Juniors take on the challenge of holiday decorating at Jefferson


Vibrant lights and a golden star hang from the rafters on Thursday, December 10th.

Bayliss Wagner, Staff Writer


A small but vibrant Christmas tree attracted a dense gathering of juniors as sleepy-eyed students passed by the J-Lounge. They watched as two students finish placing glittering ornaments on its silver branches. The tree’s lights were illuminated, eliciting cheers from the crowd.

Soon after that morning on Wednesday, December 9, holiday decoration in the junior lounge took on a more frenetic pace. During each lunchtime for the rest of the week, students put up their own wintry touches in the common area, which is one of the last remaining parts of the old school building. Reflective pointed stars hang from the exposed ceiling, every color of tinsel occupies the cinder-block walls, and gifts are even placed under the tree. On Thursday, December 10, a group of students dedicate their entire lunch period to suspending multi-colored lights from the rafters.

Unfortunately, though, while the other adornments remained throughout the week, the lights did not survive a full 24 hours.

Junior Yadeen Rashid communicated with administrator Mr. Frank during the process. “Despite following the rules and guidelines of the safety and fire hazard, we were still forced to bring down some of our holiday decorations in the J-Lounge,” Rashid stated, referencing the Christmas lights. “We made sure were not breaking any rule whatsoever, but we had to pull them down simply because we didn’t ask them [administration] ahead of time.”

Earlier in the week, student council announced boundaries for the decorations within the J-Lounge area, which decorators followed. They had not cleared the electric lights with any staff, though, leading to their removal.

Rashid was disappointed, but didn’t let the lack of lights dampen his spirit. He and many other juniors continued to celebrate, including Jack Boyle, who helped him tape gift-wrapping paper with printed Christmas lights in lieu of the ones that were taken down.

Other students even brought speakers from home, filling the area with upbeat Christmas classics each day. Mariah Carey’s hit “All I Want for Christmas is You” inspired a sing-along each time it came on.

The spirited juniors climbing on each other’s shoulders to hang lights and tinsel amidst the sea of students using their lunchtime to study and do homework illustrates the dilemma many face in the weeks before winter break. Most teachers increase their class’s workload right before the two-week vacation in order to squeeze in test grades before interims. The last, stressful week before winter break is known at Jefferson as “hell week” for this reason.

Students like Rashid think that holiday cheer, while difficult to find time for, is necessary to lighten the mood. He is optimistic about the decorations and revelry for the week to come, saying, “Some visual spirit is exactly what we need to either keep us going or get us going.”