Holiday House chairman hands position to new leadership


Jessica Jun

Staff Writer



The fresh smell of popcorn and pork rinds lure you into the building on the morning of the Holiday House event. You walk in and hear Christmas music playing in the background. Looking around, you see hundreds of smiles as people are crowding around each of the hundreds of various booths. Kids, students, and adults are laughing and enjoying the warm company and environment.


On Nov. 15, Project Graduation held its 20th annual Holiday House show at Coppell High School. With a variety of new and returning customers and a very friendly environment, this years show ended out being a big success.


This year’s vendors were very diverse in product and style. With vendors having experience ranging from zero to many years,

Texas Tech student Nicole Hragyil decorates an ornament on Nov. 15 at the Coppell Holiday House at Coppell High School. She decorates and sells seasonal wreaths and ornaments on her etsy store. Photo by Jennifer Su.
Texas Tech student Nicole Hragyil decorates an ornament on Nov. 15 at the Coppell Holiday House at Coppell High School. She decorates and sells seasonal wreaths and ornaments on her etsy store. Photo by Jennifer Su.

there were many new merchandise and crafts revealed at this years show. Many new vendors were attracted to Holiday House this year in effort to draw attention to their businesses.


“My children used to come to [CHS]  and I knew this happened every year,” said first time vendor Janice Grimmett, sales representative of Rodan + Fields. “I’ve visited before so I knew what traffic was going to be like and I wanted to give it a go to see if it was going to be a good business for me.”


Vendors also applied for a booth after hearing about the event through their friends, such as Judy Sickles who creates and sells handmade stained glass.


“There was another vendor that’s a friend of mine and she used to come here a lot until she retired,” Sickles said. “She told me I just had to go to CHS because it has really really good shows so I thought I’d try it.”


Returning vendors look forward to returning and new customers, and enjoy being a part of the show.


“I have done this for the last couple of years and I just love [Holiday House],” returning vendor Linda Dobecka said. “I love being a part of it; I love what I do.”


Dobecka sells handmade crosses that she creates from barbed wire and beads.


Not only do the vendors enjoy taking part in Holiday House, but many vendors enjoy the comforting environment of CHS.


“This is my second year, and in fact, most of the customers that have come today are returning customers,” returning vendor Darleen Dominguez said. “This is a great facility too because it’s done really well with music, complimentary donuts and coffee, and that’s just a really nice thing for the vendors. It’s a great campus, it really is. It’s one of the best campuses I’ve seen.”


Along with the vendors, many students enjoy attending Holiday House to see the new clothing and styles brought forth each year.


“I used to come every year because my best friend’s mom used to be in charge of it,” CHS junior Kara Williams said. “But now I just come because there are a lot of cute shops and a lot of individual unique stuff. I think it’s a really good fundraiser for the school – it really brings a lot of small businesses together and promotes them.”


Vendors and customers take delight in attending or taking part in Holiday House, and their appreciation centers around the chairman and volunteers for the event.


“One thing I do think is really neat is that this year I have a co-chairman, [CHS alumnus 2009] John Hickman,” chairman Shannon Samberson said. “He loves Holiday House. The last three years he has just volunteered and helped me. It’s really neat that he still wants to come back and just give of himself. He’s long gone, working in [Keller ISD], but he loves CHS and Holiday House, and is willing to spend the time and effort to carry on the tradition.”


Samberson is passing her position as chairman to Hickman next year.


“I first got involved when I was in high school for National Honor Society (NHS) hours and I just kept doing it all through college,” Hickman said. “I feel like I want to keep it going because it’s the biggest fundraiser that they do all year and it goes to such a good cause. I really liked having Project Graduation my senior year and I feel like if I’m part of it, I can make sure to keep it going.”


As next year’s chairman, Hickman faces the challenge of organizing the entire event, from accepting applications from vendors to taking care of advertising the show. But Hickman is ready to take on the responsibility with a meaningful purpose in mind.


“Holiday House means a lot to me because I want the senior class to be able to have what I had my senior year at CHS,” Hickman said. “I want to give to as many seniors as I can.”
With this year’s Holiday House being a success, Hickman looks forward to continuing to build the event up to be even more successful than ever before.