December 21, 2019

(Jingle bells ring.)

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas! I’m Meredith Tigges!

I’m Abbi Heying!

And I’m Reese Rosenmeyer! Welcome to a special edition of the “Bear Facts”, where we’re celebrating the holidays here at Bishop Garrigan High School.

There’s decorations everywhere at Garrigan. Some, like the paper chain in Mr. Burrow’s room with the names of all his students on it, are there every year at Christmas. Others, like the nativity in the main lobby, are new this year. Lots of rooms have trees in them, and the art classes put in extra time decorating classroom doors. Everything looks very festive, to get us in the mood for the holidays.

There’s always a lot of service projects that happen around Christmastime, too. As we’ve done for the past few years, we’re raising money to send goats to help people in Haiti. We also did a special event last week where we packaged 4,000 meals to help out needy people at the missions our school works with in Mississippi. There was also a project with the Top of Iowa Conference to provide toys for children in the Mason City area.

For more than a quarter century we;’ve celebrated Christmas on the “Bear Facts” with a special holiday survey. We began this year by asking people what they planned to do over Christmas vacation. Abbi and Garrett Heying have some of the biggest plans. They’ll be taking a cruise in the Caribbean over the holidays. Katelyn Cink will be heading to Arizona, and Annie Burns will be going to Orlando.

Derrick Kirsch plans to see his sister in Dubuque and see a Star Wars movie. Grant Haugland says he’ll spend the holidays watching TV, Joe Schumacher plans to go snowmobiling, and Gavin Swift plans to slay his brother with snowballs. Drew Casey plans to hang with his cousins, and Lazarus Elbert is planning to sleep all through Christmas vacation. Then there’s Molly Bormann, who says she’ll be spending time with her family and working with her cows.

We asked people what was their favorite holiday food. By far the #1 answer was cookies. Savannah Waechter was very specific—saying she particularly likes peanut butter star cookies. There were a lot of other responses—including cake, ice cream, spaghetti, chocolate, pumpkin pie, pickle wraps, mashed potatoes, fruit cups, shrimp, noodles, baked beans, and crab. One person even responded that they’d like “literally anything you put in front of me”.

Another question was “What do you want for Christmas?” The top response was the same as it is every year—money. Hollis Bode even said he wanted “mucho dinero”. There were a lot of non-monetary responses, though. Kyle Schaaf said he wants good health and to have a good new year, Meredith Illg said she wants everyone to find happiness, and Mitch Buscherfeld says he just wants to spend all day with his family.

Among the specific things on people’s Christmas lists, Olivia Morey was one of several people who wants an Apple Watch, while Joe Meis and Riley Rosenmeyer want air pods. Maggie Vaske wants a dog, Jenna Heinen would like a UNI blanket, and one person wanted a saddle for their horse. … And we can’t forget several members of the girls basketball team who said they were wishing for snow over Christmas—so they wouldn’t have to practice.

Finally we asked people for their favorite Christmas memory. For Jack Snyder it was playing Battlefront with Sam Vaske, and Amanda Miller remembers almost burning the house down when she was making peanut butter balls and left the chocolate on the stove too long. Isabel Casey remembered the year her whole family had the flu and couldn’t leave the house, and another person remembered the electricity going out and his parents telling him it was because Santa’s sleigh ran into the power pole.

Olivia Arndorfer remembered a year when her brother Andrew wouldn’t eat his food, so the whole family had to wait to open Christmas presents. Emma Grandgenett remembers her brother Jack crashing a new hoverboard into a wall at Christmas. Other memories involve traveling—including things like going skiing and going to a Latin mass in Ireland. By far the top Christmas memory, though, was just spending time with family.

Our Senior Spotlight for the holidays shines on Lucas Hough. Later this winter Lucas Hough will be making his second volunteer trip to help out at missions in Mississippi. Lucas has qualified for nationals in quiz bowl, and his favorite activity is probably trapshooting. Lucas made a big decision earlier this fall when he agreed to join the Marine Corps. He’ll be heading to San Diego late this summer for boot camp. We wish Lucas all the best in the military and throughout his future.

We’ve got a very quiet calendar because of Christmas vacation. We’ll be off for two full weeks, and while practices will start up again after Christmas, there aren’t any games until 2020 begins.

On Friday, January 3, the Golden Bear basketball teams will kick off the new year by hosting North Iowa. There’s JJV basketball with Forest City on Monday the 6th.

Tuesday the 7th the JV and varsity Bears will play at Forest City. Kindergarten through 8th grade will have mass on Wednesday the 8th. The high school will have semester tests Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

There’s a basketball quad with West Hancock on Friday the 10th, and on Saturday, January 11 the girls basketball team will take on Cherokee at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City.

That’s the “Bear Facts” for Christmas week. Thanks for tuning in. We’ll be off the next two weeks because of Christmas vacation, but be sure to join us again on Saturday, January 11 as we start the new year here at Bishop Garrigan High School. Until then …


(Jingle bells ring.)