Advent Angels steers kids from themselves to others

It’s generally best not to mess with success. Administrators and faculty at St. Edward’s School installed an Advent Angels program 10 years ago as a way to steer the thinking of those involved away from themselves and toward others.

“This is really about teaching the kids to prepare their hearts for Christmas,” St. Edward’s Principal Jaci Garvey said. “It’s also designed to pray for classmates and to think about others.” Advent Angels, which is similar to Secret Santa, began last Monday and will continue until Dec. 21.

Instead of gifts being exchanged, students and instructors secretly pass inspirational notes twice a week to one another in boxes set up in each classroom. At the beginning of Advent Angels, students and faculty draw names to find out who they will be directing their messages to.

“The notes or cards can be made at home or at school,” Garvey said. “They can say something as simple as ‘I hope you have a good day’ or any kind of message to make the person getting the message feel good.

“Some of the kids get creative and write a poem or something like that. And they can give clues as to who they are if they want, too.”

A student might draw another student’s name or even the name of a faculty member. Some of the faculty members have to strategize to disguise their handwriting on an inspirational card or note so as not to give away their identity.

In past years, some faculty members have written their messages left-handed or have even cut out letters from a magazine to disguise their handwriting.

“It’s all part of the fun of this Advent Angels program,” said Garvey. On Dec. 21, before Christmas break, the names of the Advent Angels will be revealed and everyone involved will receive a candy cane.

“They can give a small gift to their Advent Angel if they want, but it’s not required,” said Garvey.

Sometimes positivity outweighs monetary.

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