S&A Magazine Issue 8 – Volume 2

December 2021 Issue

Issue 8 – Volume 2

Table of Contents
  • Holiday of the Month
  • Sketchbook Page
  • Quote of the Month
  • Craft
  • Drawing Prompt
  • Sustainable Fashion
  • Main Article
  • Recipe

Holiday of the Month

Winter Holdiays

Many holidays are celebrated in December all around the world. Different cultures and religions have their own ways to bring cheer during this cold season. However, these holidays tend to be overlooked, especially in the United States where Christmas is so popular. While Christmas is a wonderful holiday that a number of people celebrate, we decided to take a closer look at some holidays most people are aware of but do not really know much about.


Hanukkah is an eight-day celebration commemorating the Jewish uprising against their Greek-Syrian opponents in the Maccabean Revolt. This holiday is most commonly known for the tradition of lighting a menorah as each day of Hanukkah passes by. Although the holiday is celebrated in eight days, the menorah has nine candles. This is because it is used to light the other candles on the menorah. Hanukkah is also celebrated by playing a game using a four-sided wooden piece called a dreidel. Others celebrate by eating food and spending time with friends and family.

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Kwanzaa is observed from December 26th to January 1st and is a celebration of African culture, heritage, and tradition, as well as a celebration of life. Similar to Hannukah, nine candles are lit. Three are red, three are green, and the candle in the center is black. Each candle has its own unique meaning; Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (creativity), and Imani (faith). This holiday, like many others, is often celebrated with family, friends, and food. 

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On December 31st, people celebrate Japanese New Year’s Eve. To bring engi (luck) into the next year, it is believed that finishing any matters or issues from the current year is very important on Ōmisoka. If one does not wrap up the year on a good note, bad luck is said to seep into the following year. Ōmisoka is also a day to prep for New Year’s Day or Oshōgatsu. Families can buy ingredients from markets to make feasts on New Year’s Day. It is also tradition to make decorations that greet toshigami (New Year gods) and other spirits. These decorations are also called kadomatsu and are made with elements of plants like pines. Once all the preparations for the New Year have been made, people enjoy the rest of their day by winding down watching TV, and eating a warm bowl of toshikoshi soba. 

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No matter how or what you celebrate this December, remember to acknowledge others’ traditions and customs this holiday season. We hope your winter gets just a bit brighter this month. Happy Holidays!

Sketchbook Page

Glitch Drawing

In this page, I tried to add some flare to my drawing by giving it a glitch effect. I started off with a simple pencil sketch and then took a photo of it. I edited the photo with a glitch filter and used it as a reference for where to put the green and pink strokes. You can send us a picture of your own glitch drawing at sandazine@gmail.com!

Quote of the Month

December Quote

This quote means that no matter what you’re background is, you still can achieve great things.


Decorating Pinecones

What better way to spruce up your Christmas tree than by adding on your own ornaments? This craft is super easy and customizable. It really is as simple as going on a walk outside, stopping to pick up some pinecones on the leaf-covered ground, and decorating them with your imagination!


  • Pinecones
  • Paint
  • Glitter
  • Mod Podge


  1. Go outside and find some pinecones! Try to look for ones that are not very broken apart.
  2. You can quickly wipe down your pinecones just to make sure they are free of any dirt
  3. Pick your colors and start painting! I used a light blue for the base of my pinecone. I also added splutters of white and dark blue to give the pinecone more depth.
  4. While the paint is still wet, pour on your glitter! Make sure to do this over a piece of paper so it is easy to clean up.
  5. Wait for the pinecones to dry. Then, add on a layer of Mod Podge to seal in the paint and glitter!
This is a tree that we decorated together. We used painted pinecones as well as some other handmade ornaments to give it a mermaid theme!

Drawing Prompt

Draw in a Different Style

Find an artist whose style you like and take inspiration from their art and experiment with your own art! You can send a picture of your finished drawing prompt to sandazine@gmail.com!

Sustainable Fashion

Fair Trade Winds

Fair Trade Winds is a sustainable brand that not only makes clothes, but many other household items! They partner with women around the world to help give them opportunities to work in a safe and fairly-paid environment. They have been certified by the Fair Trade Federation and Green America.

Devonshire Dress Plum Gingham – 90$

Main Article

The Importance of Reading

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Reading is a realm of communication that has been practiced for millennia. However, enjoying reading, like most things, does not come naturally to some compared to others. It can be hard to focus on a page and completely retain the information. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, which makes it easy to be closed off to certain hobbies like reading. Although, it is also important to consider that reading has been proven to help with comprehension, imagination, and stimulation of the mind. Despite the challenges that may come with reading, the benefits may be worth the extra effort. 

Benefits of Reading

  1. It expands your knowledge

You can learn so much from reading. Whether it’s a fictional or non-fictional book, it can be very informative. By expanding your knowledge, it becomes easier to solve problems, make decisions, and even have good interactions with others on a day-to-day basis.

  1. It teaches you about different perspectives

By reading, you are exposing yourself to different points of view, beliefs, and cultures. In turn, this can help you be more accepting of others. 

  1. Reading improves your writing skills and adds to your vocabulary

It is fundamental in writing that you have a good vocabulary of words to use. Reading teaches you new words and makes it easier to comprehend words you do not understand. 

  1. Reading can improve your memory

When you read, your mind remembers the setting, plot, and characters. New memories create pathways in your brain and strengthen existing pathways.

  1. It can build your confidence

If someone is going through a difficult time or cannot relate to anyone, the numerous books that are published and sold act as something that people are able to connect with and allow them to feel less alone. 


While the words on the page may seem to move around, or you may have read an entire page and realized that you did not actually understand it, or you just read a boring book, it’s important to remember that everyone’s reading level is different. It’s normal to have to read something over again to fully comprehend it, even for the most prolific readers. Numerous genres and stories are out there in the world. By giving them a chance, you can open yourself up to a whole new world of knowledge and insight.


Delicious Hot Chocolate

What better way to enjoy the winter season than by making a delicious cup of hot chocolate? This classic drink is sure to warm up your day! Plus, this recipe is vegan and has only four ingredients. You can try this recipe out and send us a picture at sandazine@gmail.com!

Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 3


  • 1 and 1/2 cups oat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons sugar


  1. Combine oat milk and vanilla extract in a medium, microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Stir in cocoa powder and sugar. (Don’t worry if the mixture has clumps in it, this is normal!)
  3. Microwave for three minutes, stirring halfway.
  4. Take your hot chocolate from the microwave and stir until there are no remaining clumps.
  5. Pour into cups

Happy Holidays from S&A Magazine!

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Thanks for reading S&A Magazine!

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