Senior decorating at New Haven High School is something that occurs every year and seems to get better each time. The seniors must first decide as a class what they want the overall appearance of their hallway to look like. After they decide, they then split up into two different groups. One group starts on decorating the hallway, while the other group starts on decorating their lockers. The seniors are divided into two groups so that only every other locker is being decorated at the same time. When the hallway and lockers are finished, the students make their way into the cafeteria to begin decorating some more.
If you dare walk through the hallway, be sure to keep your eyes open! Now, keep in mind, this hallway was put together with a lot of teamwork.The seniors bring in their own Christmas decorations from home. In that hallway, there is a part of every senior that brings them all together. The class members were working with each other to accomplish the same goal. The first thing you will see is the garland hanging from the ceiling, which was hung by Katie, Karissa, and Hannah. After fully emerging yourself in the hallway, you begin to see more Christmas decor. A tree was placed in the corner by Jenny and Courtney, who worked together to put up the tree. Kayla, Luna, and Dan came along to help put the ornaments on the tree. The tree topper was brought in and put on by Courtney Yowell. The lights you see on the ceiling were put there by Justin, but Beth, Tenille, and Luna helped Justin get started. Kayla and Katie hung light-up snowflakes on the windows, where Karissa spray painted snow. Erica, Molly, and Patricia were all wrapping presents to put under the senior Christmas tree. The senior bulletin board was decorated with garland by Kayla, Katie, Taylor, and Luna. No one said that putting garland around a bulletin board would be easy, and it did take some work to make it centered.
After walking through the hallway, you may want to venture into the cafeteria. Megan, Taylor, and Hannah put up the big tree. The lights that hang from the pillars did not get there by magic. The lights were a hassle for Brandon, Mr. Hoener, and Hannah. Brandon was up on the ladder trying to get the lights to stay with magnets. After going up the ladder and coming down the ladder to pick up the lights that had fallen, they decided that magnets might not be the way to go. Then, Brandon and Taylor were on the ladder for a while trying to tie the lights on the pillar with the fishing line that Julie brought in. Hannah Kruse is to thank for all of the ornaments being on the tree. While decorating the tree, the idea came up that everyone in the senior class should bring in their favorite ornament to put on it.
Making the hallway and cafeteria look festive was a group effort. For example, Luna, Beth, and Alex were making snowflakes to put on Beths’ locker because she had run out of ribbon to cover the whole thing. Kyle helped Patricia decorate her locker; Molly brought in a white, light-up tree, a big santa, and a big snowman; and Kenzy brought in a big santa bag.
Everyone decorated his or her locker in a unique way. Dylan decided to put a Barbie stocking on his locker while Dan had camo wrapping paper with “rev it up Cummins” written on it with tape. Karissa and Hannah took the approach of decorating their lockers with matching camo wrapping paper.
Karissa said, “I just decorated my locker with camo to keep it simple.” Brandon had Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles wrapping paper. Several seniors had ornaments, ribbons, signs...etc., on their lockers. Chase found extra wrapping paper and flipped it over to the white side and wrote “Rev it up Cummins” really big. He put that over four empty lockers that had not been decorated yet. If you saw the seniors decorating their lockers, there is something unusual that you might have seen also. Willy and Josh were trying to fit in the decorated lockers... Josh did fit in the locker.
Decorating together is a good experience for the seniors to have as a class. When asked if they would add anything, Katie and Karissa explained that they would love to have Christmas music playing. Foreign exchange student Luna said that she does not do this in her school. She says, “we do decorate for Christmas, but not a hallway. We decorate our teachers’ desks, and sometimes the ceilings.”
Peggy was asked how long senior decorating had been happening. She responded by saying, “Ever since I can remember. I remember looking at yearbooks when I was younger and seeing pictures of it.” Peggy mentioned that “they used to have a big Christmas tree in the gym that touched the ceiling, but they got new bleachers that took the spot of the tree.”
Senior decorating is a tradition at New Haven High School. Each year, at the end of the decoration, all of the seniors go into the cafeteria and take a picture in front of the Christmas tree. While most of the traditions stay the same, there is something every year that is always different. This year, after taking the picture, the senior class broke out into song. Not just one song, but a few different Christmas carols. Between singing in the hallway and singing after the picture, the class of 2015 will be remembered for their love of Christmas music and the way they worked together to deck the halls.
-by Kathy Jasper