There may not be snow on the ground and students may have visions of finals rather than sugarplums dancing through their heads, but one step on campus and you can’t deny that Christmas is here. Just try walking five steps without encountering something wrapped in twinkling lights and adorned with red bow. You can’t. Every dusty and dark corner has been illuminated with the joy and festivity that come with this special season.
Since you can’t be here to experience it with us just yet, I wanted to give you a little taste of what goes on during this season. Events are listed in order of occurrence
College Light Up Night—December 1st, 6:00 – 6:30 pm; Students staff and faculty gather together on the main Quad to usher the season in by lighting the “Christmas star” on top of Rockwell Hall. When lit, the star can be seen from miles away and reminds us of the star that guided the Magi from the east to see the newborn Christ.
Festivus—December 4th, 7 pm; If you need a break from traditional Christmas activities, the brothers of the Adelphikos (aka Adels) fraternity have the perfect solution…”a Festivus for the rest-of-us.” The Festivus celebration is part party and part conquest. Brave men and women can enter themselves into the “feats of strength” which include thumb wrestling, arm wrestling, leg wrestling…and any other kind of appendage wrestling you can think of. In true Seinfeld fashion, the champion of the the leg wrestling competition challenges the “host” (the Adel president) and must pin him before the celebration can end. Another essential aspect of the celebration is the “airing of grievances,” which consists of a wall where people can vent their frustrations, mostly about the impending week of finals. The famous Festivus pole is present to adorn the festivities, and in case you have no idea where these ridiculous traditions come from, the “Festivus” episode of Seinfeld plays on loop throughout the whole evening.
Okie Pi Christmas—December 5th; one of the things I love about our social groups on campus is that there is a strong spirit of collaboration among them. So many of the anticipated events throughout the year are a product of this spirit. One such event occurs during the holiday season when the brothers of Omicron Xi (aka Okies) and Epsilon Pi (aka Pis) team together to spread Christmas cheer by singing loud for all to hear. In addition to leading the singing of Christmas carols, the guys also host cookie decorating, gingerbread house making, pictures with Santa, a costume contest, and ornament decorating. The evening ends with the annual Christmas skit. It’s a great way to laugh off all those cookie calories!
Candlelight Service—December 6th, 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm; this is one of my favorite events on campus. The Grove City community including students, staff, faculty, alumni, and residents of the town gather together in the chapel to celebrate the Light of the World coming into this world. We read Scripture, sing carols, and then Dr. Keehlwetter, the Dean of Chapel, lights the Christ candle which is passed from person to person until everyone is lit with the light of Christ. This is to symbolize that Christ came and died not only to save us but also so that that He may live in us and shine through us.
Crimson Dance—it wouldn’t be a true celebration at GCC if we didn’t have a dance! Every other year we deck the halls (of the Mary Anderson Pew building) with ribbon, lights, and fake snow and we rock around the Christmas tree to our favorite Christmas tunes.
Christmas Concerts—various times; throughout the first couple weeks of December there are several festive concerts that go on all over campus. What better way to usher in the season than with some festive music! Check out a schedule of the concerts that go on during the month of December.
Send a friend a “Candygram”—there’s no better way to say “Merry Christmas” than through the gift of a sugary treat. For just a few dollars you can send all your friends a candy cane with a special message. In the midst of projects, papers and final exams, it meant so much to me when I got these little reminders that friends were thinking of me.
These are just a few of the festive events that occur during this special season. As a student, it seemed like every day there was something going on to celebrate. Most clubs, organizations, social groups and friend groups have a Christmas gathering of their own. Something I looked forward to as an RA was going with my fellow staff members from the Colonial Hall Apartments to the Residence Life Christmas party where each year I dawned pig tails and stuffed myself into a 9-year-old’s Christmas dress. The Residence Life team will use ANY excuse to dress up in a costume! One staff group came as Santa’s reindeer and got a whole group of people tangled in their reins. It was a jingling mess to say the least!
We’d love to hear how you’re celebrating! What are some traditions your family or friends have during the holiday season?