Credo hoping to start tradition
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By Natalie Gray  December 13, 2013 12:00 am

Traditions have to start somewhere. 

You and your family might have been making shortbread every Christmas for as long as all the generations can remember, but the recipe still had to appear in the kitchen for the first time. This is exactly what is happening at Credo High School this weekend, with the same Christmas spirit but fewer cookies.

Beginning today and continuing through Sunday, Credo is putting on their Dickens Holiday Faire, a holiday celebration the school hopes will become an annual school tradition, said Eurythmy (expressive dance)  teacher John Hinkle.

“It’s a new, unique community endeavor,” said Hinkle of the faire. “It’s all about community building.”

Hinkle also added he believes that, for his part, preparing for the faire has built a lot of character in many of the Credo students, notably his Eurythmy troupe of seven girls. The troupe, along with Hinkle, were responsible for the Christmas tree sales, an accompanying aspect to the faire.

Credo’s Dickens Holiday Faire earned its title from its centerpiece performance of musical “Scrooge’s Christmas,” performed by a cast of students. The play will take place every day of the three-day festival, – 

‘Tradition,’ see page 14


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a $10 charge for adults and $5 for children audience members.

What’s happening around and before the play, though, is just as festive and tradition-worthy. Hinkle’s troupe is in charge of selling Christmas trees, which come directly from Hinkle’s tree farm in Forest Grove, Ore. The tree sale is a unique to the rest of Credo’s faire, for the fact that part of the proceeds from the sales go to both a general fund for the high school and also to the Eurythmy troupe.

According to Hinkle, the troupe has been saving for the past year for a trip to Europe Hinkle plans to take with his troupe next year, when most have graduated from the school. On this trip, the troupe will visit Germany, Turkey and Jordan, traveling from Waldorf and Waldorf-inspired schools performing Eurythmy, a dance-movement performance.

Hinkle’s students have been working throughout the year to prepare for the tree sale. Over the summer, many of the dancers in the troupe traveled with Hinkle to Oregon, where they camped for 10 days and worked to prepare the trees – making sure the trees grew straight and that the tops were perfectly aligned for future star and/or angel sitting. According to Hinkle, the experience was perfect for teaching his students responsibility, work ethic, character building and, of course, muscle development.

“It was a bit of a symbolic gesture as well,” said Hinkle. “They’re (the students and the trees alike) are learning to stand straight and tall…helping this living thing grow and reach for the stars.”

According to Hinkle, his Christmas trees are renowned for being of high quality and known for lasting longer than most commercial-produced trees. The reputation of his trees seems to proceed him, because his trees have gone to a number of Waldorf schools in the area for sale at their Christmas fairs. His students have traveled with the trees, selling trees and assisting costumers in any way, whether that means hammering the stands into the tree, straightening the tree or tying the tree to the roof of a car. According to Hinkle, the troupe sold 67 trees last Sunday at a Waldorf school in San Francisco and earned $1,500 towards their tour fund. The troupe sells the trees for $30 and up.

“It’s fun to do it, (but) my arms still hurt,” said Bella Roper, a student in Hinkle’s troupe and who helped selling trees last weekend. “We want to help Mr. Hinkle and help our troupe as a whole – to help the Eurythmy troupe be a troupe.”

The Dickens Faire has also found help from other teachers and volunteering parents, like Kelly Gast, a parent of a Credo junior and a substitute teacher who is spearheading the faire’s boutique. According to Gast, the boutique will feature a multitude of shopping tables, two being independent vendors donating a tenth of their profits to the school and the rest made up of student-made crafts. There is going to be a candle-making station manned by student and parent volunteers and items like ceramics, cards, plant seeds, lotions and lip balm, handmade by students. 

“We really want to bring in families and create a nice, warm winter event,” said Gast in a phone interview. “It sure is a joy being with these guys, they’re great kids, it’s a great school and we really wanted to highlight that and give back (to the school), as well.”

According to Hinkle, most Waldorf and Waldorf-inspired schools have holiday fairs such as the Dickens Faire. Credo hopes this inaugural faire will be the first of a long-going winter tradition. The Dickens Holiday Faire begins today, Dec. 13 at 5 p.m. on Credo High School’s campus. There will be a production of “Scrooge’s Christmas” at 7 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, the faire will begin at noon with 2 p.m. performances of the play. 



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