The affair took place in the City Room this past Thursday, Dec. 1 as King’s students ushered in the holidays with an annual school wide Christmas party.
The Red and Green Affair has always been one of the largest school social events of the year. Students gather together to celebrate the holidays with food, carols and Christmas stories in the last few days before exams.
The Houses of Clara Barton and C.S. Lewis used to host the party each year. That is, until 5 years ago, when the House of Lewis “cheated” on the House of Barton and hosted the party with the House of Margaret Thatcher instead. The ensuing party became famously known as the Red and Green Affair. The colors allude to the traditional colors of each House (red for Lewis and green for Thatcher). In mourning, Barton traditionally wears black to the party.
Most of Thatcher and members from Lewis worked together to set up the event. It took about 17 hours to prepare the City Room for the party.
“I wanted to bring joy and fun to the party this year,” Catherine Raticliffe (’14), Thatcher’s Helmsman, said. “Heaven is going to be a party, so my prayer and plan whenever I throw an event is that people will see the Kingdom of God in a tangible, awesome way.”
The theme of the party this year was Christmas Around the World.
“Christmas Around the World had never been done before, and it strengthened our House goals of City Engagement and serving others,” Ratcliffe said. “It enabled the creativity, ethnic interests and backgrounds of Thatcher ladies to shine.”
The Red and Green Affair featured four distinct regions: the Philippines, Africa (specifically Uganda and Kenya,) France and England.
Emily Slomski (’15) was responsible for putting together England. It displayed a traditional Christmas, familiar to many, with a fireplace, books, letters to St. Nick, cider, cookies and a reading of A Christmas Carol by Tiny Tim— Lewis student Jerron Herman (’13).
Thatcher student Janessa Yu (’15) presented the Philippines, displaying her family’s history and Christmas traditions. One of the traditions shown to everyone was a Christmas Carol bee.
Maddie Whitlock (’14) and Katie Darby (’12), in Thatcher, set up Africa. Africa displayed drums, dancing, rice, beans, pineapples, tea and bananas. Whitlock traveled to Uganda and Kenya with International Ventures last summer. Lewis President Tim Wainwright (’13) accompanied Whitlock on the same trip and led tribal dancing at the party.
“My favorite part of the affair was the African dancing,” Nathan Sherrer (’14) said. “It was goofy, wild and fun.”
The France display recreated the experience of sitting in a Parisian café drinking coffee and eating a croissant. Supplies for watercolor painting were provided.
“It was so creative. I loved the different events at each country and the festive decorations that transformed the City Room into a beautiful space for a Christmas party,” Rosalind Mirabito (’15) said.
Thatcher and Lewis partnered with City Engagement to host a toy drive for Toys for Tots. Each year, the department of Advancement at King’s hosts a faculty Christmas party where they do something for the City. This year, Toys for Tots was chosen and City Engagement joined in the effort.
City Engagement used the Red and Green Affair to kick off a week of collecting toys. This Thursday night, Dec. 8, City Engagement Coordinator Greg Pittman (’13) will take the 23 toys donated and deliver them to the faculty Christmas party. Two U.S. soldiers representing Toys for Tots will then pick up the toys for distribution.
“I was stunned at the results,” Pittman said. “I think we should have a toy drive every year.”
The night drew to a close with more dancing.
“Overall, it was a great time,” Mirabito said.