Celebrate Like a GEMGirl
It’s been a long, challenging year. In search of some holiday cheer, we turned to our incredible group of current mentees to find out how they spend their holidays and what “celebration” means to them.
First up is a video message from Sreela C.
From Olivia S.
“Growing up, I remember going to my cousin's house every Christmas Eve where our Latvian auntie would take the lead on singing carols. I distinctly remember her thick accent proudly chanting 'Jingle Bells' while the rest of us were humming along. This year, I look forward to having a break from school, working on my baking skills, and giving back to the community through charity drives.”
From Haleema A.
“I can't wait to binge Disney movies and Harry Potter with my little sister every night and make some exciting resolutions for the New Year. Spending some more time speaking to my mentor, planning out post-secondary, and applying for scholarships are going to be significant portions of my holiday season too.”
From Rawdat R.
“I personally enjoy baking during winter. Banana bread is definitely the go-to treat, and I find myself spending a lot of time reading or watching movies. Another thing that’s great is all the sales and just the overall atmosphere of joy.”
From Rashmia R.
“My favourite holiday memory was the last day before winter break in grade 6 when my family surprised us with a drive to a cottage. Our stay was cold but beautiful, especially the frozen lake. We roasted marshmallows and the adults started singing Bangla songs loudly. I remember feeling so warm.”
From Simitha R.
“This holiday season, I’m looking forward to gift shopping, making personal cards, and wrapping baskets and gifts for my friends and family. This time of year is known as the time of giving. I find it really important and special to be able to give back to those who support me regularly.”
From Shirley C.
“I know the holidays are being affected by COVID-19 but I think the holiday spirit will be greater than ever because we will need to find creative ways to connect and celebrate. I'm really excited for the snow and the festive activities that come along with that like skating, making snowmen, sledding, and hanging out with friends (safely).”
From Vicky C-S.
“Usually during the holidays, we invite family friends over to have dinner and karaoke together. I try to catch up with as many old friends as possible and share some holiday spirit!”
A video message from Kelis L.
From Alina L.
“I am most looking forward to unwinding, reading, and painting over the holiday season. I can spend more time with my relatives, even if we need to communicate virtually this year. My family will often drive around our neighbourhood to look at the lights or decorations our neighbours have put up. It sets the tone of the holidays – festive and warm.”
From Jadiha A.
"I usually spend my holidays by making myself cozy at home while watching the beautiful snowflakes fall. An occasional skating trip is a go-to, but this year will slide as we must be cautious of our health during these times. I hope to make this holiday season fulfilling by sending my gratitude and love to my family and friends. Sending my best wishes to everyone to take care and stay safe during these holidays!”
We’re feeling more festive already! Thank you to all the mentees who generously shared their stories, insights, and energy with our team.
GEM’s dynamic and innovative program relies on support from individual donors. The generosity of our community allows us to broaden and deepen our impact, year after year, evolving our curriculum and approach to suit the needs of our priority stakeholders: GEMgirls.
As you plan out your end-of-year giving, please consider supporting GEM through a one-time holiday donation or monthly support that will help sustain and foster our growth.
If you’re ready to make your mark on our future, click HERE to join GEMCollective. You can also make a one-time donation HERE.
Thank you and happy holidays from the GEM team!
Responses have been edited for length and clarity