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Young Observers: Mid December Edition

There are many people in this world that work hard for our country and they sacrifice so much for us. That’s why we should be so thankful for them.  My family went to the mall recently and we saw some Marines in a shoe shop. I asked them for a photo at the last minute because I feel grateful for their service to our country. I was so happy they said yes. Even though they sacrifice so much and risk their lives to protect our country, they don’t get a lot back.  My random act of gratitude may not count much but if more people would come forward and do the same to those who have done so much to improve or save our lives, it will make a huge difference in making our everyday heroes feel appreciated.

There’s no better way to spice up the holiday season than with the latest food trend—hot chocolate bombs. It’s the perfect treat for a cold winter day. As the spherical chocolate melts in the warm milk, it opens up to reveal a surprise of fluffy marshmallows and hot cocoa mix, an entertaining delight packed into this small goodie. With a plethora of flavors from peanut butter to pumpkin spice, these hot chocolate bombs are certainly personalizable. Some enjoy stuffing their cocoa delectations with crushed oreo cookies, and others with a generous amount of caramel syrup. Don’t forget to add desired toppings for the finishing touch.  These treats are customizable, amusing, and simple to make at home. It’s a creative spin on traditional hot chocolate, a classic winter drink, and the perfect stocking-stuffer for loved ones. For the full recipe go to: www.shape.com/healthy-eating/healthy-drinks/hot-chocolate-bombs-recipe.

Noah and Jude are twins. Noah loves drawing, eating pizza, and painting in his head. But no one notices that he’s falling in love with the boy next door.  Jude is a daredevil, likes to cliff-dive, and has enough words to speak for the both of them. But how will she ever find her place in the world?  Years later, they are barely speaking. A dark abyss full of secrets and lies grows between them. They only have half the story. If they rebuild a bridge together, they might have a chance to remake their world.

I’ll Give You the Sun  is an emotional, poignant novel about letting go and moving on. It was so ridiculously well-written that after I finished, I literally had no words and was in shock that it was over. This whole book is art. The way the words flow so smoothly on the page and how they were pieced together makes me so satisfied in a way that is hard to  explain. I suddenly turned into a poet without knowing it. It is so thought-provoking. After I finished it, I had so many thoughts going through my head. What will happen next? Why did I think this was so boring in the first place? And most importantly—was that really the end? Then I debated whether to give this book 4 or 5 stars. But this magnificent piece of art deserves all the stars and even the suns in the whole universe.

For most students in Fullerton, winter break begins Friday, December 18 and ends January 4—close to three weeks of holiday from academics and a great opportunity to relax. There are many  activities that one can do with family, friends (or even a pet). However, card games are on top of my list because I love the enjoyment of winning games that are always so random. You have to think of a strategy on the spot instead of coming into battle with one just because you don’t know what you’re going to get. So, for that reason, here are two of my favorite card games that you can try with your friends and family over the holidays.

The first card game is called UNO, a popular game among students. Surprisingly, it has been around since 1971 and will celebrate its 50th year next year. Numerous themes and versions of this card game have been created throughout the years as it continues to entertain many people. It is one of my all-time favorite card games. You start out with seven cards in your hand, and your goal is to get rid of all of them by matching them with the card in the discard pile. The card must have either the same color or the same number on the discard in order to put it down. There are also wild cards that allow you to change the color of the next card. Don’t forget, once you are down to just one card, you have to say the name of the game—UNO. This game is fun and thrilling at times, and although it can be very long and continuous, it is a very delightful game to play with the whole family.

The other card game I would recommend is called EXPLODING KITTENS. This one definitely has more spice and exhilaration to it than UNO. You start off with a certain amount of cards (depending on how many people are playing) and a Defuse card. There will be Exploding Kitten cards in the main deck, and if you pull one, well, you explode. The goal of this game is to be the last one standing. The Defuse card is used to “defuse” the bomb, and so it provides an extra bit of reassurance and is definitely the most valuable card in the game. Your other cards are used as power-ups, and they all have different abilities. Some can be combined to steal another player’s card, some can skip your turn and some can give you a peek at the next few cards in the deck. My favorite part about this game is that each card, although they can be the same, all have their own unique caption and an illustration to go with it, which are all hilarious. If you are looking for a more goofy card game, I would recommend this one. Chill out and enjoy!

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