Dec. 7 2011: Winter wonderland

Story was written by me and Albert Qiu, video was created by Albert Qiu and Kevin Tsukii. Originally published on: http://elestoque.org/2011/11/29/multimedia/winter-wonderland-2/

Students may have been shocked when they saw the campus this week. Normally barren save for a few coats of old paint, the halls are now lined with festive wreaths and bows. Meanwhile, a 13-foot-tall holiday bush and a wooden gingerbread house sit idly in the rally court. The transformation is completed by piles of fake snow, which despite their realistic apperance, are not edible.

Since Dec. 5, Bull Spirit and Campus Climate commissions have been working hard to bring Winter Wonderland to our student body.

“We’ve decorated the campus a bit [before] in previous years, but I guess this is the first year we’re going all out,” leadership commissioner junior Lyan Cogan said. “We really want to make it a big thing.”

Armed with a budget of $800, the commissions divided the work to transform the school throughout the week. Both commissions have planned unique lunchtime activities, but a common sense of generosity and holiday cheer work together to make the week before finals a little more special.

During lunch, Bull Spirit is setting up activities around the rally court, including a station where students can write letters to soldiers. Students will also have an opportunity to create ornaments for the holiday bush, a Christmas tree with religious connotations stripped away. To capture these moments, commissioners will be taking instant Polaroid photos and giving them to the subjects.

A Giving Tree was also placed in the library, but it serves a far different purpose than the Rally Courtís decorative holiday bush. The tree is not hung with ornaments, but with paper cards containing the wishes of impoverished children. Students are encouraged to pick up a card and pay for a present.

Not to be outdone by Bull Spirit, Campus Climate is helping to feed the hungry. Their fundraiser encourages students to toss coins into the openings of a wooden gingerbread house, and the money collected is donated to Second Harvest Food Bank. With all these charitable activities planned, it is obvious that Winter Wonderland has been designed to both celebrate and give back to the community.

“I hope there is enough money to buy some [gifts] for kids who wonít get anything,” Dean of Student Activities Mike White said. “So I hope the gingerbread house works and the Giving Tree gets taken care of, and then everybody can have some holiday [cheer].”

Of course, while Winter Wonderland’s influence will undoubtedly reach beyond the walls of MVHS, it was ultimately designed to please the students within.

“It’ll be nice to see everyone walking [around] and seeing all these decorations,”sophomore Campus Climate commissioner Celine Mol said. “It takes all the stress out of finals, you know? All everyone thinks about now during Christmas is finals, finals, finals. But now [with Winter Wonderland], the spirit is back into the school.”

{cc-by-nc-sa} Yimeng Han

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