Secret Santa “Candygrams” Bring Out Brentsville’s Holiday Joy


Josh Pryor.

Seniors Barrett Butler, Grace Ashbrook, Rylee Sparkman, and Connor Will prepare to give out Candygrams.

Josh Pryor, Contributor

Every year year, Ms. Dempewolf’s Leadership Class brings Santa’s magic to the student body through the Secret Santa event, also referred to as “Candygrams.” Held every December, participants can buy a duck or candy cane for another student or teacher that will be delivered during advisory the week before winter break by Santa himself. This year, the event was held Monday Dec. 13. Though the event has been held for several years, it does not have an official name. This year, the introduction of candy canes created the title “Candygrams.” The proceeds from this event go to the Student Government Association of BDHS to fund school events like Homecoming. This year, senior class president Connor Will has taken up the role of Santa Claus and will be giving out generous gifts.

Everyone loves receiving a gift. There are also those individuals who enjoy giving. This fundraising event has a specified purpose: SGA fundraising. However, the Secret Santa event has another moral purpose that is a common theme throughout the holiday season everyone knows and loves. Giving gifts to show appreciation for your close friends and favorite teachers brings us all together as one, big, united school community. Ms. Dempewolf, the sponsor for both the event and the SGA, praised the event as a “fun way to give holiday gifts to friends.” Events like these also help the SGA run schoolwide  activities such as pep rallies and the Homecoming dance.

Every day last week, students had the opportunity during lunch to purchase a duck or candy cane for another student or teacher, addressed to them from either the purchaser or a pseudonym that the purchaser chooses. These orders were processed by the Leadership Class and packaged for delivery by Santa Claus and his elves. SGA president Barrett Butler tells us about the preparation  of the event. “We had a shortage of ducks this year, so we used candy canes instead. It was just the Leadership Class, which is around 11 people.” According to a poll of the student body about the event, the SGA was able to inform the students that they were able to give candy canes instead, with about 70 percent of students saying that they were aware of this. However, a majority of students (60 percent) were unaware of what  the event was fundraising  for.

On the morning of December 13th, Christmas came early. Santa Claus visited classrooms with treats for all the boys and girls at our school. After the advisory  block was over, resident Santa, portrayed by Will, reflected on his experience. “I decided to be Santa because Barrett Butler wanted me to do it,” Will laughed. “But I felt awkward walking into classrooms because they were watching the ‘See Something, Say Something’ video in advisory, and meshing the topics in that video with Christmas cheer felt wrong. Because of that, we should have done a different day.” Butler agreed with this sentiment. However, student polling about the event was positive, with a 67 percent enjoyment rate and an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Though the advisory video was on serious topics, it seemed that the spirit of the holidays shined through.

The event was a success for the SGA, as they sold all 50 ducks and many, many candy canes. Will felt that the event could have been even more successful if they had more ducks to sell  because student s liked them. The student body doesn’t just show their love for Christmas through this fundraiser: the holiday joy is evident through the plethora of ugly sweaters and other attire seen throughout the school. Even teachers participate! Candygrams contributed heavily to the overall festivity, with 76 percent of students saying the event was indicative of this festivity according to a recent poll. So, as the giving season comes and goes, it is ensured that the population of BDHS will celebrate year after year.