“Blessed are they who see Christmas through the eyes of a child.”

                                                             Author Unknown

Dear SKS Families,

Over the last several years I have always shared something personal with you about my Christmases of the past.  A large part of Christmas is about family traditions and memories of those celebrations.  I have vivid memories of past holidays, like the time I was five years old and Santa brought me a Davy Crockett wagon and hat. A few years later it was the new train set (lots of hammering and sawing by Santa’s elves – my Dad and Uncle Allan in the garage.)  It was wonder and awe at its best. In my earlier years as a father, our children paused on the steps for a picture every year before they could come downstairs. Then, before any gift giving, we would sing Happy Birthday to the Christ child in the manger.  I am sure each of you have special memories from the past with your families and traditions that make Christmas so special.

This Christmas marks the first time we are without my Mom at Christmas time, and my Mom was all about Christmas. It was her special time of year. She believed devoutly that Christ’s birthday was something to celebrate in a big way. Mom was big on decorating the entire house, Christmas cookies were almost as important as Holy Communion – she made literally thousands of pizzelles, biscotti and Christmas butter cookies for relatives, neighbors and friends. She was a first team All-American shopper and was forever finding the perfect gifts for every loved one.  The Christmas meal was an antipasto with two main course dinners with a break in between.  In later years, we finally convinced her that one main meal was more than enough. It was a double celebration as well, not only was it the birthday of Jesus but it was my Dad’s birthday and he never got cheated. Mom made sure of it.  As my (adopted) brother Bob said in his eulogy tribute to her:

     “ ….who would do all that she did for Christmas? Only someone inspired by the joy of giving, the joy of Christmas, and the love of family and friends.  Christmas was Mom’s way of showing her unconditional love for all of us and anyone who happened to show up.  Mom “owned” Christmas, it was the truest reflection of who she was and how she loved all the people in her life….”


As we approach Christmas, my family and I will remember my Mom and Dad, and although their physical presence will be missed always, I know my family and I will celebrate a wonderful Christmas together and remember my parents who lived well and loved well, most especially at this time of the year.

Last week on the SKS Whiteboard the students were asked to complete this statement:

At St. Katharine of Siena School we should………

Here are some of the eighty answers on sticky notes:

  • Get better sticky notes.
  • Get Gatorades and take out regular milk.
  • Have a free period to catch up once a month.
  • Have more chill time.
  • Get lockers.
  • Have half days every Friday (my old school did).
  • Make new friends (tons of them).
  • Have Wawa instead of Chic Filet!
  • Improve the American educational system.
  • Longer homeroom!
  • Have vending machines.
  • Have ice cream everyday!
  • Actually listen to the answers on the board.
  • Have gym three times a week.
  • Help your Mom.
  • Bring back Taco’s
  • Have Wawa sponsor a bigger playground.
  • Give students time to de- stress.
  • Swings Swings, Swings, Swings,…. plze Swings!
  • Let us use our phones at recess and lunch.
  • Lunch outside in spring.
  • We want French Fries.
  • Waffle Fries!
  • Let students know they can disagree with their classmates and still be friends.
  • Naptime!


Thank you for everything you have done for our parish and school community. I wish your family joy, peace, love and comfort for a joyous Christmas and blessings of health and happiness in the coming New Year.

Take care,