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Mrs. Hartnett writes...
‘Tis the season…
As I write to you in my last newsletter before the Christmas holiday, it occurs to me that in these next thirteen days, I have a lot to do. At this writing, I have bought only one Christmas present (a pair of bird-watching binoculars for my husband). Not a single outward sign of Christmas can be seen at my house: no mistletoe or ribbons or tree or wreath. Nothing. The big blue spruce in my back yard, a majestic but lonely sentinel, is waiting for its yearly garland of lights. The mantel over the living room fireplace still boasts only a couple of empty vases and a family photo or two. At this moment, no one would ever know from me that soon, it will be Christmas. Yes, I have a lot to do before then.
When I was much younger, my modest Depression-era parents spent little or no money on what they considered to be the superfluous trappings of Christmas. Other than the tree and one sputtering electric candle in the living room window of our tiny house in Lewisburg, Tennessee, decorations at home were rare. Wrapping paper and ribbon were used, re-used, and then used again. Presents were always extraordinarily simple and few in number: for me, usually a small doll in one box and a home-made doll outfit in another; and for my brothers, always socks and underwear, items they needed but did not really want for Christmas. Presents for my parents from their children were generally handmade but greatly prized: one of my clearest memories is seeing my mother wear to Christmas Mass the earrings I had made for her from acorn caps. I could not have been more proud, and I know that she wore them just for me.
No, Christmas at my childhood home was not at all elaborate or complicated. But the memories that I cherish from those long-ago holidays will stay will me forever. Because what really counted then, what really counts now for all of us, is the love and closeness of family and friends as we celebrate Christ’s birthday and His unfailing love for each one of us.
Merry Christmas to each of you, and may Christ’s blessings be rich in you and in the lives of all whom you love. And, in citing a dear friend, “may the dreams you need now come true, and the dreams you need later wait for you.”
Someone told me once that you can give without loving but not love without giving. And so, in a spirit of love and fellowship, I send this Christmas gift to you. Form II parents will surely recognize this “gift” from last year’s Christmas newsletter. Attached here is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s A Christmas Sermon on Peace, and I sincerely hope that you enjoy reading it.
Dr. King first delivered this sermon in 1967 at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, where he served as co-pastor.
Christmas break begins at 3:00 pm on Friday, December 19. Any Junior School students not picked up by 3:15 pm will be sent to the High School building to wait for rides home. Have a safe and snowy holiday!
OUR CLOTHING DRIVE
Many grateful thanks to the number of you who have already contributed to our clothing drive. The drive ends at noon on Friday, December 19. Please know how much we all appreciate your kindness and generosity. Truly you are wonderful!
Please remember to encourage your sons to check lost and found (parents are also welcome to search) for items they own. Unfortunately, the vast majority of items have no names and need to be claimed. Please, please, please put your sons’ names on his things. I am returning all items that have names. Anything not claimed by noon on December 19 will be added to the clothing drive.
RECYCLING PRINTER CARTRIDGES IN THE JUNIOR SCHOOL
This is just a reminder that we will happily take from you any printer cartridges that you might have from your home or business and recycle them at Priory. We do earn a small stipend for the cartridges which is used for items for the boys. Thank you for your participation!
FORM II XANADU STUDENT VOLUNTEERS
This year for the auction, I have been asked to arrange for 16 Form II boys to help in the kitchen with the dinner, from approximately 5:15 pm until approximately 9:00 pm. Just a word of grateful thanks to all parents who encourage your sons in the Junior School to sign up to help. Truly, we could not hold this important event without their enthusiastic and willing participation. Sign up sheets for the auction were posted yesterday on the Junior School Form II board. It’s fun, it’s the place to be, and the work is vital to the success of the auction. This group of 16 boys will henceforth be known as the FAB16, because they are truly FABulous!
I hope that all of you go to the auction – it is fun! I love the auction, but I have to say that my credit card is still smoldering from last year’s event….oh well – I am going to do it again this year! I hope to see you there!
An Evening in Paris is just around the corner. Invitations will be mailed in the next few weeks! It’s time to start putting your tables together for Xanadu which benefits every Priory student! Put the date on your calendars and come have a magnificent evening Saturday, February 7, 2015!
Donations & Volunteers Needed
Form Gifts Due December 31, 2014
Please send in your Form Gifts by December 31, 2014 if you have not already done so. Recommended amount is $25 per student. Please make checks payable to “Saint Louis Priory,” and send them to Saint Louis Priory, Attn: Development Office, 500 South Mason Road, St. Louis, MO 63144. Please note the applicable Form(s) on the Memo line of your check.
Xanadu Acquisitions Deadline—Wednesday, JANUARY 7, 2015
Please bring all donations to the Development Office, located upstairs in the Switzer House. Please fill out an acquisition form for each item with a complete description and value. By making your donation to An Evening in Paris before the Christmas break, you can receive a tax deduction for the 2014 tax period.
Items Still Needed:
Live Auction -
Hosts and/or underwriters for parties and dinners
Sports, Electronics & Collectibles –
Hunting and Fishing Packages
Treasures of the Dome (TOD) –
Salon and Spa Gift Certificates
Priory Classics –
Gift Certificates –
Form II Moms Needed for Table Skirting – Wednesday, February 4, 2015, 1:30 p.m.
Form II mothers are invited to help with skirting the Xanadu display tables on the afternoon, time to be determined, on Wednesday, February 4 beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Form I Moms Needed for Table Setting – Friday, February 6, 2015, 11:00 a.m.
Form I mothers are invited to help with setting the tables on Friday, February 6th. The table setting begins at 11:00 a.m. We need approximately 20 Form I moms to help with this job.
Xanadu Set Up – Thursday & Friday, February 5- February 6, 2015
It takes many volunteers to make Xanadu happen. Adult volunteers are needed for set up on Thursday, February 5 and Friday, February 6 in the Corley Gym, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided both days. If you are new to Xanadu, set up days are always fun and a great way to meet other Priory Moms.
Xanadu Night – Saturday, February 7, 2015
Adult Volunteers are also needed the night of the auction. Please consider volunteering to work part of the night of the auction. Volunteers are needed for silent auction sections and coat check.
If you would like to volunteer for any of these jobs, please email Mary Rhodes, firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Sunday, December 14 5:00 pm Monks’ Mass and Open
Friday, December 19 noon Clothing drive ends
Friday, December 19 3:00 pm Christmas vacation begins
Monday, January 5, 2015 Classes resume
Friday, January 16 the next newsletter
“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” Hamilton Wright Mabie
Hamilton Wright Mabie 1846–1916) was an American essayist, editor, critic, and lecturer. Born in upstate New York, Mabie was the youngest child of a Scottish-English and Scottish-Dutch family whose ancestors immigrated to North America in 1647 from the Netherlands. Due to business opportunities with the opening of the Erie Canal, Mabie’s family moved to Buffalo, New York. At 17, Mabie enrolled in Williams College and then Columbia University Law School in New York (1869).
While at Williams, Mabie was a member of Alpha Delta Phi fraternity and would serve as the first president of the North-American Interfraternity Conference. He received honorary degrees from his own alma mater, from Union College, and from Western Reserve and Washington and Lee universities. In the summer of 1879 he was hired to work at the weekly magazine, Christian Union (renamed The Outlook in 1893), an association that lasted until his death.
In 1884, Mabie was promoted to associate editor of the Christian Union and then elected to the Author's Club, whose members included such men of established reputation as George Cary Eggleston, Richard Watson Gilder, Brander Matthews, and Edmund Clarence Stedman.
Thank you gratefully for all that you do for the boys and for the School, and Merry, Merry Christmas to all of you!
Diana B. Hartnett
Director of the Junior School
Saint Louis Priory School