Holiday Traditions Continue at North Penn

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Knight Crier

North Penn High School’s 2020 Christmas tree.

The week before winter break always fills North Penn High School with an indescribable sense of excitement and desperate anticipation for the final 2:12 of the year. It is truly a time where we all come together to celebrate the year we’ve had before the much needed winter break. While it seems as though many of the cherished traditions cannot happen amidst a pandemic that requires restrictions to keep everyone safe, North Penn has worked hard to make this year’s holiday season as enjoyable, and surely as memorable, as possible.  

“The most important part in all of this is to bring some school spirit and joy during this time of year. Typically, the building is abuzz this time of year as we countdown to Winter Break, but it’s obviously a bit more quiet this year,” SGA adviser Mr. Kyle Berger said. 

Typically, the building is abuzz this time of year as we countdown to Winter Break, but it’s obviously a bit more quiet this year.”

— Kyle Berger, NPHS Student Activities Director

North Penn High School’s winter concerts for decades have been a memorable experience for students, staff, and alumni; it is the only event where the entire school comes together to celebrate the holidays, something extremely special when you think of our massive school coming together in the auditorium. While hopes that this event would happen amidst a pandemic seemed  extremely slim, the music department worked to find a solution that would still make this event possible. 

All students within the high school’s music department were asked to submit recordings of them performing Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, a piece that has been the highlight of the winter concerts for decades. These recordings will be collectively edited to form one recording with every student’s part featured. The video will be available for not only the school to view, but the community and rest of the public as well. The music department has transformed one of North Penn’s most time-honored traditions into a virtual event, with the goal of creating something that truly has meaning for everyone. Although NPHS alumni can’t join the chorus on the risers as is tradition, they are still encouraged to sing along from the comfort of their homes.

Nothing can keep us from sharing music together, nothing will stop us from that.”

— Erica Milbourne, NPHS Orchestra Director

“If anything, we’ve learned with this virtual world that nothing can keep us from sharing music together, nothing will stop us from that. It may not be what we’re used, to but we’re still going to have it and we’re still going to experience it together no matter what,” orchestra director Miss Erica Milbourne said. 

Along with the music department’s efforts to add the musical ambiance necessary to create a cheery holiday season, North Penn’s Student Government Association has put in a lot of effort to add the visual effects to our celebration. 

Anyone who walks the halls of the high school in the week leading up to winter break witnesses the strings upon strings of paper light bulbs lining the walls, with each one including the name of a different student or staff member. With efforts to keep the members of our school safe being their top priority, the SGA wasn’t able to do the event in the same capacity as they normally would; having students scour the hallways and take their light bulb on the last day before break. This year, staff members will be given their light bulbs to hang outside their rooms while students can create their own using a template on the North Penn website, and print them out on their own at home. In previous years, only the high school participated in decking the halls with light bulbs, but this year, the entire North Penn community can take part. 

SGA also hosts the annual Christmas tree display in the lobby, and even though there’s a lot less going on around it, it’s still had its chance to shine and is there for all the hybrid learning students to see. 

A pre-COVID Ugly Sweater Day staff photo. (Submitted Photo)

The ugly sweater contest is another holiday tradition that allows the many students and staff of the high school to pull out their favorite ugly sweaters. Participants can sport their ugliest sweaters and share a picture with the SGA via their Instagram and Twitter pages, so everyone, in school or at home, can get it on the fun. 

While our holiday season may be completely different from the normal we are used to, North Penn has come together to make the most of the holiday festivities we at the high school have come to appreciate, and have even extended their reach so that the North Penn community can get in on the fun as well.