Christmas traditions around the heart


As the Nancy Salisbury, RSCJ Hall begins to fill with Christmas lights and decorated trees, students begin to celebrate the numerous traditions that occur at Sacred Heart Greenwich throughout the month of December. One of the traditions that mark the beginning of the Christmas season in the Upper School is each grade’s decoration of their corner of the Core Center, followed by grade-wide cookie exchanges, and a special Lessons and Carols chapel.  At the end of the season, seniors lead the annual all-school Christmas singalong in the Veronique DuBois Gymnasium. These annual traditions encourage the Sacred Heart community to get into the Christmas spirit.
Each of these traditions is especially meaningful for the seniors because they are celebrating their last holiday season at Sacred Heart. Every day in December, seniors end morning meeting by leading the Upper School in singing “Twelve Days of Christmas.” Tomorrow, students and faculty will engage in a final day of celebration and tradition before the winter holiday.

Every December, Salisbury Hall is decorated for the holiday season.
Katherine Santoro ’19

To begin the day, the varsity basketball team will compete against Upper School faculty members in the annual teacher-student basketball game. Junior Claire Liddy, a three-year member of the varsity basketball team, is looking forward to playing against the faculty again. 
“My favorite part [of the game] is seeing how into it some of the faculty get,” Claire said. “I’ve even heard that some of them have been practicing, so it might be a more competitive game this year.” 
After the basketball game, seniors will head to the Upper School core center and dress up as angels to lead the whole school community in a Christmas carol sing-along.
Senior Mary Jane Tranfo describes how she has realized the important responsibility the seniors have, acting as role models for younger students.
“As a senior who is dawning upon the Christmas sing-along, to say I am excited is an understatement,” Mary Jane said. “I know that some little lower schooler will be watching me wrapped in a white bed sheet and have the same awed thoughts that I once had about the senior girls.”
Senior class president, Christina DeConcini, shares her thoughts on the Christmas traditions at Sacred Heart and how she hopes to bring her class together this holiday season.

“December is finally a time for the seniors to start relaxing after all of our college applications, and the traditions at Sacred Heart allow us to reflect on the past few years and enjoy our last few months as a grade,” Christina said. “I hope that everyone embraces the joy of the holiday season and bonds with each other while caroling and participating in the cookie exchange.” 
Sacred Heart seniors Emily Wiele ’18 and Rachel Bellissimo ’18 show off their Christmas spirit by dressing in festive Christmas colors.
Juliana Collins ’19

After the all-school caroling, Upper School students and faculty will meet in the Lennie and John de Csepel Theater to greet children from the Carver Center and give them gifts for the holiday season.
For the past 20 years, Sacred Heart has partnered with the Carver Center in Port Chester, New York during Christmas. The Carver Center provides programs and services to aid low-income families.
For the past two weeks, each advisory in the Upper School has donated gifts such as toys, supermarket gift cards, scarves, and gloves to children and families for the winter season. As children receive their gifts, they are also able to meet Santa and take a photo with him. 
Junior and Community Service Club co-head Maggie Shea shared her thoughts on the importance of community service during the holiday season, and specifically, at Sacred Heart.
“During the holiday season everyone in our community is filled with so much excitement and cheer, but we must also be humble and giving because we are so lucky to have [so many] opportunities,” Maggie said. “The Community Service Club works extra hard to make sure that other households are also filled with some Christmas cheer. The Carver Center is one way we are able to do this; by giving back to communities surrounding us with gifts that they could otherwise not afford to give themselves, we are sharing the joyful season with others.” 
– Juliana Collins, Sports & Health Editor