We have once again reached that time of the year: Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years–and midterms. The stress craze has been building up to this final week before the annual midyear exams. However, on Wednesday, December 10th, that stress can be overlooked, at least for an hour, as the entire school joins together in the gym to celebrate the holiday sing-along assembly.
The annual sing-along has been around for over 20 years with performances by the Middle and Upper School band, faculty band, and of course, all the students. It was initiated as a way to bring the Miami Country Day community together during the holiday season. The final song every year is “12 Days of Christmas,” where each grade level sings their part, and the younger children below first grade join in with the first graders to sing “a partridge in a pear tree.” Mrs. Alfonso, who has directed the annual tradition for many years, believes that the celebration has evolved “through the spirit and enthusiasm of different members of our community.” It has been such a success each year that it continues to grow as a major part of MCDS tradition.
Many students and teachers very much enjoy having the annual event in order to celebrate the holidays with our school community. Mr. Brennan, Upper School English teacher, comments that “It is my favorite all school get-together of the year because its filled with innocence, no stress, and everyone can forget about the pressures of school.” In many ways, it has become a part of Miami Country Day School tradition, as many people are interactive and appreciate the holiday spirit. Celina Lindemann, a Junior, believes that the tradition shows the school’s diversity, such as the different religions celebrated by students and faculty, and how the community respects everyone’s cultures and beliefs. In addition, the event celebrates many American traditions through songs such as “12 Days of Christmas” and “I Have A Little Dreidel” which have been around in the United States for many years now. Finally, Mr. Turf acknowledges that “While the older kids may not get as into it as the Lower School children, I think that deep down inside everybody looks forward to that day. It brings us all together one last time prior to heading off our separate ways.”
Although the Lower School Children are greatly animated during the assembly, the Middle and Upper schoolers do have their fair share in yelling their lines in the “12 Days of Christmas” song. Many even compete to see who can be the loudest! Some students may not be as involved in the sing-along because, as Mila Boano, a Senior, supposes, “they think they’re too cool to sing.” I guess those party poopers just don’t know how to have fun. Out of all the grades that take part in the song, Mr. Turf, Upper School Director, thinks that the 5th graders and 12th graders are the most enthusiastic because the 5th graders “get to shout the entire time” their line “five golden rings,” and “the 12th graders because it’s their very last time and they start to get nostalgic.”
To add to the festive celebration, Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Santa’s elves are the cherries on top. Mr. Turf has the honor to wear Santa’s magical suit, along with Mrs. Pitchman as Mrs. Claus, and the class presidents of each grade dressed as Santa’s elves. Celina Lindemann loves this part of the assembly because “I can see all the kids screaming with excitement about seeing Santa.” Mrs. Alfonso commented, “I guess Santa and Frosty heard about our sing along, and they wanted to come to MCDS to hear it for themselves!” What would we do without this jolly tradition? Ho, Ho, Ho, Happy Holidays!