Category Archives: Opinions

Christmas Albums: A definitive ranking

Writer: Liza Miller

#10: “The Andy Williams Christmas Album” by Andy Williams

This Christmas album is a classic and perfect for a cold day when you just want to cuddle up with a warm drink and get in the Christmas spirit! It is the perfect introduction to the Christmas season that gets you in a jolly mood. 

#9: “A Holly Dolly Christmas” by Dolly Parton

Living in Georgia, every once in a while it’s nice to hear an album with a touch of southern flare. Dolly captures this mood perfectly with the iconic southern twist she puts on the holidays. This album came out a few weeks ago and takes the ninth spot due to its recent entrance into the world of holiday albums!

#8: “The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show” by Kacey Musgraves

This album is a modern twist on southern style Christmas music that incorporates pop, rock, and holiday tunes. In addition to the music, this album contains great commentary from Kacey and other celebrity friends. Overall, a great modern holiday album!

#7: “Everyday is Christmas” by Sia

This album is great if you’re getting tired of the same old Christmas songs and you want a new, unique and modern album. Sia’s “Everyday is Christmas” includes 13 original songs that are all Christmas themed! In this album you can find tons of new holiday favorites with tracks such as “Snowman” and “Puppies Are Forever.”

#6: “Merry Christmas” by Mariah Carey

This album is simply a classic adored by all. It is most famously known for its track “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Because this one song is played at almost any holiday party you will ever attend, it completely outshines the other songs on the album. This album takes sixth place because its other songs just aren’t even comparable to the success of “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

#5: “Christmas Is Here!” by Pentatonix

Pentatonix is an acapella group who first gained popularity from television singing competitions. They have later gone on to make not one, not two, but five Christmas albums. Here I have chosen to discuss their Christmas album from 2018. It has the perfect mix of holiday favorites and religious tunes. They have a variety of holiday songs that they cover and they create a really interesting sound with their lack of instruments that can totally get you in the holiday spirit! Overall, it’s a creative, original, and modern album that still touches on the classics!

#4: “Christmas Kisses” by Ariana Grande

I’m not sure if this is allowed, but I just had to include it. This album contains only 4 songs and I’m not totally sure If it can be classified as a holiday album. But it earns its spot at #4 for its holiday songs that hold the perfect mix between Ariana Grande’s unique voice, catchy beats, and Christmas spirit. Most notable is her song “Santa Baby” which, in my opinion, has become one of the most iconic Christmas songs of the 21st century. Definitely give it a listen!

#3: “Under the Mistletoe” by Justin Bieber

If you’re anything like me, this album is special to you. It doesn’t get much better than 2011 Justin Bieber serenading you with Christmas songs. Justin does a great job of carrying his signature swagger style into this Christmas album. Even while singing the most classic holiday tracks, he is still a heartthrob! Some of his most notable songs in this album include “Mistletoe” and “Santa Claus is Coming To Town.” If you haven’t listened to this album yet, then you’re missing out!

#2: “Sinatra Ultimate Christmas” by Frank Sinatra

If anything has become apparent to me while ranking all of these Christmas albums is that you just can’t top the classics. Frank Sinatra’s voice and renditions of Christmas songs are simply unmatched. This album will make you want to drop everything, pack your bags, and move to a Hallmark Christmas movie. Nothing will put you in the spirit more than Sinatra’s Christmas tracks. I definitely recommend!

#1: “Christmas” by Micheal Buble

You didn’t think I would leave out the king of Christmas did you? No way. Michael Bublé earns the top spot in this Christmas album ranking. His album is the perfect mix of classic Christmas and a smooth modern sound. It just would not have been right to place Michael Bublé anywhere else as he has made guest appearances on countless Christmas albums in addition to the three of his own. This man knows Christmas inside and out and earns my top recommendation for Christmas music!

Bringing the black lives matter movement to riverwood

Writers: Aolani Vann and Nyla Ward

What’s happening and why should it matter to you? 

Every day, African Americans face harsh discrimination and police brutality in a gruesome fight for our rights just to be alive. The systems that promise to protect us are the same sentencing us to death before we get a chance to defend ourselves. Since this pandemic started, and the tragic death of George Floyd, the Black community and allies have used all platforms to fight for justice, spread love, and correct misinformation and slander, now more than we ever could before. We call for all students of Riverwood to do the same, use your voices, and take a stand. 

What are youth doing now and why is it important? 

Three teens from Katy, Texas, raised from 3 different ethnic backgrounds, created an activism group named Katy4Justice fighting for the Black Lives Matter movement. In 4 days, they got most of the youth in their town to join and organize a protest to bring justice to George Floyd. This was a beautiful example of looking past differences and cultural and political adversities to come together to do the right thing. This was especially heartwarming for 16-year-old Foyin Dosunmu, one of the original 3 students, and born to 2 Nigerian traveling engineers. She explained that growing up in schools full of only Arab or white students, it was important for her to feel like her voice was heard and people understood her struggle. It is so important to listen to the struggles of your friends and hear what they need because often our voices are looked over and diminished because of what society thinks of us. The youth must take the movement into our own hands because we are the future and the strongest generation yet. 

Young actress, Yara Shahidi created a summit called Eighteenx18 because youth deserve to understand what is happening in politics before going into the polls. She then founded the WeVoteNext organization to focus on informing eligible voters of the importance of voting as much as they can, knowing their rights, and controversial current political issues. She is also an outspoken activist when it comes to major issues in the Black Lives Matter movement. She’s petitioned for subjects like properly treating black Covid-19 patients, defunding the police, and implementing more money into the healthcare and quality of living in the black community. She is now only 20 years old and working with advocates like Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey. She is proof we can use any influence we have to grow support and speak out about what is important to us. 

Sources: The New York Times 

WeVoteNext 

Kayhan Life 

What can you do? 

The first step is communication and keeping up with what youth in the black community are already doing for the cause and giving them a helping hand. It is vital to make sure we are all heard in an organized, peaceful manner. 

The second step is to filter out media and influencers with false information or negative biases on the movement and seek out primary sources or secondary sources with proven facts. This is a real organization, not an angry collection of riots as some sites may portray. 

Thirdly, you must educate yourself, sign petitions, join protests and donate if you can, create flyers or posters, spread the word on social media, and encourage people to get out there and VOTE!!! We need as much support as we can get which includes that of people in positions of power. 

Additionally, you also have the power to create organizations, fundraisers, and protests yourself to be even more hands-on in your activism journey. You have more power than you may think. 

Here are some more sources for more information and resources for other issues: 

0:00 https://blacklivesmatter.com/ 

1:00 https://marchforourlives.com/ 

2:00 https://www.change.org/t/black-lives-matter-en-us 

3:00 https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/ 

4:00 https://sites.google.com/view/black-lives-matter-masterlist/petitions?authuser=0 

5:00 https://www.futurelearn.com/info/blog/black-lives-matter-resources 

6:00 https://neaedjustice.org/black-lives-matter-school-resources/ 

7:00 https://libwww.freelibrary.org/explore/topic/black-lives-matter 

8:00 https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMJmnMDFt/ 

…and 46 seconds to save a life 

Remember that you have power in your words and power in your individual opinions. Use that to support your peers and create greatness. Each of the students of Riverwood has the privileges and resources to create our own chapter of this movement. This is not the time to pick fights, make excuses, or stay ignorant. It is the opportunity to do actively and consistently what you know is right. 

After reading this article please take the time out to consider our message and take this survey so we know where you stand on this.  

Remember your voice always matters especially when you’re using it for good: 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdDTgEPRcl9kZKiAxrLx4cWJlcUrBxcMFqcez-Q4GEoB4dqtw/viewform?usp=sf_link