DeVon Eaddy and his parents traveled to Wendell to visit relatives for Thanksgiving.
Cameron McNeill’s family got together at their home in Durham.
Bella Cude visited Amish country in Pennsylvania as part of “Camp Grammie and Grandpa.”
Henry and Scarlett Edwards got to celebrate Thanksgiving with their parents and grandparents in Silk Hope.
Their educational experiences might differ, but the families involved in our Learning Life series all share something in common: They take time to enjoy the holidays.
“For Thanksgiving, my whole family comes down, which is a great thing,” McNeill said. “We haven’t all been together since February, so it’s pretty special to have everyone home.”
The McNeills ate a big dinner. On Black Friday, they hit the stores.
“I am not a big fan of shopping,” McNeill said.
The Riverside High School junior expects to celebrate Christmas at home. Then, on Dec. 26, the family travels to St. Petersburg, Fla., to visit his grandfather for a week.
“That’s always really fun, because it’s warm and it’s just nice to see the whole family,” McNeill said.
Tanaka Eaddy, mother of Research Triangle High School charter school student DeVon Eaddy, said they bounce between Wendell and Durham during the holidays to spend time with relatives.
“My husband and I have a pretty big family so we try to enjoy the holidays with both sides of the family,” she said.
In Pennsylvania, Cude, a private school student at Duke School, got to visit Philadelphia, played in the pool and went hiking along a stream near her grandparents’ house. Then the three of them flew back to North Carolina for Thanksgiving dinner with Cude’s mother, Susie Bird.
“Bella’s friend Emi and her mom came over as well, and we had a relaxed, low-key day,” Bird said.
Her daughter will spend Christmas with her father, Bird’s ex-husband Jonathan Cude, and his family in Arlington, Va.
“We’ll do a switch on the 26th and she’ll have ‘second Christmas’ in Philadelphia with me and my folks,” Bird said.
In Chatham County, home-schooled student Henry Edwards also got to celebrate his 14th birthday in November. He enjoyed a shared party with a neighbor who turned 12, watching the Marvel “Avengers” movie played on the side of their house while they sat in the yard wrapped in coats and blankets. A family friend made a cake themed after the Halo video game, which went nicely with Henry’s presents – Halo 4 and some other Halo-related items.
The Edwards family is also performing in Triangle Youth Ballet’s Nutcracker until Dec. 16. After that, Tommy Lee Edwards, father of Henry and Scarlett who works as a comic book artist and video director, starts filming until Dec. 20 in Pittsboro, Winston Salem and High Point.
“We will be totally strung out by the 25th,” said their mother, Melissa.
They’ll have New Year’s Day dinner with friends and then celebrate Tommy’s 40th birthday.
After all they make it through the hectic holiday season, though, they’ve got a fun trip planned for Jan. 23: They’re going to Walt Disney World.
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For this series, The Herald-Sun chose four students and their families to follow through the 2012-13 academic year to explore what these different opportunities for learning are all about.
The students are:
• Cameron McNeill, a junior at Riverside High School, part of the Durham Public Schools system.
• DeVon Eaddy, a freshman at Research Triangle Charter High School, a public-supported charter high school.
• Bella Cude, a sixth-grader at Duke School, a Durham private school.
• Henry and Scarlett Edwards, home-school students in Chatham County.