JC traditions spread holiday cheer throughout community


Belle Wilson and Annabel Everett

John Carroll traditions such as the door decorating competition, service opportunities, music performances, and other festivities always get students in the holiday spirit, and this year was no different. Everyone was back in the building, and students, faculty, and staff were thrilled to continue holiday traditions from the past and create new ones.
One long-time tradition JC has continued, sponsored by the SGA, is the annual door decorating contest. This is a time where members of each Advisory get together and decide how they will decorate their door.
Spanish Teacher Cathy Edge, who is new to John Carroll this year, was looking forward to door decorating and said she was excited “to create something together, to laugh together, to come together.”
Mrs. Edge continued, “It allows us to be creative and like a little family.”
Junior Mathias Mingle said, “I like doing the door decorating because we get to express our Advisory’s character and holiday cheer together.”
Each Advisory could choose to decorate their door however they would like. Decorations fell into the four categories the SGA provided: Cringey Christmas, Christ in Christmas, Traditional Christmas, and Christmas Movie.
There was a special 40 minute Advisory mod on Wednesday, December 1 to begin decorating. Advisories then had two weeks to decorate their doors using every Advisory mod if needed. Once the two weeks were over, winners were chosen. Judged by non-partial staff members, the top five Advisories overall were chosen.
Additionally, Honorable Mentions were awarded to Advisories in the four categories.
The top five overall winners will each be awarded their prizes after the break. All winners received certificates.
On Tuesday December 13, some faculty and staff members brought their children and grandchildren to walk around in the evening to see all the decorations and lights and to meet Santa Patriot.
In early December the band marched in both the Bel Air and White Marsh Christmas Parades.
Band Director Casey Novak said that the band’s performances “went really well. This was our first set of parades since 2019, so it was exciting to be a part of live music again.”
A new event this year was “Cider and Songs” that took place during the Friday mornings before school in December.
Assistant Principal Jake Hollin hosted these gatherings in the Street Family Courtyard. Students voluntarily joined in on the Friday mornings to sing Christmas carols and to drink hot apple cider.
Junior Mackenzie Currey said, “I find the Christmas songs and hot apple cider a great way to give the JC student body a quick pick-me-up.”
Aside from the adored John Carroll traditions that already existed, SGA created new activities this year.
Junior Class Vice President Flora Lau said, “The week we returned from break, SGA planned the 12 Days Before Christmas Break where students could win prizes throughout the holiday season.”
Beginning on Thursday, December 2, an SGA member went on the morning announcements to tell the student body what day before break it was and what selfie to send in. Those who sent in selfies to the SGA Instagram or email accounts were entered into daily prize drawings which included $10 Wawa gift cards and John Carroll Christmas ornaments.
Junior Sierra Simmons, the SGA’s Secretary/Treasurer started the first announcement with “Today is the 12th day before Christmas Vacation, and on this 12th day, JC has given us 12 advisory members.”
To enter into the drawing for that day, students were instructed to take a selfie while decorating their advisory door and either email the selfie to the SGA or post it on their Instagram stories and tag the SGA Instagram.
Senior Jillian Connolly said, “The 12 Days Before Christmas Vacation has been a fun addition to the JC Christmas traditions. I always listen closely to the morning announcements and submit my picture.”
Another way JC celebrated this holiday season was by having an Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. On December 14, students got to show off their sweaters along with Christmas accessories like socks, hats, and necklaces.
On Wednesday, December 15, students and staff were greeted in the morning by SGA members passing out peppermint puffs and wishing them a happy holiday. Christmas music was playing, and Santa Patriot was outside as well.
Senior Stefan Cotsoradis said, “Wearing my Christmas sweater was super fun. I enjoyed seeing all the different Christmas clothes people had in their closets.”
Junior Giada Scotto DiCarlo said, “I am so excited for the upcoming holiday out-of-uniform days this week. I have always loved out-of-uniform days, and now that we get to be festive for the holidays, it will be even more interesting. I think it will be really good for all students to get into the holiday spirit before break.”
Holiday performances were also evident on campus this year. On December 10, the music department hosted their winter concert featuring performances from the band, orchestra, and choir.
In school on Thursday, December 16, there was a Christmas celebration with performances from the music and dance students. Also included were readings from the Gospel.
On the morning of the 16th, the FCA hosted a cookie exchange in the Upper Gym where students could both sample some of the cookies that their fellow classmates brought and take some home with them. There were also games for students to play.
In the afternoon of the same day, the sophomore class hosted a gingerbread house making contest in the cafeteria.
The holiday celebration will continue as dance company will perform The Nutcracker this evening and tomorrow.
Additionally, John Carroll participated in a multitude of service activities such as the holiday gift drive.
Flora Lau said, “SGA and the Romero Service Club are doing Merry Ministries where JC donates necessities to people in need. Freshmen donated hats and gloves. Sophomores donated socks. Juniors donated personal hygiene items. And seniors donated household items. There were bins outside the Mission & Ministry Office from December 1 to December 15.”
SGA President Max Snellenburg said, “I am really happy with how the new and old traditions have been carried out. They have made JC light up with positive energy, and I have noticed an overall excitement to get involved in these school events.”