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'Tis the Season: St. Mark's Celebrates the Holidays
'Tis the Season: St. Mark's Celebrates the Holidays

With the advent of December begins the holiday season at St. Mark's. Christmas and Hanukkah are celebrated in a number of venues over several days as the winter vacation break nears.

The Menorah is already up in the front parlor, and on December 12, just five days before vacation, the first candle will be lit. Ongoing celebrations of Hanukkah will take place in dormitories and houses around campus. The annual Secret Santa adventure is also taking place, involving both students and, separately, faculty and staff.

On Friday evening, December 1, SM director of Music James Wallace hosted the traditional Holiday Songfest in the Hinkle Room, as part of the regular House competition. There were some amazing performances and lots of singing. In the end, Pine/Oak's talented effort emerged victorious, edging out some excellent showings from Maple and Sawyer.

The annual Tree Lighting followed the songfest. Members of the St. Mark's community—students and faculty—gathered on the Sixth Form Quad to welcome the lighting of a beautiful tree and to enjoy hot chocolate and good friends. The SM Robotics contingent also brought a robot Santa and a robot snow bear to the festivities, and a terrific time was had by all.

On Sunday, the Warrens hosted the annual ornament-making party at Choate House. Students were joined by faculty, staff, and their children, all gathering in the St. Mark's Room at Choate House to create holiday ornaments, both for the Choate House tree and to take home for their own decorations. Refreshments were served in the Southborough School Room, as dozens of people participated over the three-hour opportunity.

Chapel on Tuesday morning saw Mr. Wallace lead the school community in the Christmas hymns and carols they will be singing at the annual Lessons & Carols service. The Lessons & Carols service for the School will take place in Belmont Chapel after formal dinner on Thursday evening, December 7. The service will be repeated on Sunday afternoon, December 10, starting at 4 PM. That service will be open to the public.

Just the day before, on Saturday, December 9, Santa Claus will come to St. Mark's to visit with the children of faculty and staff in the Hinkle Room, starting at 11 AM. Families are encouraged to arrive by 10:45.

All this, plus Secret Santa ongoing, Hanukkah getting underway, and winter vacation break on the horizon, means that St. Mark's is once again truly excited by the spirit of the season!