Holiday spirit spreads on campus


Anokhi Saklecha

Delaney Martin (12) decorates the Senior Christmas tree in Manzinita today at lunch.

Colorful lights adorn the hallways of Main, red and silver bulbs embellish the campus greenery, and neatly-wrapped gifts float among students. As the Christmas season quickly approaches, here are a few ways the Upper School is bringing the holiday flavor to campus.


Movie Showing

This Friday, to promote the holiday season, Spirit Club is offering a free screening of Will Ferrell’s Elf, along with art activities and a Christmas-themed dinner.

“We have put together a fun event where there is going to be an opportunity to make crafts and eat Elf’s favorite dinner, which is pasta with syrup,” Upper School clubs coordinator Eric Kallbrier said. “And then we will watch the movie in the Bistro and have some holiday spirit all together as a Harker family to bring in the holiday cheer and get everyone excited about the Christmas break.”

The event will take place at 6 P.M. in the Manzanita Bistro.

BAD Assembly

Next week, on Dec. 12, performing arts groups from all three campuses will be staging the annual Big Assembly Day (BAD) holiday tour.

The performers will start their show at the Blackford Campus, and then travel to the Saratoga and Bucknall campuses during the last Friday before finals week.

Upper School singing group, Camerata, has been preparing for the event, according to Shivani Awasthi (10).

“We are performing to Winter Wonderland, a jazz piece and Christmas song,” she said. “Right now, we are just solidifying the notes and practicing over and over again, trying to get the harmonies right.”

Downbeat member Rishabh Chandra (11) looks forward to spreading the holiday spirit through BAD.

“In the lower school, the students are so excited about christmas time and the holiday season. They can barely stand straight,” he said. “And, in the middle school and upper school, the students are terrified for finals, and the assembly helps to relax that a little. I can see it on everyone’s faces.”

The assembly will take place after lunch, as a part of an alternate schedule.


Student council members, along with the maintenance staff, decorated the Upper School campus with Christmas lights, ornaments, and ribbon during the Thanksgiving break.

This annual tradition began a few years ago with the intentions of generating a holiday ambience on campus.

“The decorations are just to foster some christmas spirit when the student come back from campus, and, in some way, to distract the students’ attention away from finals and other stresses,” ASB treasurer David Lin said.

Christmas Tree Competition
In place of previous years’ window painting competition, Spirit Club and Student Council decided on implementing a christmas tree-decorating class competition to encourage class bonding during the holiday season.

“We got rid of the window painting competition, in favor of the Christmas tree decorating competition, because the window painting got a little messy and was wasting a lot of water,” senior Spirit Coordinator Arjun Ashok said.

On Wednesday, the classes will congregate in Manzanita to decorate their trees with ornaments and handmade “toppers.”

“[Through this activity], we are hoping to adorn the campus with beauty and make it look nice for the holidays,” Arjun said.

Secret Santas

Each year, sports teams, journalism students, and advisories celebrate the holidays by engaging in individual Secret Santa gift exchanges, in which students are anonymously paired up with a “Secret Santa” and a “Secret Santee.”

The Lieberman advisory is participating in its own Secret Santa, carrying on the tradition from last year.

“We did it last year, and it was cool to get a random gift from someone, especially if you didn’t know them too well, so we are doing it again,” Kavya Seth (10) said. “It’s just a fun thing to do.”

Senior Gabi Gupta, a captain of the Girl’s Soccer Team, is organizing a Secret Santa for her team to engage in during their season.

“I want to promote team bonding, and I think it’s a great way to get to know people you aren’t really friends with,” she said. “It’s always nice to have people surprise you.”


As students and faculty members wrap up first semester with finals and college apps, these activities are aimed at decreasing stress on campus, while creating an aura of joy, gratitude, and Christmas cheer.