Popular Christmas movie recommendations on Netflix

Still in need to get into the holiday mood? Below are listed popular and classic Christmas movies available to you via Netflix streaming.

Holiday Comedies

I’ll be home for Christmas (1998) PG



A college student struggles to return home for Christmas and learns a lot about himself and the true meaning of the holidays.



Christmas with the Kranks (2004) PG


With their daughter away, the Kranks decide to skip Christmas altogether until she decides to come home, causing an uproar when they have to celebrate the holiday at the last minute.



Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987) R



A man must struggle to travel home for Thanksgiving with an obnoxious slob of a shower curtain ring salesman as his only companion.




Bad Santa (2003) R

A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss discovers the plot.



Happy Christmas (2014) R



After a break up, Jenny moves in with writer Kelly, her filmmaker husband, and their child. Despite a rocky start, Jenny’s influence helps Kelly realize that an evolution in her life, career and relationship is necessary for her happiness.


Romantic Comedies

Love Actually (2003) R

Love Actually


Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England.


White Christmas (2000) NR



A successful song-and-dance team become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general.



The Fitzgerald Family Christmas (2012) PG-13



The adult siblings of the Fitzgerald family prepare for their estranged father to return home for Christmas for the first time since he walked out on his family 20 years ago.



Children Holiday Favorites

Frosty the Snowman (1969) G



A living snowman and a little girl struggle to elude a greedy magician who is after the snowman’s magic hat.





The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) PG



Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but doesn’t quite understand the concept.



Gun violence

In the United States there have been many cases of violence, specifically gun violence, including mass shootings. Statistics from articles on The Brady Campaign website state that in the United States, just in a year, an average of 108,000 people in America are shot in murders, assaults, suicides/suicide attempts, unintentional shootings, or by police intervention. According to the website Heeding God’s Call, the U.S. has more gun homicides annually, 10,000, than any other country.

The debate over gun control in the U.S. has been stirred up over the recent mass killings. What is gun control? Gun control is the government regulation of the manufacture, sale, and possession of fire arms.


Even with all the shootings in the U.S., many people are against gun control. According to Smartgunlaws.org people claim “that they need guns for protection or for their safety.”

Opponents of gun control laws argue that Americans have the right to bear arms. They say that gun control laws would prevent individuals from defending themselves and their property lawfully. They also support the rights of hunters, sport shooters, and recreational gunmen. One of the most common laws that these groups cite is the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This 27-word passage has the famous phrase “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The argument that gun control opponents make is that the right to own and use weapons is an undeniable personal freedom guaranteed by the Constitution.

Proponents of gun control believe that stronger gun laws can prevent the needless loss of life. Even individuals who support gun rights acknowledge that certain people should not be permitted to own guns. Current gun control laws prevent criminals, mentally ill individuals, and children from owning guns.

Unfortunately, there have been instances where young people and deranged gunmen have obtained weapons and used them to commit mass murders. Also, others argue that there are too many criminals that can still purchase a gun legally and then go and commit crimes.

Even though thee controversy of gun control has become a big issue recently, there will always be a debate regarding the issue of having guns, until they make laws that most people will agree on. This is something that will be very difficult to do however, since everyone will always have an opinion on whether they believe people should or shouldn’t be able to have guns.

I think gun control should be more heavily enforced, as more guns fall into the hands of the wrong people. I feel as though there is no need to carry an armed weapon, and there is just too much violence with guns. I also feel as though people don’t really use guns for protection purposes, instead they simply have them so that they can feel more powerful, and this is not a good reason as to why people should have guns. These are some of the reasons why I think gun control laws should be enforced more.

Star Wars the Force Awakens movie review

images-1This weekend, after waiting a month to watch Star Wars the Force Awakens, which is the 7th movie in the Star Wars saga, the wait was worth it because the movie was amazing. The movie was directed by J.J. Abrams. Almost all the old cast was in the movie like – Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher, but also there were some new cast members like – Daisy Ridley as Rey, and John Boyega as Finn.

The overall rating I would give Star Wars would be a 10/10. Everything was perfect from the (spoilers) Millennium Falcon to the new rebel pilot helmets.

I would recommend this movie to whoever is a big fan of Star Wars, even if you have not seen any of the previous Star Wars movies. You should still go watch it because it’s always a good idea to finish the year with a good movie that will blow your mind away, and take you to a galaxy far far away.


SPPS fights

~b389768This past school year has seen an increase in fights in the St. Paul Public School district. Harding High School, Como Senior High, and Central all have had to call police over the recent fights that have been happening, according to Fox News. In the beginning of the school year, a loaded gun was brought to Harding in a backpack along with marijuana. According to Fox 9 news, there was no intent on using the gun.

After the Central High student (name not released) attacked staff member Mr. Ekbald during lunch, the mother of the student said that her child did not know the adult was a teacher. The 16 year old student caused a traumatic brain injury, tingling in his hands and back, and neck pain to the staff member. Mr. Ekbald was choked until he was left unconsciousness and later was admitted to a hospital.

School officials are saying the outbreak of violence in SPPS schools are a result of poverty and lack of parental guidance. In an interview with Fox 9 News, the principal of Central High, Mary Mackbee, spoke about the outbreak of violence, “Our kids are needier they come from families that are suffering, whether financially or for other reasons. There’s just a lot of chaos in this world.”

One of the problems may be discipline. The Pioneer Press reports that many students are disrespectful towards their teachers. That behavior may lead to more violent behavior.

This issue hits Highland Park Senior High hard, because we’re part of the SPPS schools, and we care about our students’ safety. Kennedy McTeague, a ninth grader at Highland, when asked about her safety in school replied, “I feel terrible about what happened at Central, but I don’t think that’ll happen at Highland. We hardly have any fights and we are given alternative ways to deal without violent breakouts.”

Medical marijuana

Marijuana has created quite the controversy throughout the United States recently, with protests for and against the legalization of “weed”, the terrifying statistics of imprisoned people due to possession of the plant, and the ever growing recreational usage among young people. The use and possession of this narcotic is illegal in 48% of the United States, but it has been decriminalized in four states. The plant has also been legalized in many states for recreational, as well as medicinal, use. Minnesota is one of the states to recently legalize marijuana for medicinal use.

Minnesota’s strict policies are being re-visioned in hopes of being lessmedical-marijuana2-630.jpg
restrictive. During the last half of 2015, the medical marijuana bill went under slight revision. One provision requires the health department to consider adding severe pain as a qualifying condition by January 2016 instead of July 2016, which is when the law originally suggested. Though individuals with severe chronic pain can’t access the the medical marijuana immediately, they can access it six months earlier than before.

Rapid implementation of a medical marijuana program has been underway in Minnesota. In July of 2015, the program opened their first patient registry.images.jpg Due to the revision, patients suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, ferreted syndrome, ALS, and more may have access to medical marijuana with an annual payment of $200.

There are now several locations for medical marijuana dispensaries supporting patients in pain. Dispensaries can be found throughout Minnesota including cities such as: Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Coon Rapids, Duluth, Eagan, Maple Grove, Minneapolis, Plymouth, Rochester, St. Cloud, St. Paul, and Woodbury.

Would you pay $15 for a 2-hr field trip?

~b122453Hey seniors, remember the last time you guys went on that senior trip to Zero Gravity? Some of us paid up $15 to attend the trip in hopes of skipping class for the day. But did any of us realize that it was $15 just to spend only 2 hours jumping around on trampolines? Some went because they actually wanted to, while others pulled off the price just because they wanted to miss class or because all of their friends were going. Not to be dramatic or anything, but the trip should have been extended for at least another hour in order for the trip to be worth the price. With $15, a student can pay for approximately 6 days of school lunch.

Those who did not attend the trip admitted that they were not willing, nor able, to sacrifice that amount of money to join the rest of the seniors on the trip. Some of us were left behind at school, and unfortunately, still had to attend our usual classes. It honestly feels unfair that money has to be involved in order for students to be able to participate in fun senior activities. Shouldn’t senior activities be for the benefit of everyone? It is understood that students had voted for this trip, but not all students were aware of the fact that it only allowed them to miss the last two periods of school. Plus, they were still responsible for work they missed while class was in session.

You shouldn’t have to put a price on the happiness of students. Even though a survey was created to determine the senior field trip, not all student took it, therefore only those who took the initiative to vote on social media were able to have their say on the options.

An alternative should have been given to seniors who were not able to attend the field trip. For example, different activities could have been supervised by different teachers between those times, such as sports activities in the gym, a movie in the auditorium, or other things that students would rather do besides sitting in class.  

Snow tubing will be the next opportunity for seniors to participate on a senior field trip. Based on the opinions of previous seniors, it will actually be a fun and exciting activity for us to experience, but let’s just hope that it will be reasonably priced to fit the financial needs of all students who want to go.

Best music apps

In an effort to find out how to best listen to music on a phone, I researched the top two best music apps for the iPhone and Android phones.


The 1st app I found for Android is Google Play Music. The pros of the app are:

  • Being able to upload your music
  • You can save your online music for offline play

And the cons are:

  • It focuses more on its online content than your offline content, so if you’re looking for something that’s solely for offline content you’ll want to look elsewhere

The 2nd app I looked at is Soundcloud for both the iPhone and Android. The pros of the app are:

  • You have the option of either uploading an already recorded audio, or recording it on the spot
  • There are NO LIMITS to file sizes
  • There are tons of music and artists available

And the cons are:

  • That you can’t play the songs offline
  • That some of the songs that you look for won’t sound like the original

The best app I found for the iPhone and Android is Spotify. The pros are:

  • That it’s free
  • You can listen to popular artists

The cons are:

  • That you have to put up with ads on your screen and audio commercials between songs
  • The cost to get Premium varies from $1-10

10 fun things to do during the winter in Minnesota

Winter in Minnesota can make you feel trapped in the house at times, these activities are alternate options when you don’t feel like lounging at home. From art to exercise, there are many interactive events and activities available to you.

Hit the slopes at Afton Alps


Afton alps are great if you love skiing, snowboarding and tubing. These are winter sports that are good sources of exercise to stay fit in the winter. You can come here with a group of friends, family or by yourself.


Go to Red Bull Crashed Ice


Red Bull Crashed Ice is a ice skating obstacle tournament downtown St Paul. This event is great for coming with a group of people. There’s food and drinks available and the event is free.


Build a snowman in your front yard


Building a snowman has been a tradition for a very long time, especially in places with legitimate winters. You can even make your snowman more stylish by adding a cute scarf or hat!



Go sledding at a local park


Sledding is a fun activity for all ages. However, younger kids specifically enjoy it and can be made into a family event on days when you are looking for something to do that doesn’t cost money. It’s easy, just invest in some cheap sleds or grab a good old piece of cardboard and you’re ready to go.


Admire the decorated mansions on Summit Ave


Go driving down Summit Ave. and look at all the big mansions decorated with stunning christmas lights.



Go to a sports game


Go support your state teams! This is a fun activity, great for bonding with friends and family you can bring along. Also, there are some great bundles to get better seats for cheaper prices.


Wander through the Rice Park Winter Wonderland


Rice Park Winter Wonderland is free and open to the public, located in downtown St. Paul. The best time to go is at night so you can see all the trees lit up with christmas lights.


Shop and find those after-christmas sales at MOA

Go to MOA to get super great deals, maybe even better than black friday. Perfect for getting nice quality presents for a reasonable price for friends and family.


Go ice skating at the Wells Fargo Winterskate



Every year Wells Fargo offers a free, outdoor skating rink in downtown St.Paul. This event would be great to go with friends and have fun! It is a nice way to stay connected in your community.


Go to the winter carnival downtown St. Paul


Come to the winter carnival with family or friends, especially little kids. This event is located in Rice Park, downtown St.Paul and is free!


Strength and fitness

IMG_2192Strength and fitness is a class where endurance and strength is a MUST in order to pass the class. The teacher who teaches strength and fitness is Mr. Brandon Ferraro, also known as Mr. Ferraro. He is a gym teacher that teaches gym and strength and fitness. There are 38 kids in his strength and fitness class, and when combined with his regular gym class, there’s about 80+ in the class. The classes he teaches are vaguely similar, but they’re different due to the curriculum that he has set up. For example, the subject in gym that they are focusing on now is volleyball.

We asked four people that are enrolled in both strength and fitness and gym what they thought about the more specialized class and here are some of the things they said:

Francois (who referred to strength and fitness as “weight training”): “I like it. I took weight training sophmore year. It’s a good class and a good workout, only if you’re constantly working. If you’re not willing to participate and try hard then you should leave.”

Yeab: (who referred to strength and fitness as “weight lifting”): “Horrible, because you have to work hard and be strong and all that. It’s very tiring every day.”

Leul: “It’s fun. I like it because it’s not like class and I can gets away from the stress and the homework.”

Raina: “I’m a freshman. I like it because it’s exhilarating, and hard sometimes, but they’re easy ways to do the workouts when the teacher explains.”

After, we asked the students about the gym class and how they felt about it, we asked Mr. Ferraro what strength and fitness really means. His response: “My class is to build confidence and self esteem. Most important, understanding importance of what hard working does.”

We recommend taking this class if you want to improve skills, gain muscle, and build confidence.

Are Muslims what the media says they are? No.

Are Muslims what the media say they are?

Not all Muslims are terrorist.

There are people that claim to be Muslims but don’t act like one, like ISIS groups who kill anyone in their way.

There are Muslims that just want peace but are getting blamed for other people’s actions.

In Islam we are taught not kill a little spider. We are taught to let be it free. We are forbidden to shed blood.  A verse from the Qur’an says, “…take not life, which God hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom.” Life is sacred in Islam.

Certain people just don’t understand that terrorist don’t just attack non- Muslim areas. How many attacks have happened, and are still happening, in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other Islamic regions?

Not all extremists are Muslims like the media makes them out to be. The media can be better about how they refer to terrorist groups because other Muslims don’t need to be blamed for what a group of people in their religion does. These groups claim to be Muslims but they give themselves specific names, so why not call them by what they want to be called, i.e. ISIS, Al Qaeda, etc?

A religion shouldn’t be blamed for what some people who practice it do. Innocent Muslims don’t want to feel targeted for something they have nothing to do with.

The Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has proposed that Muslims should be banned from entering the United States. Donald Trump has had many interviews and does not seem to be having any second thoughts about his proposal. Donald Trump might want this proposal to secure our country, but he is also punishing innocent people. He is taking away the opportunities and dreams of those that didn’t do anything wrong aside from believing in a specific religion.

So are Muslims what the media say they are?

No, because the negative actions of Muslims, through groups like ISIS, do not reflect the average Muslim.