DECEMBER 18, 2021

(Jingle bells ring.)

: Ho! Ho! Ho! Good morning! I’m Meredith Tigges!

I’m Ella Muller!

I’m Isabel Casey!
And I’m Meredith Illg! Seasons Greetings from the “Bear Facts”. Merry Christmas from all of us at Bishop Garrigan High School.

Last Sunday fifteen Garrigan students competed at the district DECA contest down in Gilbert. It was a very good day for the Bears, with seven students taking home plaques for finishing in the top three in their events. Riley Rosenmeyer finished second in Human Resources, while Ben Greteman and Sam Plathe earned second place in Sports and Entertainment.

Mya Kemna brought home third place in Food Marketing, while Zach Warren took third place in Restaurant and Food Services Management. Also earning third were Lillee Deike and Brendan Plathe in Entrepreneurship. All the competitors now advance to the state contest in February. Congratulations, DECA!

Large group speech practices have begun. This year coaches David Burrow and Renetta Seiler are working with twenty-six students in events like one-act play, readers theatre, choral reading, ensemble acting, and improvisation. District large-group speech contest will be January 22 at Manson, while state is February 5 in Spencer. Good luck, speech!

Christmas is almost here, and we’re celebrating at Garrigan. The Christmas choir concert was postponed by the windstorm last week. It will now be held tomorrow night at 7:00. Monday we’ll begin the day with a K-12 Advent prayer service, and after that we’ll spend time with partner reading—joining together older and younger students. We’ll have Christmas mass and some holiday games on Tuesday, and Wednesday we’ll spend the afternoon at the movies.

For more than twenty years now we’ve celebrated Christmas on the “Bear Facts” by giving a special holiday survey to students at Garrigan. The first question we asked this year was “What do you want for Christmas?” By far the most popular answers were clothes and shoes. Some people were more specific, though. For instance Ethan Kuper wants sweatpants and hoodies, while Ella Schaaf wants lime green Crocs.

“Golf stuff” is on Avery Lichter’s Christmas list, both Drew Casey and Andrew Fogarty want Legos, and Nathaniel Darling says he wants Nintendo Switch games. Nick Laubenthal has fishing gear on his list, Devon Berte is asking Santa for the 1996 Dr. Who movie, and Veronica Capesius says she wants a heart-shaped snowball maker. Abbie Capesius and Connor Davis are both asking for guns for Christmas, Ben Greteman wants a jump shot, and Nathan Merron says he wants world peace—and billions and billions of dollars on the side. Finally there’s Justin Bauer, who said, “All I want for Christmas is YOU.”

Next we asked “What are your plans over the holiday break?” Sam Bohan plans to go pheasant hunting, Klayton Kramer wants to spend the holidays snowmobiling, and Schyler Morse plans to go sledding. Audi Crooks says she plans to go shopping and eat a lot of food, while Gavin Swift hopes he can launch a well-placed snowball down somebody else’s shirt.

Lots of people are travelling over Christmas. Joey Doerning is heading for Cedar Rapids, Marguerite Fakler will be in South Carolina, while Olivia Arndorfer is going all the way to California. Mya Kemna will be in Florida watching Iowa State in the Cheez-It Bowl, and Riley Rosenmeyer plans to spend the holiday at her family’s cabin in northern Minnesota.

By far the most popular answer was that people would be spending time with their family and friends. Resting up was the next most popular answer, and Cal Birkey said he’d spend the whole vacation sleeping. Devan Becker plans to play Fortnite over the holidays. Then there’s Maryanne Capesius who says she’ll “work, make money, eat food, and celebrate Jesus.”

Our next question was “What is your favorite Christmas food?” Cookies were by far the #1 answer, and many people mentioned specific kinds of cookies. Ben Greteman likes spritz cookies, Nate Bronk likes sugar cookies, Savannah Waechter enjoys peanut butter chocolate star cookies, and the Swift family likes Kris Kringle chocolate cookies with powdered sugar on top. Alaina Bormann’s favorite food is Oreo balls, Grant Haugland likes chocolate covered pretzels, and Drew Lappe probably spoke for lots of people when he said “I like all the desserts”.

Katelyn Cink was one of many people who said her favorite food was ham. Andrew Lichter likes to eat stuffing, and Meredith Tigges enjoys some mashed potatoes. Isabel Casey likes her aunt’s homemade caramels, Eli Ricke loves Scandinavian kringla, and Avery Berte likes eating the reindeer chow her grandmother makes. Annie Burns enjoys prime rib for Christmas, Ava Kemna likes cheesy potatoes, Avery Lichter enjoys chicken pot pie, and Lexi Galligan’s favorite food is chocolate covered Ritz crackers with peanut butter.

Our final question was “What strange Christmas traditions does your family have?” The strangest of all was probably the Capesius family, who re-gift an old canned ham every year to a different family member. Lots of families have a Christmas pickle tradition, but it’s different in various families. Spencer Doerning says that in his family the person who finds the pickle gets to open presents first, while Caleb Bormann says in his family the winner gets a box of chocolate.

Molly Joyce says her family plays bingo every Christmas. Ashlyn Hovey says her family plays board games, and Madelyn Bronk’s family plays Guitar Hero at Christmas—after the cousins see how many gumballs they can stuff in their mouths. Garrett Heying’s family goes on vacation every Christmas, and Raegan Gant says that in her family they sneak up behind people and smack a slice of pie in their face.

Ava Eisenbarth’s family has a soup bar at Christmas. She says there’s always “a billion varieties to try”. Aidan Hovey’s family gives white elephant gifts, and Molly Peterson’s family has a gift exchange where all the presents cost just under one dollar. Eva Snyder’s family always has shrimp scampi and fondue for Christmas, Zoe Montag’s is one of many families that always gets new pajamas on Christmas Eve, and Ella Muller’s family has a Festivus party two days before Christmas. Finally there’s Hollis Bode who just said “there’s a lot” when asked what weird traditions his family has.

Our Senior Spotlight for the holidays shines on Shaylee Waters. Here to tell you about her is Hollis Bode..

Shaylee Waters is an Algona native whose favorite class is art. She particularly enjoys art field trips, and her artwork has been exhibited in different shows. Shaylee has been in track, and when she’s not at the high school, she works at Bear Care at Seton. We wish Shaylee all the best in the future.

Thanks, Hollis! On our Golden Bear calendar, this afternoon Garrigan will be hosting the big Bear—Bulldog basketball games. Then tomorrow night is the Christmas choir concert, which was postponed from last Wednesday.

We’ll have an Advent prayer service on Monday, followed by partner reading. That night the JJV basketball team travels to Garner.

Tuesday we’ll have our all-school Christmas mass. That night the basketball teams host North Iowa. Wednesday we’ll watch movies, and there’s a 2:15 holiday dismissal.

There’s nothing on the calendar for most of Christmas vacation. On Monday, January 3rd, the JJV boys will host Forest City. Then school starts up again on Tuesday, January 4th.

The basketball teams play Forest City on the 4th, and finally on Friday, January 7, the Bears will host West Hancock.

That’s the “Bear Facts” for 2021. We hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas, and a very happy new year. We’ll be off the next two weeks because of the holidays, but be sure to join us on Saturday, January 8, when we’ll be back with more news from Bishop Garrigan High School.


(Jingle bells ring.)