On December 5, the High School Division of Grace had its first ever Holiday Market. All day the lunchroom commons was bustling with students looking to get their loved ones, and themselves, gifts for the holidays at an affordable price. Prices ranged from five dollars to twenty dollars with a few select items sold for thirty dollars, and the available items varied from smaller gifts like chocolate bars to larger gifts like bluetooth speakers. This year, the most popular items were baked goods, which sold out by one o’clock, and tech related things, specifically portable chargers and airpod cases. The general categories for the items were womens, mens, children, and home goods, so students had a great range in gift choices for anyone and everyone in their life.
The Parents’ Association, who hosted this event, along with high school parent volunteers, made sure that everything was perfectly arranged for easy shopping. They began collecting the gifts weeks before the Holiday Market through parent donations and by buying items in bulk and wholesale.
The Holiday Market at the high school emerged out of the beloved tradition of Holiday Shopping at the grade school. During Holiday Shopping, every JK-8 student goes in with a list of people they want to give something to and are given the opportunity to actually purchase presents for others.
According to Jan Geniesse and Elyce Arons, the current presidents of the High School Parents’ Association and have been at the school for 14 years, the intention behind having Holiday Shopping is, ”To have students who are so focused on getting, getting, getting, to focus on giving.” This year, when current 9th graders who attended Grace for middle and grade school started at the high school, they voiced some complaints that this opportunity was not available to them anymore. Seeking to bridge the gap between the two campuses, Mrs. Geniesse and Mrs. Arons felt that it was time to extend the tradition to the 46 campus. They hope that the value of giving, which was evident at middle school Holiday Shopping, remains present at the high school.
Despite the hard work that was put into putting on this event, the organizers were not quite happy with the turnout. While the Holiday Market was successful overall, there was some confusion about what the event actually was, since it was completely new for a lot of students. Additionally, it was disheartening to Mrs. Geniesse and Mrs. Arons that the high schoolers did not have the same enthusiasm for the event as the middle schoolers. It seems as though high school students have not yet picked up on the value of this event. In future years, the Parents’ Association hopes, “There will be confusion about what is going on and that students don’t just see this as a shop, but an opportunity to give.”