Houses are wrapped in festive lights, stuffed with cookies and presents, and filled with cheerful music as people center their lives around the overwhelming holiday season. There is another characteristic of this time of year not to be overlooked; it seems to bring out the neighborliness in a community.
Like the Whos down in Whoville, Loudoun County seems to join hands and spread the joy of the holidays. Loudoun Valley High School is a perfect illustration of holiday cheer, with many of the school’s groups finding ways to celebrate the season in any way possible.
Loudoun Valley’s Student Council Association, an organization often involved in acting as a model for the rest of the school, did its part by baking over 800 holiday cookies for faculty and staff to show appreciation for all the hard work they put into the school. The Student Council also gave students an opportunity to buy a “candy-gram” message for any of their peers to wish them a happy holiday season.
Valley’s PEER class, which requires each of its students to pick one project for the year, partook of the holiday season in their own way: Senior J.B. Driscoll’s made gingerbread houses to be given to families in need. Food drives go on throughout the year, but it’s rare for a frosting-coated treat like a gingerbread house to find its way into the hands of those who can hardly afford to eat; thanks to Valley’s PEER class, this became possible. PEER also aided SCA by delivering any extra cookies leftover from the teachers to give to the community.
The school’s German class decided to celebrate the season and bring a little German culture to the students at Valley. In Germany on every December 6th St. Nicholas visits all of the houses where girls and boys neatly line up their shoes in hopes St. Nicholas will fill them with candy; but naughty children can only expect “Krampus” (switches), the antithesis of St. Nicholas’s generosity. Of course, the German students only imitated Nicholas’s gift-giving kindness and filled with candy all the shoes that lined the halls.
Some of the French classes joined in the festivities by making cards and singing songs. After the school’s winter break, on the twelfth day of Christmas, the French classes will acknowledge “King’s day” with cake and celebration.
Whether through parties, cookies, or candy-grams, the students and faculty of Valley all find different ways to acknowledge the holiday season. The giving spirit of the season accompanies all of the other festivities celebrated annually that help bring joy to the community. For Loudoun County, this is just as much a part of the season as any song, cookie, or tree.