By Louisa Benatovich, Student Reporter

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but ECS is so delightful!

There’s nothing more pleasurable than the happiness and good-nature that come with the holidays. Christmas not only means a vacation from school but also potlucks, movies in class, assemblies and gift exchanges. As the holiday draws nearer, ECS students enjoy the school’s wintery magic.

Gift exchanges are a hit both in and out of school. Many clubs choose to incorporate White Elephant- or Secret Santa-style gifting into their holiday celebrations. This year, for the first time, Ellicottville’s Quiz Bowl Team is planning a Secret Santa exchange.

To celebrate their score on the recent nationwide online “3-2-1 Trivia Competition,” the Quiz Bowlers decided on a gift-exchange themed around eccentricity. With the sense of humor on this year’s team, who knows what will be given and received!

ESPRA (Ellicottville Students Preserving the Reading of America) is also keeping its gift-giving tradition going strong. As well as making newspaper-filled ornaments for ECS staff, ESPRA hosts a book exchange at their annual Christmas Potluck. Everyone is charged with bringing a wrapped book along with their holiday treat. This year, ESPRA is even surprising each member with their own special gift.

Is Christmas even Christmas, however, without poinsettias? The Ecology Club and National Honor Society continued to sell and deliver the lovely plants to staff and community members this year. ECS poinsettias in shades of red, white and marble now adorn the area from the superintendent’s office to town hall.

If there were ever a club to truly adore the holidays, it would be the Student Council. Focused on giving, StuCo organized the annual Senior Citizen Luncheon in the ECS cafeteria.

Student musicians from varying grade-levels sang and played their instruments for those enjoying the meal artfully prepared by ECS cafeteria staff. From a duet of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” to a sextet of guitars playing traditional tunes, the event was a truly memorable experience.

Outdoing only themselves, StuCo also bought gifts for local children in need. Lovingly wrapped last week, these gifts of clothes, electronics and school supplies will anonymously find their intended recipients. Called Project Christmas, this program puts smiles on many a face in the community

For our elementary-aged friends, the PTO put on its annual Family Fun Night. With student volunteers from 7th to 12th grade, this year’s fun surpassed the rest.

As is custom, student “elves” helped their younger schoolmates to choose gifts for their loved ones in “Santa’s Secret Workshop.” Monroe St. Brick & Brew provided over 20 pizzas, and with book bingo, pictures with Santa, and Christmas crafts, ECS Family Fun Night was a wonderful place to be.

The holidays are just as enjoyable for ECS staff-members, too! Along with the Christmas get-together at Finnerty’s Tap Room, staff-members gather to perform carols for students on the instruments they played in high school.

On a secret day near the holidays, the sweet sounds of the principal playing trumpet with his colleagues will emanate from the elementary school. It is both amusing and touching and is a tradition many students look forward to every year.

With snow in the air and Christmas on the horizon, the spirits of ECS are now permanently lifted for the season. It is the most wonderful time of the year, and what better place to spend it than here at Ellicottville Central School.