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Sacred Heart Griffin Springfield Illinois

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT – We had a very special visit from entrepreneur and author of The Sugar Plum Tree, Mary Louise (Lynch) Santacaterina, ’82.

Mary Louise spoke to Miss Thompson’s entrepreneurship class about starting her publishing company and the marketing of her book, which she co-wrote with her two sisters, also alumnae.

To read more about Mary Louise, or to be featured in a future edition of the Alumni Spotlight, click the link below:


Did you know ??



In honor of Eugene Field,  a bronze fairylike “dream lady”  was installed in Lincoln Park Chicago.  The statue hovers above a pair of sleeping children with a small bunch of poppies dangling from one of her hands. The granite base depicts carved scenes from Field’s poems including “The Fly Away Horse” and Seein’ Things.” There is a stanza from his famous “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod,” carved into the left side of the base and four lines from “The Sugar Plum Tree,” on the right side.


Did you know??

Did you know??

The original poem, The Sugar Plum Tree, was written in 1894 as part of a collection of children’s poems entitled, Trumpet and Drum? 

In researching The Sugar Plum Tree, and where it’s possible origins came from, we discovered some interesting facts.  Linguistically:


The word “sugar plum” first came into use around the 1600s with the British, and later the 1700’s with the French.  (Early records indicate the term sugar plum, in America, was popularized (and in use) around the 1800’s.) The first and original use of the word described the taste of plums and/or comfits after the labor intensive process of panning was complete. (Panning (or sugar-panning) was accomplished by adding a hard shell to candy or nuts.  – Think jelly beans or M&M’s.)




The term sugar plum altered its meaning (slightly) with the publication and production of, The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker (Composed by Tchaikovsky, 1892), as well as, the line “Visions of sugar plums danced in their heads,” from Clement C. Moore’s poem A Visit from St. Nicholas (1823), better known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas,”  since then, the word (sugar plum) has been associated with Christmas.

It diverged, yet again, from the Scandinavia tradition of Christmas through the popular poem “The Sugar Plum Tree” (1894) by Eugene Field.


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