During a holiday season like we have never experienced before, our Middle School community has tried to keep many of our traditions going.
This year, we recorded three separate performances to highlight the talents of our Middle School singers and musicians. Above, you can watch our Middle School Carol Service, featuring choir performances and thoughtful student reflections from students James A., Kali G., Yashita K., Chelsea L., Jessica L., and Madison T. (You can also read their words in full below.)
Thank you to all of our students, faculty and community members who made these shows possible.
Middle School Carol Service Reflections
In our community, we have families from many different cultures and traditions. As we have talked about in a recent chapel, despite the diverse backgrounds many cultures and faiths have traditions during this time of year that bring light to a season of darkness. Whether you light a menorah, decorate a Christmas tree, fast and then feast, or fill your recently tidied home with diyas, all these traditions centre around the theme of bringing light into a dark time of year.
This year is unique, there will be events and traditions that cannot happen but preparing this writing made us realize many of the rituals that make us happy at this time of year are still possible. We also realize that there are many people in our community that will have a much harder time this holiday. We think of people who may be sick or who have lost a job, the elderly who may be isolated, and the members of our community that are homeless.
Thinking about these members of our community not only helps us be more grateful for what we have but also makes us realize we are in a position to help. Our school tradition Holiday Hampers for the HerWay Organization is one small way to help and many of us have family traditions that involve giving back to the community, sharing light with those who need it.
As we enter the holiday season this year we cannot ignore that we are in the tenth month of living in a pandemic and we are all feeling this darkness. As a group, we identified how this holiday season will be different for us. There will be no long trips, some of us won’t be able to convene with grandparents, and we all know our gatherings will be limited. But despite these restrictions we also agreed that there are still so many simple traditions and rituals that we look forward to: walking our neighbourhoods looking at light displays, playing board games, reading, playing outside (maybe even in the snow), decorating, and exchanging gifts.
Along with holiday activities, all of us mentioned how much we are looking forward to food and eating, which seems to be an enhanced focus for many people since the start of the pandemic. Whether it is a hidden pickle in the Christmas tree, dumplings, a spaghetti Christmas Eve dinner, cookie and rice cake making, big breakfasts, or the special dinner that plays a central role in all of our families, the joy of gathering around meals and treats is something we are so grateful for.
We know this holiday season is different and that we will remember COVID Christmas for the rest of our lives. We hope that years from now when we look back on this holiday season, the highlights involving family, fun, and feasting will shine bright. In closing, no matter what your traditions are this time of year we wish you a happy holiday. And to all members of our community, may you be kind, be calm, be safe and be merry.