Students gather for annual Christmas tree lighting

The tree had been in the east lobby of the CFAC for about a week. The branches remained bare, outstretched to receive ornaments that didn’t come until Dec. 7. The music and English departments converged to host a Tree Lighting to distract students from the business of the last week of classes. A plethora of holiday cookies was supplied to nibble. Hot coffee was available to sip. Many ornaments were offered to be decorated. The hum of conversation was complemented with the sounds of Christmas music produced by the strings of violins, a viola and a cello, as well as the keys of a piano. Throughout the early part of the event, ornament after ornament was added to decorate the welcoming branches of the large tree that had been left bare for so long.

The atmosphere was cheerful and helped students get away from the stress of classes and the quickly coming end of the semester. Many a student had the opportunity to come and ignore homework for a brief time, and take a break from studies to enjoy some festivities. Professors from both departments were also present, and some brought along their children, adding giggles and squeals to the din of conversation and music. Many of the children spent their time decorating ornaments with paint and glitter. College students were doing much of the same thing. Unique ornaments were produced throughout the entire event. When the decorating was finished many began comparing and complementing each other’s ornaments before they were added to the tree. For a time, students were able to put aside the fast-paced life of classes and come and rest among both old and new friends in a time of peace.

As 4:30 came around, a hush came over the lobby. Everyone came up to see the now fabulously decorated tree, festooned with garlands and red and silver ornaments, lit up as all present combined voices to sing “Joy to the World.” All cheered and clapped at the sight the beautiful tree offered. The east lobby of CFAC is now very much “beginning to look a lot like Christmas.” The tree will give students something to admire as they look up from their books and computers if the east lobby is where they choose to study for the finals that are already coming next week.

And so the celebration delivered on the promise it gave in its advertisement: providing a tree to trim, gingerbread, among many other cookies to nibble, Christmas music and good cheer. Many who went gave good feedback for the event. Senior Carolyn Muyskens said the English department was “very warm and welcoming.”

“It was really cool to get together with fellow English people in a very Christmas-y atmosphere. It was neat!” said junior Maddie Hughey.

Sophomore Macy Schimmel had something similar to say: “I enjoyed talking with other English majors and my friends while making ornaments. The music really put everyone in an cheery and Christmas-y mood. The tree lighting was a very beautiful and worthwhile experience.”