The holiday season invites various traditions for many families of the ‘Iolani community. Whether it be gathering with loved ones, picking out a new ornament for each child, singing Christmas carols, or donating food to a local food bank, everyone has a favorite way to celebrate the holidays. However, the holiday frenzy adds extra stress worry for the ambitious student. Many students feel an unwelcome time constraint due to their additional holiday responsibilities. These constraints can yield less opportunities for study and homework.
“Christmas activities restrict time for me without fail. Buying gifts and decorating the house can take forever,” said Cory Lu ’21. With the various extra curricular clubs and activities the school has to offer, a feeling of fatigue can easily diminish the joy of the holiday season. Some families also may choose to go on vacation before the originally planned Christmas break on the school calendar. Such a departure can further drop grades because of the assignments that become due. However, these are exceptional cases in a student's life.
The month of December signals the imminent semester finals. These checkpoints indicate a student's personal academic success during the first half of the school year.
Also, as if to compensate for the upcoming winter break, many teachers seemingly assign greater amounts of homework leading up to the holidays.
However, ‘Iolani in December is alive with holiday cheer. Cheerful Santa hats perched atop the different signs that brighten ‘Iolani, and the festive and jubilant Christmas Chapel that unites the student body with an overwhelming sense of community. “The yearly chapel is always lighthearted and pleasant, with people singing songs of the season and participating in prayer,” said Luke Hagi ’20.
Although many find fun and joy in this time of year, holiday celebration can disturb the educational experience. Nonetheless, numerous students are prepared to trade fractions of their grades to enjoy the annual happiness. “I may lose a few points, but I feel that the time with my family is much more valuable,” said William Tobin ‘21.