Kindergarten teacher Brittany Dirks sports her favorite Christmas accessories at the Dec. 21 elementary Christmas celebration. — The Holyoke Enterprise | Johnson Publications

Ugly? More like fabulous!

    Though only a half day, Friday, Dec. 21, was jam-packed with activity at Holyoke Elementary. As the last day of school before a two-week Christmas break, there was much to celebrate.
    All of the students and teachers gathered in the gym first thing in the morning. A decorated tree was situated in the middle of the floor, and students filed in around it. Festive music played, and everyone eagerly looked at the ugly sweaters and wild Christmas accessories.
    Once everyone was seated, music teacher Marcia Dalton led the crowd in singing a few carols. Simultaneously, students had a chance to deposit the food donations they brought into boxes that surrounded the tree. With just a little bit of effort from each individual, the canned goods and other nonperishable food piled up quickly.
    Excitement mounted as the teacher competition for best Christmas accessory neared. Bows, lights and tinsel covered several of the teachers, easily outshining the tree itself. After the teachers paraded around the tree, it was up to the students to vote. They made known whose costume was their favorite with yells, applause and screams. Kimberlee Bennett, who said her students dressed her up, won, followed closely by Jade Goldenstein and Cynthia Bahler.
    In addition to the food drive, students and parents had a chance to donate items to the nursing home and assisted living center. Organized by the Sunshine Committee, a tree was up in the school for the past two months. Ornaments on the tree listed items that could be donated — crosswords, toiletries, socks, etc. — and participants took an ornament and donated the item. A jar was also placed in the school lobby, where spare change could be donated for nursing home activities.

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