STUCO’s annual 12 days of Christmas event aims to bring a fun atmosphere to the halls of SLUH

With Advent underway and Christmas rapidly approaching, St. Louis U. High’s Student Council is helping to cultivate some good old-fashioned holiday cheer with a new rendition of its annual 12 Days of Christmas event. 

Students posing with Schulte-Santa and Cordia-Mrs. Claus. Photo: Nathan Rich.

In terms of planning, STUCO began weighing ideas for planning each of the 12 days weeks in advance. Factors that needed to be considered included days off school, the rotation of A and B days, previously-planned school events, and sports games. The hope was to reinstate some beloved classics, as well as to introduce some newer ideas to engage students.

“We are hoping to establish a light-hearted atmosphere heading into the Christmas season,” said Student Body President A.J. Thompson. “Sometimes the looming exams can hinder our ability to really celebrate Christmas while still in school, so we want to provide some concrete opportunities for students to really dive into the great joy that Christmas can bring.”

On Dec. 1, STUCO kicked off 12 Days of Christmas with a screening of the beloved holiday comedy Elf in the Commons during lunch. Later in the day, the schedule of events was released to the whole school, building up much anticipation within the student body.

“I was pumped to see all of the stuff that STUCO had planned for us,” said sophomore Jackson Dauska. “With Covid and everything last year, we weren’t really able to have anything fun around the holidays, so it was nice to see that there were fun things planned for this year.”

The schedule release also caused upperclassmen to reminisce on memories made during 12 Days of Christmas in previous years, as many time-honored traditions made their return after a year-long Covid pause.

Said junior Brendan Jones, “Thinking back to freshman year, I really had a great time watching Teacher Karaoke. It was fun to see the teachers go up there and show off their talents, or lack thereof, and it was truthfully a defining memory of my freshman year, so I am looking forward to that event.”

Throughout all of last week, STUCO also sold 12 Days of Christmas merch on its online store, allowing students to purchase a “Schulte on the Shelf” shirt or a 12 Days of Christmas crewneck to get into the festive spirit.

On the second day, STUCO took advantage of the late start schedule to provide students with Chris’ Cakes, a breakfast catering service long-patronized by students. The theme of nourishment to start off the day was continued into Friday, as STUCO handed out donuts to students and helped to encourage a strong showing at the optional Daily Mass.

Stuco members running the Switch Bar. Photo: Jack Figge.

On Monday, the late start schedule was once again utilized to provide students with early morning sustenance, as the J-Wing switchboard was made into the “Switch Bar” for the day. Before school, sounds of breakfast chatter and smooth jazz emanated from the Switch Bar, as some of STUCO’s resident bartenders served coffee and Fitz’s Root Beer to patrons. The Switch Bar was open not only before school but during lunch and activity period, meaning that the bar received traffic throughout the day.

“I had an excellent time at the Switch Bar,” said junior Giuseppe Abbate. “It was kind of chaotic, but it was fun to sip on some root beer and talk with my friends before school. I think it would be fun if they made this like a more regular thing, but even if it can’t be regular I hope they bring the Switch Bar back for 12 Days of Christmas next year.”

Tuesday featured an Eggnog Relay Contest at lunch, in which five students from each grade raced to see which class could down five cups of eggnog in the fastest time, with the losing class responsible for stacking the winning class’s chairs.

“I personally find eggnog repulsive, so I was content to just watch the contest unfold. You could kind of tell from the start that (my class) wasn’t going to win, but it was still fun to get caught up in the fanfare of it all. I can’t say I was too big of a fan of stacking the seniors’ chairs afterwards, though,” said junior Nathan Spengemann.

Wednesday gave students a chance to turn back the clock to childhood by taking pictures with Santa (Assistant Dean of Students Dan Schulte) and Mrs. Claus (English teacher Jamie Cordia). This opportunity was met with much excitement from students of all grade levels, who took pleasure in taking a break from school work to relive early Christmas memories. 

“My picture with Santa and Mrs. Claus has definitely defined my whole week,” said junior Patrick Brennan. “Now that I’m older, it was just so fun to be able to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what I want for Christmas. Since it was just Mr. Schulte under that beard, I’m not totally sure that my wish for neon green rims for my Chrysler minivan will be conveyed to the North Pole, but it was still a great time regardless.”

STUCO members themselves have recognized the success of 12 Days of Christmas so far, as their goal of fostering school spirit and providing a fun outlet for students during the holiday season has been realized.

Said Thompson, “We have received some great feedback from our events already, whether that can be from faculty who happened to be walking by a certain event, students who participated fully in the event, or parents who saw some clips from the event on social media. It’s really refreshing to see our hard work being appreciated by so many, especially coming off a rough last year in terms of not being able to do any school-wide events.”

Last night, STUCO put on its long-awaited Open Mic Night, which was initially scheduled to happen during Spirit Week but was ultimately postponed.  Student turnout exceeded expectations, as some of St. Louis U. High’s most talented individuals put on a show for a small but rowdy group of around 25 spectators.

Going into next week, STUCO has three different in-person events scheduled to keep the Christmas spirit flowing into exam week. On Monday, the ninth day will be celebrated by giving back to the community and writing Christmas cards to decorate Children’s Hospital. Tuesday will see the return of the beloved Teacher Karaoke, which is planned and executed by NHS as a fundraiser. 

Despite being a day off of school, STUCO plans to hold a social media event on Wednesday, helping to continue to expand the Christmas spirit even away from school. The twelfth and final day, which happens to be the first day of semester exams, will allow students to skip Starbucks and instead grab their coffee in the Currigan Room.

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