“It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” on Wesleyan campus, a season that brings family, friends and communities together. The magic of the Christmas season not only brings joy and cold weather to Wesleyan, but it also is a start to the makings of many Christmas memories. Responses were collected throughout the school from fifth grader Garrison Dallam to Head of School Chris Cleveland. The Wesleyan community was able to share their personal views on Christmas and what their holiday favorites are when this season approaches. A nine-question survey was sent out to the high school to ask what students preferred the most during the Christmas season.
When Christmas comes around, the Wesleyan community goes over the top to decorate, more than any other season. Over 50 trees get put on display, thanks to the Wesleyan parents, and every student brings in an ornament to represent themselves. “I love it when we decorate all of campus. I think it looks beautiful,” Cleveland said. Junior Elizabeth Bertram said, “My favorite thing that Wesleyan does during Christmas is play music throughout the halls during the school day.”
While gifts are not the main reason for the season, they are an integral part in celebrating the holiday. The high school was asked if they preferred to give or receive gifts, and the results were at a shockingly close tie. With 100 responses in total, 47 percent preferred to give gifts, while the other 53 percent preferred to receive gifts. When asked what his favorite thing about Christmas is, Dallam said, “I love receiving gifts and watching my family members’ faces when they get the gifts.” 70 responses out of 100 said they preferred real trees over artificial trees. Wesleyan families will be decorating their trees in a way that expresses themselves, with each gift resting under it, just waiting to be opened on Christmas day.
Christmas season comes with many special traditions, whether it be family gatherings full of recipes passed down from generation to generation, or even just a simple movie night under some cozy blankets on Christmas Eve. Wesleyan Spanish teacher Guillermo Vallejo said, “My family’s trademark tradition in a Latino house during Christmas is to get together and sing Christmas carols. It starts on Dec. 16 and goes to Dec. 24.” Talk about spreading Christmas cheer by singing loud for all to hear. Cleveland said, “We have three traditions: one is we decorate gingerbread houses; second, there is a house in Brookhaven and the owner goes crazy at Christmas and probably puts 250 inflatables in front of his house, so we drive down there to see it; third, we watch ‘Elf.’ You can’t not watch ‘Elf.’” With 99 total responses on the high school survey, the majority agreed with Cleveland that “Elf” is a must-see movie during the Christmas season. Dallam said, “On Christmas, we watch the Macy’s Christmas Day Parade. That is our tradition as we open presents.”
As Andy Williams’ words in “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” come alive, the Spotify playlist that is only used once a year gets put on shuffle play. Cleveland said his favorite Christmas song is “I Hear the Bells on Christmas Day” by Casting Crowns. The survey’s results showed 71 percent of students get into the Christmas spirit by listening to Mariah Carey’s single, “All I Want for Christmas is You.” There is no better way to get in the Christmas spirit than by singing Christmas songs.
As trees are lit and presents are wrapped, take a moment to think about what makes this season so special, whether it is traditions, family gatherings or unique dishes. Vallejo said, “My mom’s soup with chicken, steak, potato, corn. It’s called Ajiaco. It’s a tradition in Colombia.” No matter what it is, the holiday season is a chance to reflect on the year that is coming to a close and to spread the joy of what this season is truly about. For this Christmas, Dallam and Bertram have already started their wish lists. Bertram said, “I want shoes and sweatpants.” Dallam has his mind set on one thing, a hoverboard. So, the countdown begins.