SHP Lights the Tree for Twelfth Consecutive Year

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Last Thursday, spirits were high in the halls of SHP. One of the most popular activities
that the Prep, the annual Christmas tree lighting run by our very own Student Council. There
were about the same amount of guests as there were last year. Among these guests were several
members of SHP faculty and many current students. Guests were treated to ample amounts of

hot chocolate, cookies, and coffee. Among the sweet treats that were served were peppermint-topped

milk chocolate pieces, sugar cookies, candy canes and fudge brownies. The hot chocolate
especially garnered much attention, and kids, teens and adults alike all agreed it was one of the
best aspects of the night.

When guests arrived, they received a Christmas Light necklace and a complimentary
candy cane. While waiting for the ceremonies to begin, guests watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed
Reindeer
, a classic Christmas special that set the mood perfectly. Guests were well-served by
current SHP students, who ushered guests to their destination and handed out programs and gifts.
When it finally came time to light the tree, the student volunteers helped usher guests out to the
front of the school, where the ceremony was to take place. Shortly after, the C-Tonians
A-Cappella Chorus made their appearance. When all guests had finally made their way to the front of the school,
new faculty member, theology teacher, and clergyman Fr. John led guests in prayer and blessed the tree. Mrs.

Neglia, called the crowd’s attention to the C-Tonians, which she herself directed. The C-Tonians
led guests in singing well-known Christmas carols such as “Deck the Halls,” “O Come O Come
Emmanuel,” and “Joy to the World.” Guests enthusiastically sang along and seemed to be very into
it. Then, after the C-Tonians had sung everything in their portfolio, our Student Council
President Brandon Hersh ’20 came up and began the countdown to the lighting of the tree. Suspense
began building as he started his countdown from ten. When the countdown reached zero, the tree
erupted in an explosion color, adorned with every color of light imaginable. The C-Tonians
began to sing their own rendition of Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.
Guests, when returning inside, received a warm cup of hot chocolate and helped
themselves to cookies.

They were treated to great music by a small band assembled by SHP
students. Among the students in the band were Daniel Mottesi ‘20, the lead pianist, Michael
Calvano ‘21, the drummer, Blake Hamilton ‘20, the bass guitarist, and Andrew Lucas ‘20, the
lead guitarist. They played jazz and rock renditions of classic Christmas song, the most notable
of which would definitely be their playing of “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey.
Mr. Seann Farrell, bowling coach and moderator of the Student Council began to belt out high
notes and filled the role of lead vocalist for the band. There were also appearances by Santa
Claus and Rudolph, who took a break from preparing for their voyage on Christmas Eve to take
pictures and mingle with guests.

Rudolph especially is no stranger to the Prep, and last year even
made an impromptu appearance during the last day before winter break, while the SHP band was
playing his trademark theme. Select guests were given a metal jingle bell to take home with them.
Visitors left with their fair share of Christmas spirit, and the event was a resounding success.
And the same is expected for next year, which will be the twelfth time SHP has held a Christmas Tree Lighting.

SHP has a lot to offer, year round, and Christmas time is no exception. Other activities offered
by SHP during the Christmas season include gingerbread cookie decoration as an enrichment
activity for students, and the band’s Christmas concert. Overall, the annual Christmas Tree
Lighting is not to be missed under any circumstances, and never fails to fill one with the
Christmas spirit.