BRATTLEBORO >> Most people think of Christmas spirit as a mood created by baking tree-shaped cookies or listening to Bing Crosby songs, but it's also a good way to describe the passion that a 2001 Brattleboro Union High School graduate was born with.
"We went into seven overtimes. Coach Lib had me in the entire time," said Whitney Christmas, referring to a quarterfinal field hockey game versus Middlebury in 2000 that the Colonels eventually won. "I just remember being so tired, but I had this fight to not lose. I knew that I didn't want to come out and I couldn't quit. I pushed through and played the whole game."
That BUHS team, which also consisted of seniors Megan Twombley, Chelsea Brown, Erin Wright, Sarah Putnam, Jessica Ernst, Lyndsey Martell, Kelly Johnston and Meghan McLoughlin, finished up with a 10-5-1 record that fall. And Christmas would set the single-season scoring mark with an impressive 21 goals.
The daughter of Bill and Gail Christmas also helped Brattleboro's varsity softball team reach three consecutive Final Fours and was a captain of the BUHS hoops team as a senior.
"Starting my first varsity basketball game as a freshman, my stomach was in knots," recalled Christmas.
She would then take her Christmas spirit to Saint Michael's College, where she played four years of softball. She hit .268 and drove in 37 runs for the Purple Knights.
"I picked softball (over field hockey) because I enjoyed the closeness, teamwork and unity the softball team had. We didn't always have a winning program, but at that point in my career it wasn't as important to me. It was more of a second family for me," said the former Accounting and Business major.
Christmas has been working for a construction and engineering firm named CDM Smith, located in downtown Boston, for almost nine years.
"I am responsible for the revenue accounting for all of our Asia Pacific and Federal Development Assistance Program projects. Also, I am fully responsible for all Joint Venture accounting for the firm," she noted.
Known for returning to Brattleboro to watch her niece (Devin Millerick) and nephew (Tyler Millerick) play various sports, Christmas has kept busy by playing in intramural leagues such as kickball and cornhole, she has rented the batting cages at Fenway Park for fun, she has helped coach a youth softball team in South Boston, and for the second time she is organizing a team for the Purple Stride Pancreatic Cancer 5K in the Hub.