Christmas memories and calamities


Junior Maddie McLane sits on Santa’s lap, carrying out a family tradition.

From Christmas miracles to cooking catastrophes, Convent of the Sacred Heart students and faculty anticipate the upcoming holiday season while recounting and reliving the best and worst memories of Christmases past.
Mrs. Kerry Bader, Upper School Theology Teacher, learned one Christmas that expensive presents and small children do not mix well.
“When I was about four years old, my great aunt gave me and my sister toy telephones. These phones actually worked from room to room and were a great gift,” Mrs. Bader said. “We put them on a high shelf on the bookcase in our room. When my cousins came later that day, my oldest cousin knocked the phones off the shelf and they broke. The aunt who gave us the gift got really mad and from that Christmas forward, she just gave us underwear.”
While Mrs. Bader suffered a Christmas misfortune, senior Emma Wilfert experienced her own Christmas miracle involving carrots, oats, and her concern for reindeer’s eating habits.
“When I was younger, we would always leave cookies out for Santa, like most people do. But I was also a really big animal lover, so I started to get worried that Santa’s reindeer wouldn’t be eating enough,” Emma said. “I decided to make reindeer food for them, and I basically just scattered carrots, oats, and raisins on the front lawn, then left a note for Santa telling him to let his reindeer eat. Some of the food was actually gone in the morning.”
Miss Michaela Gorman, Middle and Upper School Drama Teacher, remembers causing a calamity in the kitchen one Christmas, when she and her cousin, Alanah, decided to bake holiday cookies for their family.
“We found a recipe online and jumped in with full enthusiasm. Unfortunately, we did not stop to think that perhaps a recipe that called for nine full cups of sugar might not have been edited quite right,” Miss Gorman said. “Our simple Christmas cookies came out pancake-flat and inedible. They resembled stained glass windows more so than cookies. We could not stop laughing at how badly we had messed up. We had such a blast making them and then trying to pass them off as edible cookies. Needless to say, we did better the next year.” 

The Capolongo family made over a thousand capelletti.
The Capolongo family made over a thousand capelletti.  Courtesy of Genevieve Capolongo ’17.

Junior Genevieve Capolongo also celebrates the season by cooking with her family.
“Every year on the twenty third of December my grandfather and my uncle come over and we hand make cappelletti that will be eaten on Christmas day. Cappelletti is basically a little dumpling that we put in chicken broth. It has always been our tradition to count all the cappellettis that we make,” Genevieve said. “Each year we make over a thousand, and I love the fact that we all come together to create something so small, but so meaningful.”
Mr. Dan Favata, Upper School Theology and History Teacher, recalls a Christmas catastrophe involving a car, a snowy Christmas morning, and some relatives.
Junior Maddie McLane sits on Santa's lap, carrying out a family tradition.
Junior Maddie McLane sits on Santa’s lap. Courtesy of Maddie McLane ’17.

“One Christmas memory I have is crashing my dad’s brand new Buick on Christmas morning, after he asked me to pick up some of my aunts and uncles. I was a senior in high school that year, and had just crashed another car a few months before that,” Mr. Favata said. “I was not happy when it happened, needless to say. It was a Christmas miracle that my dad ever let me use a family car again.”
Junior Maddie McLane’s favorite holiday memories involve her large extended family. Her mother is one of eleven children, all of whom gather together at Christmas time to celebrate the day in their own special way.
“We each get a gift from my grandma, but in order to get this gift we have to sit on Santa, my uncle’s friend dressed up, take a picture, and let everyone make jokes. Then, and only then, can you receive your present,” Maddie said. “Even some cousins in their twenties still have to sit on Santa’s lap. Every time an older cousin’s name is called, the whole family erupts in laughter and immediately starts making jokes about how they are legal adults and still sitting on Santa’s lap.”
-Elizabeth Bachmann, Co-Features Editor