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Christmas Books

Each year the Christmas Book is presented to the school during the Yule Festival. Every student designs a page and members of the senior class design and construct a case. Though the books vary in style, each is unique and beautiful.

“I had always felt that those books were visible evidence of the heart of High Mowing, through work both academic and creative,” Mrs. Emmet wrote in Farm to School.

This tradition began in 1942, the year the school was founded. However, when much of High Mowing burned to the ground on January 18, 1970, all of the Christmas Books were lost. “Their burning is perhaps the greatest loss of the fire,” Mrs. Emmet wrote. “There was real beauty, real poetry and tireless effort in those books, unique, alive, and irreplaceable.”

After the fire, the class of 1970 put together a new book for Mrs. Emmet and presented it to her on Valentine's Day of that year. The exterior of that book is made from some of the few remaining clapboards of the house that burned. All of the books made since 1970 remain at High Mowing, and can be viewed in chronological order in the slideshow below.

Photos taken by Jeremy Gillam ‘09

Posted by HMS in Alumni/ae Perspectives on Friday December, 20, 2013 at 03:10PM


Thank you for posting these beautiful books. I had never seen them before. Happy Holidays to everyone. 

from Myra Zuckerman on 12/21/13 at 04:42PM

Perhaps not all the content of the pre-1970 Christmas books is lost.  Here's something I copied out of the 1956 Christmas book.  Do other Alums have material they might add to a collection?


Sharon Mulligan Poem in High Mowing Christmas Book - 1956


Softly, softly o’er all the sleeping earth,

Falls the loving snow.

Gently, gently like a mother’s lullaby,

Falls the soft white cover.

What hidden life reposes

Deep beneath its soft warm blanket.

Yea, what hidden beauties,

Deep beneath descending snows,

Rest the seeds of coming young life.

Of coming joys of spring,

Born shyly of the dying winter.

Of coming heights of summer,

Born of midday brightness.

Of coming colors of fall,

Born of burnished sunset glories.

Softly, softly o’er the human spirit,

Fall the snows of meditation.

Ideas are born, As seeds of coming deeds.

Deep beneath the snows of winter,

Is born the peace for all mankind.


from Brooks Lyman on 12/23/13 at 01:41PM

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