Harrison High School’s Most Worthwhile Tradition


Emilie Oestreicher, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Harrison Central School District’s Mission Statement emphasizes the “commitment of parents, community members, and educators to ensure an enriching and empowering education for all of its children.” Winter Wonderland does just that. Every December, the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) coordinates and sponsors this event at Harrison High School (HHS). Tubs of hot chocolate and thousands of cookies are donated and enjoyed during lunch periods by students and faculty. There are spirited activities including holiday card making and gingerbread cookie decorating. People are also able to dress up and express themselves in the Ugly Sweater Contest, and the winner receives a gift card. To put it simply, fun is had by many.  

However, Winter Wonderland is more profound than it seems. Lots of festivities occur on this day, but it truly brings the school together as one, never failing to convey a theme of interconnectedness. It lets us celebrate the holiday season together, regardless of cultural and religious differences, and even learn about said differences in a creative way. Many people may feel sad during the holiday season because of school, eating habits, isolation, etc. Nonetheless, Winter Wonderland acts as a break from these nuisances and allows us to be surrounded by love and feel like a valuable part of the community. Students also tend to get very anxious before winter break because of copious large exams and assignments being crammed into the span of several weeks. Juniors are especially affected by the extremities of high school, often referring to it as “hell year ” because of the need to balance academics, extracurriculars, sports, standardized testing, and more. Many juniors agree that this festivity serves as an opportunity for  them to simply relax with each other during a stressful time. Eve Rabin, a junior, said that she “loves Winter Wonderland and it is so nice to spread holiday cheer through the school, especially with treats and warm drinks.” 

As the years go by, the need for Winter Wonderland becomes increasingly important. HHS lacks a Homecoming week, Junior Prom, Field Day, and seasonal dances. It is important that the school continues to conduct events that increase spirit and Husky Pride in order to make up for the lack thereof. Smaller events such as Winter Wonderland allow us to become more integrated into the community and could possibly lead us into the right direction of hosting the occasions previously mentioned that we unfortunately have to miss out on. The more people become involved with Winter Wonderland, the more activities like this the school and PTA will sprinkle throughout the year. In regards to the PTA, thank you so much for working so hard on Winter Wonderland every year! We are so grateful for everything you do to ensure the community presence remains strong in our school.