A Banded Peak Christmas

By Graham Adams and Karin Atkinson
Banded Peak School
Bragg Creek, Alberta

Around this time of year, families all over are getting ready for Christmas. This year, at Banded Peak, we are getting into the Christmas spirit, too.

Outside, we are a country school in the forest. It looks like September due to endless December Chinooks. We are a new school trying to build traditions because this is only the second Christmas we have been in our building.

Our school has almost 500 students from Kindergarten to Grade 7. Right now, we have a number of things going on at our school that are involved with Christmas. We hope to make traditions out of these events.

First of all, there's the Twelve Days of Christmas. Every day, the morning announcements are broadcast from a different room. As well, there is a message that is announced by the students. These messages tell about hope, family, understanding and other Christmas things. At Banded Peak, we try to listen and take these messages from thought into action. For instance, with a message about kindness, we try to make sure we are kind to our peers.

Around the school, each hallway is decorated with Christmas items. Down by the Grade 6 and 7 classrooms, we have reindeer stalls full of all of our happy, home-made reindeer. The Grade Six's and Seven's made them out of coat hangers and pantyhose.

At the office, we have Mrs. Claus' kitchen. Our secretary, Mrs. Boschman, seems to have undergone a holiday transformation!

Down by the Grade one and Four area, we have the Candy Cane Lane, and beautiful stained glass windows in Mrs. Weikle's room.

We also have the Grade Two's 'Santa's workshop'

Mrs. Boschman

The stained glass windows
in Mrs. Weikle's room

In the Student Gathering area, we have our gingerbread village and a huge decorated tree. It is at least 20 feet tall! It was cut down from McLean Creek, an area of Kananaskis Country where there is extensive logging going on. The tree is decorated with edible decorations that will be attractive to birds. When school is let out for the holidays on December 18, we will place the tree outside as a giant bird feeder.

As part of the twelve days of Christmas, we have crafts like gingerbread house making, bake sales and a tree-decorating station. The gingerbread houses were made by students and are placed in our village with an electric train going round and round.

We have also got into the tradition of giving by sending food and money to the people of Honduras and Nicaragua who have been left in the cold this Christmas. We have collected plenty of food, and our money total is currently over $1500. Our principal, Mr. Parker, our Communications and Technology Studies teacher, Mr. Belsey, and our Head Caretaker, Mr. Hickey, have offered to shave off their facial hair if we reach $2,000.

So as you can see, Christmas around Banded Peak is just as much fun as Christmas anywhere (possibly even more!)

Gingerbread village



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