Holiday Day: a new holiday on the Hill


Tyler Hamaker

Creative Writing teacher, Mr. Dan Waidelich, in his Holiday Day spirit wear.

On Dec. 17, also known as Saturnalia, Clover Hill celebrated its first annual Holiday Day, a newly invented holiday by the creative writing class under the supervision of English Teacher Dan Waidelich. 

According to Waidelich, Holiday Day began as a creative writing project, and has turned into a full fledged annual activity.

“I love this time of year talking about holidays in all of my classes,” Waidelich said. “In creative writing, we can get creative, so the thought was there: instead of talking about holidays, let’s celebrate one, and from there why not make one!”

Behind this simple origin story of Holiday Day, there is a larger “history.” Senior Rachel Hagemeister connects Holiday Day back to 1948, when it was first “celebrated,” and a professor of literature, mythology, and archaeology, H.R. Kardwell.

“Holiday Day was founded by Herbert Rupert Kardwell,” Hagemeister said. “Due to his empathy with the Displaced Persons Act, he volunteered to adopt orphaned children; however, these children had vastly different cultural backgrounds and felt ostracized by their lack of knowledge of American celebrations. Hoping to bring his new family together, he invented this day in which no culture is left out.”

Holiday Day includes holidays throughout the world; however, it specifically focuses on four major American holidays, according to Hagemeister.

“The big four most Americans and corporations focus on are Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter,” Hagemeister said. “Some lesser known holidays like Yule, Flag Day, and Music Day are included, along with many, many others.”

Like other holidays, Holiday Day has its own decorations, music, traditions, cuisine and most importantly, its own mascot: Holidude. Holidude is a rabbit with props from different holidays, such as a Christmas hat, New Years glasses with the upcoming year on them, and a Jack-O-Lantern t-shirt. For Junior Liam Wall, Holidude is the best part of Holiday Day.

“I am excited about the Holidude,” Wall said. “He is a mischievous little creature that pulls pranks and does tricks on Holiday Day; he really lives it up.”

One of Holiday Day’s main traditions involves a unique type of food made up from common American food items. Wall describes this different kind of carb for this special holiday.

“We [planned] to eat a bread loaf,” Wall said. “It’s like a cake with sandwiched ingredients.”

Along with eating a variety of bread loafs, another significant Holiday Day event is the party in Mr. Waidelich’s room, including music and fun games for students to participate in.

“My class was open third period for people who are involved to come in and have a little party, and my classes had parties,” Waidelich said. “We had great food and holiday music from throughout the year playing; we had card and dice games, those are the traditional games of Holiday Day.” “I also set up a scavenger hunt with prizes.”

Besides the creative writing classes, many electives, such as the Historical Research classes at the Hill, found their own ways to participate in the holiday. To participate as a student in Holiday Day and all its festivities, Mr. Waidelich emphasized the importance of being prepared on this day.

“Wear your bunny ears or your Santa cap and your weird Halloween shirt,” Waidelich said. “Make your own mashup and bring it in, and show us what holidays you remixed/want to share. Gift giving is a big part of it, so if you have a friend, give them an Easter egg or something.”

Overall, the first Holiday Day occurred on the Hill with individuals dressed up as pumpkins and witches and in outfits from many, different holidays, and the appearance of a giant cake-sandwich. This newly invented holiday has officially become a part of the school.