Welcoming the return of school Christmas traditions


Sacred Heart Communications Dept.

Sacred Heart welcomes the return of its Come Home for Christmas tradition.

As the Christmas season commences, Sacred Heart Greenwich welcomes the return of its Christmas traditions.  One of the Upper School’s long-time traditions is the cookie exchange which safely returned with the lift of COVID-19 restrictions.  The school also celebrates the return of Come Home for Christmas, an annual Sacred Heart tradition.  As Christmas break approaches, the senior class also anticipates their 12 Days of Christmas performance.  Seniors Charlotte Marvin and Zöe Young, and Mr. Daniel Favata, Upper School Theology Teacher, discussed the importance of these traditions in the school community. 

Every year, it is tradition for the senior class to sing Christmas carols on the last day of school before Christmas break.  For the sing-along, the whole senior class dresses up as angels.  This is a long-awaited tradition by the seniors especially for those who have been at Sacred Heart for many years.  Zöe reflected on her time at Sacred Heart and her excitement to participate in the senior class sing-a-long. 

Madrigals practice for the Christmas concert.  Courtesy of Amanda Ciminello ’24

“It really is such a full-circle moment for me because I started at Sacred Heart when I was six years old so I’ve watched 11 years of different graduating classes perform their caroling, and it has always been so special,” Zöe said.  “It has been such a journey but looking back I never thought this day would come so fast, it seems almost surreal that it is my class’s turn to take on this big tradition.  I still haven’t adjusted to the fact that I am a senior and I don’t think I ever will, but I want to make every last moment count and really absorb every experience, and this is one of them.”

Last year, COVID-19 prevented the Sacred Heart community from fully celebrating its traditions.  Regardless, the community managed to find ways to continue these traditions such as hosting the 2020 Christmas concert virtually.  As Executive Board President, Charlotte commended the school community on its innovation and ability to come together despite the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Although it may be counter-intuitive to say that the traditions that bring us closer together are what sustains a community in a COVID-19 world, it really is true,” Charlotte said.  “Without a sense of family and belonging, COVID-19 would keep us isolated and gloomy, meaning that we must do whatever is in our power to stick together and bring back what we have not been able to have for quite some time.”

This year, Sacred Heart opened its doors for Come Home for Christmas, December 5.  This event, open to families of Sacred Heart students and faculty began with a mass and later progressed into fun activities according to sacredheartgreenwich.org.  Mr. Favata described the impact of this tradition on the school community. 

“It is a way to celebrate Christmas, build community, and raise funds for the school,” Mr. Favata said. 

Sacred Heart opens its doors for the Come Home for Christmas event.  Courtesy of Sacred Heart Communications Dept

The school community cherishes its traditions, especially around the holiday season.  The Come Home for Christmas event offers an opportunity for families to gather and celebrate Christmas festivities.  Charlotte spoke about how the community congregates during these traditions. 

“I am also beyond ecstatic to bring back Come Home for Christmas at Sacred Heart because that is such an integral day for our community (students, faculty, staff, and alumnae) to come together and practice every Christmas tradition in the books,” Charlotte said. 

Another long-awaited Christmas festivity that returned this year is the cookie exchange. The entire Upper School community celebrated this beloved tradition, December 1 and December 8.  Every year, students from each grade bake cookies and exchange them in a grade-wide lunch.  Charlotte spoke about her enthusiasm for the tradition as it makes its return to the Upper School.

“I was extremely excited to have the cookie exchange return this year for all Upper School grades,” Charlotte said.  “We altered the tradition in order to provide safety in accordance with COVID-19 precautions, but the cookie exchange is an event that everyone can get excited about because who does not want to come home with tons of cookies in their hands?”

Featured Image courtesy of  Sacred Heart Communications Dept.