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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 seven days, I have a lot to do. At this writing, I have bought not one Christmas present. 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 was used, re-used, and then used again; ribbon was considered an extravagance. 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. Available for download here is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s A Christmas Sermon on Peace, and I sincerely hope that you enjoy reading it.
Although Dr. King first delivered this sermon in 1967, his message of love and peace is still as important today as it was then.
Christmas break begins at 3:00 pm on Friday, December 18. 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 today. 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 has 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 (other than blazers and items that say Priory on them) not claimed by noon on December 18 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! And a special thank you to a special someone who leaves us cartridges by the front doors every couple of weeks or so. THANK YOU: thank you for caring for our planet and for helping us to help the boys.
FORM II XANADU STUDENT VOLUNTEERS
This year for the auction, I have been asked to arrange for 16 Form II boys to help at the auction with the dinner, from approximately 5:30 pm until approximately 9:00 pm. Just a word of grateful thanks to all parents who encourage your sons in Form II to sign up to help. Truly, we could not hold this important event without their enthusiastic and willing participation. A sign up sheet for the auction was posted earlier this week 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!
XANADU – INGS
Xanadu 2016 Garden Party 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! Please plan on joining us for this magnificent evening Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016!
Form Gifts Due Dec. 31, 2015
Please send in your Form Gifts by December 31, 2015 if you have not already done so. Recommended amount is $25 per student. Please make checks payable to “Saint Louis Priory School,” and send them to Saint Louis Priory School, Attn: Development Office, 500 S. Mason Road, St. Louis, MO 63141. Please note the applicable Form(s) on the Memo line of your check.
Xanadu Donations Deadline—Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016
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 Xanadu before the Christmas break, you can receive a tax deduction for the 2015 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) –
Movie Theater Gift Certificates
Spa Gift Certificates
Gift Certificates –
Form II Moms Needed for Table Skirting – Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, 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, Feb. 3 beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Form I Moms Needed for Table Setting – Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, 11:00 a.m.
Form I mothers are invited to help with setting the tables on Friday, Feb. 5. 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, Feb. 4- Feb. 5, 2016
Volunteers are needed for set up on Thursday, Feb. 4 (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) and Friday, Feb. 5 (8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.) in the Corley Gym. Lunch is 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, Feb. 6, 2016
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.
If you would like to volunteer for any of these jobs, please email Mary Rhodes, email@example.com. Thank you
Family Tribute Catalog Ads
If you or your son’s grandparents would like to honor your Priory student by placing an ad in this year’s Xanadu auction catalog, please submit your ad by Monday, Jan. 11, 2016. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to show your support for his hard work, and to let him know how proud you are of him. Please complete and return this Family Tribute Advertisement form.
Should you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Friday, Dec. 18
||Clothing drive ends
|Friday, Dec. 18
|| 3 p.m.
||Christmas vacation begins
|Monday, Jan. 4, 2016
|Friday, Jan. 8
||the next newsletter
Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. Albert Schweitzer
Albert Schweitzer (1875 - 1965) was an Alsatian German-French theologian, musician, philosopher, and physician. He received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of "Reverence for Life,” a philosophy which called for an affirmation of, and a respect for, life as the ethical foundation of civilization. This philosophy was expressed in many ways, but most famously in the founding and sustaining of the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, now in Gabon, West Central Africa (then French Equatorial Africa). Schweitzer considered his work as a medical missionary there to be his response to Jesus' call to become "fishers of men." Too, as a music scholar and organist, he studied the music of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach and significantly influenced the German Organ reform movement,
Schweitzer's passionate quest was to discover a universal ethical philosophy, anchored in a universal reality, and make it directly available to all of humanity. This is reflected in some of his sayings, such as:
- Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.
- I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy here on earth are those who have sought and found how to serve.
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