Nothing melts in this Winter Wonderland — except your heart!
The cafeteria and auditorium of Saint Anselm’s Academy became a magical Christmas dreamworld on Dec. 14 and 15.
Organizers built seasonal scenes like Christ’s Nativity and a gingerbread house, and set up booths for shopping and games, and families streamed in to marvel at it all.
“Students love it, parents love it,” said Jim McKeon, principal at the Third Avenue Catholic school. “They see Santa, you can buy things for the kids, win prizes — it’s a really nice community event.”
This year marks the fourth year of the Winter Wonderland’s glorious return, following almost two decades when the wonder seemed lost. Organizers — mostly Anselm’s alumni — said that parents and staff discontinued the 30-plus-year-old tradition for unknown reasons around 1990. But when the generation who had grown up visiting the Winter Wonderland took the reins at the academy, they decided to have the jingle bells ring once more.
“We were all talking about how wonderful it was when we were kids, and we decided we would start doing it again,” said Youth Activities vice president Eileen Johnson.
Bringing back the Yuletide festival required hard work building and painting new sets for each of the Christmas displays, and helping the kids practice for the Nativity scene. Planning begins each year in October, but it’s all worth it to create lasting childhood memories for a new generation of Saint Anselm’s students.
“We really want to resurrect it for them as much as we can,” said Johnson.