Courtesy of Jesuit Communications
On Dec. 1 and Dec. 2, Jesuit High School, with the help of Saint Francis High School, hosted the 58th annual Christmas Tree Lane. Every year, attendants of this event are given a dazzling performance by the senior classes of Jesuit and Saint Francis, as well as a place to buy wonderful gifts for the coming Christmas season.
From the decorated main hallway of the Red Lion Hotel, the shopping room branched off. The small shopping center was bursting at the seams with Christmas spirit. The walls were lined with small vendor’s tables, jammed with all sorts of vibrant winter goods such as decadent toffee, crystal ornaments, silverware, fuzzy scarves, and of course a mountain of Jesuit spirit wear.
The doors to the stage and dinner tables opened a little past 7 p.m. on Dec. 1 to reveal the beautiful dining places set with complete silverware, an ornate centerpiece, and a small bag of Christmas colored chocolate dipped pretzels. From the large stage stretched a catwalk that cut through the middle of the room, so everyone could see the seniors and their parents performing in the show.
The lights went out as the Seniors step onto the stage at the start of the show; they walked to the spots that were engraved into their minds after hours of practice. The lights flicked on, and suddenly the audience was transported to a winter wonderland in the first scene: “Christmas is Beauty Full.” Jesuit seniors dressed in impeccable suits from Jos. A. Banks promenaded down the stage, with umbrellas in hand that guarded the elegant Saint Francis ladies from an imaginary winter snow.
Throughout the show, the stage was draped in white cotton and ornaments to bring the vision of a white Christmas to life. The couples sashayed down the stage in a series of complicated patterns, each stepping in a seemingly random direction and then meeting up with a new partner to continue the dance. The well dressed and well rehearsed seniors beamed as they strolled across the catwalk.
After the last couple danced of the stage, the lights went off and a new dance emerged. Scene two was a fun pairing of senior boys and their mothers, who danced with large baby pictures of their sons in hand. Scene three was a western Christmas, filled with country boys, showing their Saint Francis dates how to dance the old-fashioned way.
After the lights turned back on, the show changed pace and tugged at the audience’s heartstrings in Act Four. As the graduating class from Jesuit walked down the long stage with their parents in arm, a sense of nostalgia fell over the crowd. Grandparents reminisced upon when their kids were just starting their high school life, and parents of current Jesuit and Saint Francis students realized that their children will soon move on with their lives, leaving the safety of home behind.
Acts Five, Six, and Seven brought the mood back to happy Christmas cheer as the many parents and friends of the seniors watched them perform up on stage. The finale was the perfect ending to the performance; all of the Seniors from Jesuit and Saint Francis walked across the catwalk to “On Top of the World” by Imagine Dragons. The many young men and women held hands and smiled, enjoying the last of their high school career and looking forward to the exciting future.