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Christmas Celebrations—and Wishes—from Partnership Schools

This year’s Christmas concerts were hybrid affairs for most of our schools, with students performing in person while parents and friends watched from afar on computer and phone screens. It may not have been what we all wished for, but that couldn’t stop all sorts of Partnership Schools’ Christmas celebrations from bringing on plenty of holiday cheer.

Our Lady Queen of Angels, for instance, had the chance to send fifty students home with “Christmas in a Box” celebrations, courtesy of the Park Avenue Armory:

St. Athanasius students gave Santa some love:

St. Mark positively proliferated with Santas:

And before all that, students prepared their hearts with Advent reflections:

A student reflects on Advent at Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary.

Many of us may have a sense that this Christmas is closer to what we hope for than last year—although maybe not quite there yet. Sacred Heart students captured that in a song, guided by veteran music teacher Michelle Trinidad, in which they sang of wishing on a far-off star:

It can be difficult to remember that the holiday we celebrate is essentially about what we wish for in the midst of imperfection—not about everything being just-so. While the hymn “Silent Night” tells us that all was calm and bright the night of Jesus’s birth, it would be interesting to ask the Blessed Mother, Mary, if she agreed–if she would describe as “calm and bright” the process of giving birth to a child conceived out of the customs of her people, born in a smelly stable far from her village.

Maybe that’s the point. Christ comes to us in the middle of what is imperfect. And that can bring us a calm that nothing else on earth can.

In the midst of the business of this holiday season, Sacred Heart teacher Jill Murray gave her students and their families a simple challenge: to take a picture of themselves in front of one of New York City’s Christmas trees. If you go to her Instagram @fourthgraderocks, you’ll see in those glimpses of winter life ample evidence of what we hope for each Partnership family this Christmas: that the light of Christ shines through you and on you, no matter the cold or dark that surrounds us.

Sacred Heart 4th grader Ethan and his family.