Members of the senior class in their first grade production. Photo: Jolie Cunningham
Members of the senior class in their first grade production.
Photo: Jolie Cunningham

Santa, dreidels, elves, presents, angels, potato latkes, menorahs: what more could you need  this upcoming holiday season? Pace Academy students will notice one item missing from that list: the Holiday Program. For over 20 years the Lower School has been producing this cherished tradition that the entire community looks forward to. Any member of the high school who has had the fortune to be here in Lower School, especially pre-first and first grade, will most likely agree that it’s the first memory that pops into their head when asked their favorite moments from back then.

The holiday program strives to incorporate Judaism and Christianity by meshing together two classic stories of the beginning of Hanukkah and the birth of Baby Jesus. Senior Olivia Levine, who once performed as a candle in the production, said, “I actually wet my pants on stage, I was so nervous.” Other infamous tales include the story of senior Evelyn Hobbs throwing up on the boy sitting in front of her after being warned against drinking dairy products the day of the play. Freshman Parker Payne, also a lifer, said that his role as Joseph “was one of the scariest experiences of [his] life.”

Parents do not come unprepared. Julie Heiner, a mother to three children who have performed in the holiday program, tells all parents to “stock up on Kleenex before coming, because it’s a tear jerker.” Mrs. Secor takes kindly to this advice, since it is the first year that she will have a child in the production. The Holiday Program will be performed on Dec. 18 at l p.m. and Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. in the FAC.

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