TASIS The American School in Switzerland opened the holiday season in style with a wonderful Holiday Market and Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the afternoon and evening of December 6.
Hundreds of guests began arriving by 15:45 and were delighted to note that, thanks to the herculean efforts of TASIS Parent Association (TPA) President Jennifer Zanarini and a dedicated army of parent volunteers, a number of significant upgrades had been made to this popular annual event: most notably, the market was housed in a heated tent—a welcome addition for those who had grown accustomed to spending hours standing in the cold in years past!
The tent was beautifully decorated and lined with tables run by Middle School and High School Service Learning Program groups and outside vendors, providing guests an opportunity to purchase delicious food and drinks, cashmere scarves, fashion accessories, holiday gift items, and more. Proceeds from these sales raised more than CHF 6000 for the Service Learning Program’s partner organizations in Lugano, Ethiopia, India, Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal, and Romania!
The atmosphere was enhanced by live music, an "apres ski" vin brûlé aperitif, a “mocktails” station, a holiday photo booth, and the scent of Irish Pub Sorengo’s burgers being grilled just outside the tent. The action continued until just after 20:00—with a short break at 16:30 for everyone to gather around the TASIS Christmas Tree to hear welcoming remarks from Headmaster Christopher Nikoloff and enjoy several carols sung by students and faculty members under the direction of Performing Arts Chair Samantha Forrest.
Meanwhile the market’s younger guests flocked to the adjacent Palmer Cultural Center, where an elaborate Santa’s Village awaited. Hundreds of children had their pictures taken with Santa Claus, decorated gingerbread cookies, created holiday-themed art, and participated in other fun activities.
The Holiday Market also provided TASIS an opportunity to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to green initiatives. The Middle School’s Green Heart group sold hot chocolate in ceramic mugs for customers to take home, the “mocktails” station employed faux reusable glasses, the "apres ski" vin brûlé aperitif served drinks in glass cups and food on bamboo plates, and all shopping bags used by guests were reusable canvas bags provided by the TPA.
“Many of us noticed that the trash bins were not overflowing at all,” said Ms. Zanarini, who took over as TPA President this fall. “I thought that was extraordinary for an event like this!”
The TASIS Administration is extremely grateful to the TPA and all the student, faculty, and parent volunteers who worked so hard to offer this amazing event to the TASIS community and beyond.
“It was a magical, inspirational evening full of holiday cheer, and I want to thank everyone who contributed to the community spirit at TASIS,” said Headmaster Christopher Nikoloff. “Special thanks to Jennifer Zanarini and the TASIS Parent Association, whose vision and drive took this beloved annual event to new heights this year.”
TPA Holiday Market Photos
Enjoy several more of School Photographer Kim Nelson’s photos below, and see a full gallery on the TASIS SmugMug page.