The holiday season at St. Mark’s concluded with the All-School Christmas Party on Friday, December 18. Though the ceremony looked a little different this year, this important tradition perfectly encapsulates the themes of resiliency and adaptability that have defined 2020 at St. Mark’s. In accordance with health guidelines, the celebration was moved outdoors, and attendance was scaled back. And yet, one of the School’s most cherished traditions continued with seniors carrying their Lower School buddies to decorate the Christmas tree. This year, the celebration moved outdoors into the Perot Family Quadrangle, where, fittingly, each boy walked past the Path to Manhood
statue, which embodies this milestone moment for every Marksman.
“We all come together today here in the center of campus, whether virtually or in person, filled with thankful hearts,” said Eugene McDermott Headmaster David W. Dini. “As 2020 draws to a close, we look to the new year with a sense of gratitude, optimism, and hope, ever mindful of the challenges that have come our way and the many opportunities that lie ahead.”
After the procession, Student Council President Blake Hudspeth ’21 addressed his fellow Marksmen as well as the audience watching via livestream: “This ceremony is a time to celebrate! To celebrate the gift drive, the holidays, the dawning of a new year, but most importantly, this ceremony is a time to celebrate each other.”
Blake also gave the final update on the Student Council’s annual Gift Drive. “We went into this year’s Gift Drive with the odds stacked against us. But as all of you already know, Marksmen like a challenge — especially when that challenge involves working together as brothers. I am happy to report that we have fulfilled the holiday wishes of 2,255 children for this year’s gift drive.”
Major Todd Hakes, DFW Metroplex Commander of the Salvation Army, accepted the gifts and offered words of appreciation to the St. Mark’s community. “These are unprecedented times, and the need in North Texas has never been greater. Thank you on behalf of the children – our neighbors – who you are helping this Christmas season.”
Throughout the holiday season, St. Mark’s strived to continue as many traditions as possible, while prioritizing the health and safety of the community. The School livestreamed Grandparents’ Day Chapel and move the Senior/Lower School Buddy hot chocolate party outside (with six-foot pool noodles facilitating social distancing). And on the evening before the All-School Christmas Party, another important tradition continued. With Centennial Hall awash in wintery lights, the Choir of St. Mark’s, masked and socially distanced, performed its 69th annual Festival of Lessons and Carols.
The recorded livestreams of Lessons & Carols
and the All-School Christmas Party
are available to watch online.