Christmas at St. James Academy is the most wonderful and magical time of year. One of the many traditions celebrated is our very own Jingle Bell Junction. This event brings holiday cheer to children and adults. The Susan Tucker Moore Theatre is transformed into a Winter Wonderland where all of the students, from Kindergarten through 8th Grade, come to “shop” for holiday gifts for their family members and even their pets! Santa visits with the students and homemade cookies are a special treat. Each item can be purchased for only $1 and is actually a “recycled” gift donated by SJA families throughout the year. The “Elves” (parent and grandparent volunteers) wrap each gift and deliver them to the classroom for the children to take home at the end of the day.
Did you know the original name of this special event, which began over 40 years ago, was called “The Christmas Bazaar?” The name then transformed into Jingle Bell Junction.The Patrons Association, who started this annual tradition, originally appointed a chairperson who was single-handedly responsible for collecting and storing all the items at their home. In recent years more helpers have been added and a commercial storage unit is now rented for this purpose as the number of shoppers has increased.
Take a look at all of the smiling faces! This tradition is remembered fondly by SJA alumni. Recently during an admission tour, a parent who had attended SJA for Kindergarten and First Grade nearly 40 years ago recalled the large portrait of a shaggy dog that he had purchased for his grandfather while shopping at this event! Ask any current or past SJA parent and they will surely have a story about the “precious and unique” gifts their child selected for them at Jingle Bell Junction! Help continue this magical tradition by cleaning your closets for items that may be donated for next year’s event!