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Graland History Blog

The Magic of Holiday Programs over the Years

Jim Arneill '66
Besides providing a strong academic program since its founding in 1927, Graland has also excelled in the visual and performing arts. From its earliest years, Graland has found ways to celebrate the joys of the holidays through memorable school programs and activities.
In the early years, the holiday season was celebrated with children gathering around a piano in the hall before school or on the center hall stairway and singing carols. Traditional Christmas Pageants were presented in the Little Theater. The month of December was also spent providing toys to less fortunate children.  Under the direction of Chester Preisser, children and their families made and repaired toys that were distributed at Denver fire stations.

Graland’s holiday programs are well planned with collaborative efforts among teachers in all disciplines to integrate classroom learning. In the 1960s and other decades, much emphasis was placed on the history curriculum for that grade level. For example, third graders enjoyed making and swatting at piñatas as part of their studies about Mexico, while fifth graders sang songs about the wassail bowl and the yule log with their studies of Medieval times.

In the 1990s, the more traditional Christmas pageants were replaced by annual winter holiday programs due to budgetary, religious, and multicultural concerns.

The recent holiday programs have continued to bring the spirit and joys of the holiday season through fun and festive programs highlighted by special themes at each grade level. This year, be sure to join the Winter Wishes assembly as Graland carries on the tradition of holiday celebrations.

Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1927, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.