A slew of Santas have been roaming Harvard Square lately, but more than a few have remained incognito as Secret Santas at Kirkland House. Last week, residents were serenaded at lunch by choirs, lauded at dinner with reserved seats and special treats, and bathed in adoration from unknown admirers, as “elves” — fellow residents and friends — carried out Santa’s wishes.

The merriment at dinners rivaled cabaret shows. “We all spend a week trying to make someone else’s week amazing, often someone we haven’t yet met,” said junior Abby Koff. “The entire week is filled with Kirkland family spirit.”

With the chill of winter blowing outside and wreaths hung from windows, Kirkland was in a festive mood. The earthy smell of evergreens wafted through the dining hall, and tables draped in red and white invited residents to celebrate the holiday season.There were toasts to residents, staff, House masters, and friends. The halls echoed with good cheer, well wishes, and warmth that can come only from a house that’s a home.

Skits and giggles

Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer

  • Wreathed


    Rob Schaaf makes his way to dinner at Kirkland House, decorated for the season.

  • Menorah time

    Menorah time

    Zach Abel (from left), Julia Nunan-Saah, Juan Munoz, Abby Koff, Brad Paraszczak (in hat), Cynthia Wu, and Teddy Tiab light Kirkland's menorah.

  • Up in arms

    Up in arms

    Teddy Tiab (left) cheers his housemates on during a Secret Santa skit.

  • Skits and giggles

    Skits and giggles

    Mark Isaacson (left) watches a skit performed by House Masters Tom and Verena Conley. Secret Santas have others perform amusing or embarrassing skits for their selected person all week during lunch and dinner at Kirkland.

  • Red and white

    Red and white

    In candy cane colors, the tablecloths are laid in time for a festive holiday dinner.

  • A few words ...

    A few words ...

    From our hosts, Kirkland House Committee Chairs Juan Munoz, Abby Koff, and Teddy Tiab.

  • Red wine feels fine

    Red wine feels fine

    Mark Isaacson '11 toasts his fellow Kirkland House residents and House masters.