Athens Academy’s Holiday Traditions


Jenna Cao, Editor in Chief

 As the seasons transition from fall to winter, Athens Academy begins to celebrate many of its annual holiday traditions. Throughout the months of November and December, the school engages in many school-wide activities that are important and relevant for the students but for their families and Athens community members as well. 

Before Thanksgiving break, the school held its 8th Holiday Market in the Sinkwich Spartan Center where a groundbreaking eighty-three vendors came to the gymnasium to sell their goods.

After the break however, is when many other traditions are celebrated. During the twelfth month of the year is the Athens Academy’s largest holiday tradition, the Holiday Celebration.

The 2022 Holiday Celebration falls on December 7th and is an important event for high school seniors and first graders who have been paired together as buddies for the school year and are partaking in a fun tradition. Prior to the celebration, seniors and first grade buddies engage in activities such as planting flower bulbs and decorating Christmas ornaments.

The ornaments that have been decorated by the students are then hung onto a large tree at the center of the gymnasium during the celebration. The tradition that the Seniors and First grade buddies have with one another is one that has stayed constant throughout the years. 

“I think that the holiday celebration is a great tradition,” says senior Ricardo Urena. “As a senior, it’s really special to spend time decorating and having fun with my first grade buddy, Adi.”

Every year, before seniors and first graders walk together to hang up the ornaments that they have made together, there are speeches said by the head of the school, John Thorson, and members of the student body.

In the past, these speeches have been focused on introducing and educating students and families about traditional religious holidays celebrated around the winter season from December to Late March. This year however, the school wants to include new traditions that are happening around the school and by members of the Athens community in the student-said speeches.

Bridges, a school club whose mission is to improve the student body’s knowledge on cultures and of the different diversity groups that are represented and present on our campus has been a big part of the movement to educate and remind members of the community to be kind, open, and understanding of religious and cultural differences. 

“For me, the holiday celebration is an event that celebrates our community and being together,” says sophomore and Bridges leader, Renee Cargill. “I believe that the holiday celebration is more secular than religious and I think we can talk about different ways people celebrate life and their community throughout the world since our community is growing and the Holiday celebration should reflect everyone well, which means discussing more than simply Christianity.” 

Athens Academy is a diverse community that is full of people with many different beliefs and backgrounds. As a school, it is important to learn about and acknowledge all of the different cultures that are present on our campus. By educating the student body on these differences, the school can continue forward in its quest to become more inclusive and educated.