Students and community members gathered in the Greek Amphitheater to kick off the Christmas season with the First Annual Christmas Tree Lighting hosted by the Associated Student Body (ASB) on Dec 4. Over 200 people attended the event.
A local community member, Paige Harper, loved the event saying that, “It shows the goodness of the community. I love the joy it brings to the children.”
Attendees were invited to enjoy a snack station with coffee, hot chocolate and a variety of cookies. Professors and students led the ceremony, singing Christmas carols, praying for the community and reading scripture. Volunteer students from each academic department created handmade ornaments to hang on the tree. Even Santa showed up at the end of the night.
Jessica Vanden Bosch, a senior fashion merchandising major, enjoyed the festivities of the event and how it brought together the community.
“[It was] a great opportunity to bring people together in this holiday time of year and really manifests what the beginning of this season is all about,” said Vanden Bosch. “It encompasses what the school and Christmas represent. Also, not complaining about having hot chocolate and cookies for dinner.”
Megan Woolfolk, assistant director of Community Life, said that the idea for a campus Christmas tree came with the hope of bringing everyone together to celebrate the season.
“It was something that had never been done before and we saw a need,” said Woolfolk. “We wanted one big tree to join the departments and to do something fun for Christmas.”
ASB Activities and the ASB Board of Directors provided funding for this event. Different departments also chipped in and the horticultural department provided labor to get the event set up. The total costs for the tree and associated set up was about $2,000.
Whether or not the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony becomes a holiday tradition is up to next year’s ASB board.
If you couldn’t make it to the ceremony, there are a myriad of other ways to celebrate the Christmas season. Visit this website to find 25 free holiday activities in San Diego: http://www.sandiego.org/campaigns/winter-holiday-in-san-diego/25-free-holiday-activities.aspx.