Students celebrate Christmas traditions
Since Faith is a Christian school, students celebrate both the Christian traditions surrounding the birth of Christ and more cultural American holiday icons, like Santa and Christmas trees.
One loved school tradition is Angel Buddy week. Students who want to participate put their name and locker number on a piece of paper and draw another name from a box. For the next week, Angel Buddies anonymously put gifts in their buddies' lockers and finally reveal themselves on the last day. It is always fun because the students experience the joy of having their gifts appreciated while receiving special treats. The mystery of anonymity adds yet another spark to it.
The Christmas Banquet is one of our school's biggest events. Since our school has no dances, this winter formal is a fancy dinner. Students, especially excited freshmen and seniors, ask their dates weeks ahead of time. Girls pore over new dresses, pretty accessories and the perfect hairstyle while the guys try to match ties and worry about being pricked by boutonniere pins.
This year, the banquet was held on a river cruise of the Sacramento River. Excited couples met at the school to carpool to the boat in Sacramento. The air was filled with camera flashes and nervous laughter. Dinner was served inside the boat, but the decks were open for couples or groups to wander in the open air. There, chivalrous boys handed over their jackets to shivering girls, and couples assumed Titanic poses for the cameras.
The evening drew to a close as everyone gathered on the deck of the ship after dinner to watch the raising of the lighted drawbridge and filtered off the ship toward the cars ready to return home.
At Christmas time, Faith Christian kids talk and hear a lot about God's gift of his son, Jesus. Because of this, we want to give back to our community in both service and giving. This year, students organized and participated in coat and shoe drives among other endeavors.
In addition to this, every year, the Spanish teacher, Mr. Herrera, finds a family in need, and the school "adopts" them. On the last day of school before winter break, several students go Christmas shopping for the children and their parents. Then, students who would like to participate gather with Mr. Herrera and the adopted family at a volunteer host's home for dinner. It is a time of feasting and laughter, and the look in the children's eyes as they open their gifts is unrivaled.
We love our traditions, but we still try to come up with new ideas. Perhaps some of what we start today will be a school tradition in 10 years.
Katherine McLain is a senior at Faith Christian High School. Her column appears about every sixth week in Education.