With the holiday season in full swing, holiday activities distracted upper school students from studying for finals in the days prior to the break. Following a Harker tradition, students, faculty and administrators got to work cobbling together gingerbread houses in early December. Houses were built by each upper school class, and one by the faculty and administrative staff. In addition, each class decorated a section of windows in Manzanita Hall, with the seniors’ effort themed” Nightmare Before Christmas”; the juniors’ was Winnie the Pooh; sophomores drew Invader Zim; and freshmen illustrated the class Grinch. Spirit point winners of the gingerbread house contest were juniors followed by seniors, freshmen and sophomores; while in window painting, seniors came in first followed by juniors, freshmen and sophomores.
In other pre-holiday activity, the Cooking Club went natural, making pumpkin pies from scratch in mid-December. About half a dozen students joined Danae McLaughlin, Saratoga kitchen supervisor, and club advisor Tony Silk in the main kitchen to scoop fresh pumpkin from the rind to create delicious pies. A few days later, teachers got Santa’d up and spread out across the campus to deliver candy to advisories. Finally, one evening, not a creature was stirring, except the Candy Cane Santa: in an as-of-yet unsolved mystery, persons unknown taped candy canes to every classroom and office door on campus overnight, bringing one more drop of sweetness to the holiday spirit on campus.