The Christmas Spirit · 19 December 2009

I was going to write about putting more Christ into Christmas and the holidays. I was planning on telling of the greatest gift ever given to the world. I was ready to talk about giving and spreading Christmas cheer to those around us. And then I saw something incredible happen at our school, which made me realize that whether it is politically correct to say so or not, the spirit of Christmas is alive and well and giving in Carnation and Duvall.

While it seems that there is a conscious effort to keep Christmas out of the public eye with wishes like Happy Holidays replacing Merry Christmas, the spirit of Christmas keeps the staff and students at our high school giving. This year, the students gave over 800 pounds of food to the food bank and the staff and student body gave over 300 coats, hats, and scarves for the first coat drive.

The coat drive was quickly organized and promoted because one student saw a need. He saw a cold child without protection against the weather and voiced his concern and desire to do something about it to one of his teachers. The school’s generosity was displayed graphically with piles of coats at the center of the gym at the end of the Friday’s assembly. The piles were large and some of the coats still had price tags attached. It was amazing to see how many coats were collected in just one week.

The skeptic might look at the piles of coats and say that notoriety and a pizza party, not generosity, were behind the giving. Even the Foodball competition could be looked at with the critical eye because it is a class competition to see whether the freshmen, sophomores, juniors, or seniors can give the most food. While the competitive nature of the staff and students certainly helps everybody give more than they might otherwise, their desire to give shows through in other ways.

We have a wonderful staff and student body at Cedarcrest High School. Clubs and organizations promote and do community service. Giving back to the community in tangible ways is part of the culture of our school. And not just around the holidays. We have blood drives and food drives and personal products drives and other drives to collect stuff for those in need or less fortunate.

Perhaps the greatest show of generosity and the Christmas spirit of Cedarcrest High School is only displayed to a family or two at a time. Each year, the staff adopts a family for Christmas. Many members of the staff bring food, presents, and money so that one or two families can have presents under the tree and food on the table for the holiday. The outpouring of love and generosity is especially amazing because many of the staff do not even know who the families are. We have a very loving and giving staff.

I do not know whether I will get in trouble for mentioning Christmas and Cedarcrest in the same sentence or because I told of our Christmas family adoption, but I wanted to give some recognition to the wonderful people in our school. The students and staff at Cedarcrest High School do not give food, coats, presents, or money in order to gain any fame. They do not ask for anybody to write about what or how much they give. They give because their hearts tell them to do so. They give because giving is what Christmas is all about. They give because the spirit of Christmas is alive and well and giving at Cedarcrest High School and in the cities of Carnation and Duvall.

Merry Christmas Cedarcrest. Keep that giving spirit alive all year. Like you always do.

© 2009 Michael T. Miyoshi

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