Article taken from 2008 issue of The Oracle
Written by Win Jordan ’11 and Cam Barnhardt ’11
In the first annual Deck the Dorms Contest, sponsored by The Oracle, students showed some great Christmas spirit and a desire to win the honor of having their room represent all of Woodberry’s finest Christmas cribs on the front page of this prestigious publication. Competition was tough and judging was stressful, made more so by some attempted candy cane bribes, lots of wheeling and dealing, and other promises by Santa’s various helpers. We established three main categories to make the judging as objective as possible: the amount of decoration, creativity of the displays, and overall Christmas spirit. These guidelines helped us, the judges, pick out strong and weak points of each room. We were pleased to see at least one entry from each form and a high degree of Christmas spirit from all contenders.
Although Sean Spector’s holiday cheer was a high point, not many positive statements can be made about the actual decorations of his room. It was obvious that the freshman class just couldn’t hang in there with the old boys. We’re not sure how Sean thought his single strand of lights and stuffed snowman could even begin to stack up to some of the real contenders. Nevertheless, he probably beats ninety percent of the student body, so for your effort, we award you with an Honorable Mention. Needless to say, we left Turner Hall with a skeptical outlook about Woodberry’s Christmas cheer.
Senior Hamilton King and Junior Tommy Oakes joined forces on Middle Griffin to try and capture the prize. Tommy contributed a tasteful and classy Christmas tree and Hamilton organized the lights. Sadly, it just wasn’t enough to catapult them onto the podium but the inter-class effort proved that students can cross class lines to show Christmas Spirit for Santa. Santa will take note of this Honorable Mention achievement.
At the next room on our route, we encountered a jolly domicile with a stellar first impression. Johnny Rodriguez’s dwelling, tucked away in the Terry House Basement, had a gift-wrapped door hung with garlands and bows like that package sitting far back under the lowest branch of the tree on Christmas morning. It led us both to expect great things for the inside as well. Even though the interior was tastefully decorated with lights and another garland, it turned out to be a real let down, kind of like the way Mom wraps a package of new boxers and socks up in a fancy box with shiny paper and one of her best curly-cue bows. A little attention to detail on the interior would have gone a long way, so Crazy Legs is going to have to settle for a Third Place finish.
Sophomore representative Billy Hereford built a reputation last year for having great Christmas spirit with the creation of a well-built snowman, and his room decorations this year certainly live up to his elfish image. His door, like J-Rod’s, was gift-wrapped and neatly tied with a bow. Upon entering the room, Billy, donning an elf’s hat greeted us as we entered “Santa’s workshop.” An anonymous Santa look-alike immediately offered us some candy canes upon crossing the threshold into this scene taken straight out of The Polar Express. Lights festooned the pipes covering the ceiling. After our awe over the lights and Christmas tree had subsided, our gaze fell upon the coolest feature of the decorated room. A light-up Frosty the Snowman, with an LED counter ticking down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until Santa’s arrival to The Forest on the twenty-fifth, topped off the amazing scene.
The final verdict was a close one, and lesser judges might not have been able to deliver a decision on such a weighty matter under such stressful conditions. But we are not lesser judges, and we agreed on this whole-heartedly. Both rooms in consideration for 1st place clearly reflected the Spirit of Christmas at its best, but no one likes it when judges call a tie, Therefore, we declare that Chris Cirenza and McCullough Roach are the winners of the First Annual Deck the Dorms contest. These seniors incorporated all aspects of the room, Dowd 305, to create their own North Pole. The fire marshal obviously was no match for this duo. However, Billy Hereford must be given credit for his noble effort. His Christmas spirit is enough to make even Tiny Tim proud, but his lights were strung a bit too thin relative to his opponents. We also thought that Cirenza’s handmade decorations gave him an advantage. So, the “Santa’s Favorite Elves” Award goes to Billy and his roommate James Walter. We would like to thank everyone for their support in this contest and hope it becomes a new tradition here at Woodberry. Merry Christmas, everyone, including all our faithful Oracle readers!