Holiday gift giving usually focuses on the exchange of presents, but at Waltham prep school Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall, students and staff gave the gift of thanks this year.
In a video titled “Inspirational Surprise,” posted on the school website, students, faculty and staff unwrap an iPad to play a message of thanks from another in the CH-CH community. The video captures their often-emotional reaction to the message.
“While we do send out holiday greeting cards and whatnot in the old-fashioned way, we also wanted to do something in a multimedia way to send to our community to kind of think about holiday cheer and how we might spread some good cheer to one another,” CH-CH Head of School Dr. Lance Conrad said.
Spreading holiday cheer
Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall made their first inspirational holiday video last year, featuring messages of thanks from faculty to students.
The video “was really an opportunity for us, as educators at our school, to go around and just share inspirational messages of meaning to our students about how they impact our lives as educators and why working with them is so meaningful to us,” Conrad said.
With approximately 180 students, the school’s tight-knit community makes for more meaningful reactions, Conrad said.
“We know everyone here, and that’s what’s particularly impactful about our community,” he said. “The relationships our students have with educators are very genuine and authentic, and this is a way to demonstrate that and express that.”
As recipients were filmed watching their video messages, the giver waits in the background and emerges once the video was over. In most cases, this resulted in a big hug and, occasionally, some tears, according to Conrad.