Spreading holiday spirit before finals


Micah Wengler

Decked out in in red and green, Sarah Hardin and Olivia Schinsky proudly sport their holiday best, Dec. 11, 2015.

Red and green knit sweaters sparkling with tinsel and tinkling with brass bells pack the hallways. It must be Festive Holiday Sweater Day.

This 9th annual Festive Holiday Sweater Day, Friday, Dec. 16, is a chance to celebrate the up upcoming winter break and offset the stress of pending finals since the day is celebrated the Friday before one of the most stressful weeks of the academic year: finals.

“You are always getting thick, almost twenty-page packets that have to be done,” Kristina Olson (10) said. “Especially the week before when you have your last tests to study for, and then you come back the next week and have finals to study for.”

Despite the mounting pressure growing on the inside, students on the outside show off their festive spirits for the holidays ahead.

“It’s my favorite day of the year because it gets me in the holiday spirit,” Annie Grimshaw (10) said. “I get to go shopping for a new sweater to wear every year.”

Mr. Justin Morris, social studies, started the tradition.

“I taught two AP psychology classes and one year I said, ‘Let’s all wear sweaters for fun’,” Mr.  Morris said. “I just progressively kept on doing it with my AP classes, and then I opened it up to my world history classes the next year. It just got bigger and bigger.”

FHSD helps keep the worries that come with high-stakes testing in check.

“Finals week can be really stressful, so the sweaters really lighten up the mood,” Sam Courtois (10) said. “It’s fun to see how everyone gets into it.”

From tacky to festive to trendy to even home-made, the sweaters cover the spectrum.

“My favorite part is seeing all the unique ones, especially when people make their own,” Madison Landolt (10) said. “It’s just really interesting and fun to see everyone in the holiday spirit.”

Middle schools don’t share this tradition, giving the newer Wildcats something to look forward to.

“I’m excited to see all the different sweaters and amounts of spirit,” Hanna Grossnicklaus (9) said. “It’s something different to get the students excited and I’ve heard awesome things about it.”

The spirit infects the whole community.

“I wore one last year with a picture of Santa with sunglasses saying, “Be cool,” Mr. Charles Crouther, head principal, said. “I already have mine for this  year.”

As the tradition took hold, Mr. Morris’ approach has evolved.

“I used to wear an older, more tacky sweater,” Mr. Morris said. “Now I have an STL cardinals one that is a little more better looking.”

Mr. Carlo Atienza, math teacher, takes a different strategy.

“I like to wear any sweater that surprises people,” Mr. Carlo Atienza, math teacher, said. “I never show any students my awesome sweater until the day of,”

Mr. Crouther has also adopted this approach. “Mine this year is top secret,” he said.

The secret will be out soon enough when everyone arrives to school Friday.

Share your festive holiday sweater on social media with us: #ehshub.