A new holiday tradition inspired by the Saint Peter’s School community got off to a rousing start on December 10, as the school’s inaugural Christmas Tree lighting brought students, parents and faculty together to celebrate with hot chocolate, handmade ornaments and an eight-foot tall tree that kids couldn’t wait to see lit up. Student chants of “light the tree” followed by a countdown from ten filled the air just before Principal Vincent Spadoni flipped a red-and-white handheld switch to illuminate the multicolored bulbs on the tree, an artificial Virginia pine donated by the school’s Mueller family. This tree will return each year for the ceremony. The idea for the event came from parents, Spadoni noted, something he welcomes. “I love ideas from the ground level,” he said. “I love that our parents come forward with a lot of ideas.” Parents, students, and teachers all welcomed the chance to get together for the event. “I think it’s really nice bringing everyone together,” said Jules Burritt, a seventh-grader in her second year at Saint Peter’s. “It’s very fun,” added eighth-grader Maggie Friel. “I think it’s very creative how they had the little kids make the ornaments for the tree.” Friel was referring to a section where younger students could create and hang their own ornaments, a creative outlet for children who, according to second-grade teacher Kelly Nichols, were excited. “The kids are totally psyched,” said Nichols. “We were talking about it today.” The tree-lighting ceremony is the school’s second new tradition in as many years; last year, amid the pandemic, a neighborhood Christmas lights tour was launched, giving families a chance to get out of the house and get into the Christmas spirit by driving past Saint Peter’s homes decorated for the holidays. This year’s Christmas lights tour kicked off immediately following the tree-lighting. Events like these help infuse renewed vibrancy into the school, said parent Margaret Giron,. “I like the new sense of community and energy flowing through the school,” she said. “I’m so looking forward to doing this every year,” added parent Marie Joseph With the tree lights shining, Spadoni thanked the vibrant crowd for attending, and wished everyone a safe and happy Christmas season.