Holidays at Xavier

From+November+to+the+end+of+the+Christmas+season%2C+Xavier%E2%80%99s+amazing+staff+puts+up+many+decorations%2C+such+as+this+tree+in+the+Activity+Center%2C+to+celebrate+Jesus%E2%80%99s+birth+and+the+Christmas+season.+Xavier%E2%80%99s+Key+Club+raised+money+to+pay+for+these+trees+and+then+donated+them+to+Xavier+families+in+need+every+year.

Adela Campo/XPress photo

From November to the end of the Christmas season, Xavier’s amazing staff puts up many decorations, such as this tree in the Activity Center, to celebrate Jesus’s birth and the Christmas season. Xavier’s Key Club raised money to pay for these trees and then donated them to Xavier families in need every year.

Jenna Burch, Staff Writer

One special thing that characterizes Xavier is its many long-lasting traditions, especially during the holidays. However, Covid-19 has changed some of the activities Xavier normally holds.

Every year, a school Mass is celebrated on All Saints’/All Souls’ Day just after Halloween; the Mass was partially-virtual this year. Another tradition is the canned food drive in coordination with St. Vincent DePaul held before Thanksgiving. Xavier is also very passionate about Christmas traditions including “decorating the school with lights, trees and wreaths; the ugly Christmas sweater contest; the newly-formatted Christmas pageant and concert with Xavier alumnae and decorating the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior Christmas trees with ornaments hand-sewn by Key Club members,” said Sister Lynn Winsor, Vice Principal for Activities and Athletics.

Executive Board Student Council moderator, Shelly Cahill, and all of the student council were excited to start a new tradition this year: GatorLights, a Christmas Extravaganza!

GatorLights was a drive-through celebration open to the Xavier community and eighth-graders and their families as an alternative to the Christmas dance, the Christmas pageant, and the eighth-grade day rally due to Covid-19 restrictions. “We’re going to continue most of our traditions, even if they may look a little different,” said Sister Lynn.

The event was held on the Xavier campus on Saturday, November 21 from 6:30 – 10 PM featuring light displays designed by Xavier groups such as clubs, teams and friend groups.

Before the event Cahill said, “There will be hot chocolate, candy canes, Christmas music, popcorn, goody bags for our eighth graders and a little bit of healthy competition.” The event did not disappoint as hundreds of cars slowly weaved throughout the northeast part of campus for three-and-a-half hours.

Attendees voted for displays they thought were the best, the brightest, most colorful and most unique. There were prizes for each category.

Many of our Xavier girls have unique holiday family traditions of their own.

Sophomore Kylie Brown’s Thanksgiving tradition is “doing the turkey trot, which is a 5k run in downtown Phoenix, and then hosting a neighborhood breakfast.”

Junior Madelyn Khoury says that her Christmas tradition is “roasting s’mores with my family.”

Senior Sophia Scaccia says that she “goes to New York with her family and we open all our Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve.”

“In this time of Covid-19 and isolation, Christmas is something that can really unite us. Christ’s birth is the unifying force right now and I think we have to concentrate on that and if we do, things will be a lot better,” said Sister Lynn.

The GatorLights drive-through is a Christmas celebration to be held throughout Xavier’s campus on Saturday, November 21 from 6:30-9 PM with display tables made by various Xavier groups. This festive logo was designed by Vanessa Flores. (Designed by Vanessa Flores)