyable watch for audiences of all ages. It doesn’t feel as though there is a dull moment in the dialogue between characters.

Netflix / Courtesy Photo

For older viewers, “Klaus” unexpectedly carries subtle, dark tones which involve violence, breaking and entering, and gloom. These dark themes tend to stick out the most in comparison to the rest of the film for those that recognize it. The audience may be shocked at some of the humor which will hint at something darker than a children’s movie.

At times, some of the characters’ stories can be a little too serious, reminding the audience of the heartaches life has to offer. “Klaus” is slightly reminiscent of the movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas” as dark themes stay consistent nearly all the way to the end of the movie. manages to make it feel less like an overall Christmas film.

With 2D animation making a successful comeback in “Klaus,” they take it a step further by adding organic lighting to make objects appear visually textured. The scenes are visually appealing all throughout without feeling clunky like some 3D animations. The audience should watch to appreciate the use of traditional animation, if not for a refreshingly new Christmas plot.

As a great addition to Christmas movies, “Klaus” has a solid storyline and successfully captures the essence of a kind heart. A lesson can be learned about the gift of giving and how small good deeds can influence others in big ways. If anyone wants a humorous Christmas story with emotion, “Klaus” is definitely a movie to watch over the holidays.

Holiday Movies Review – Q.T. Pie

Quintin and Tyler debate which holiday movies are the best.

Hosted by: Quintin Mattson-Hayward and Tyler Grover

Edited by: Quintin Mattson-Hayward

 

Black Friday

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