December 7, 2011
This time of year traditions are readily available. The end of Thanksgiving officially ushers in the beginning of Christmas decorations and festivities, and Oklahoma Baptist University takes full advantage of this.
OBU has many unique traditions that take place during the rest of the year, but during the Christmas season we tend to bring them out in bulk. OBU celebrates the birth of Christ in a variety of ways and occasions.
Some of OBU’s most loved traditions take place in the weeks leading up to Christmas break. The season is typically ushered in first by Kerr Christmas, an old-fashioned Christmas experience including the singing of carols, and the showcase of musical talent and Christmas humor from the acts and emcees. The Christmas story is also told here, this year from Dean of Students Brandon Skaggs.
This year, co-directors Katie Denny and Jake Hooten provided a good time for all who attended. Hooten said, “Kerr Christmas is unique because it is so intimate compared to the other traditions. It is put on by students, and it is a way for us to come together and celebrate Christmas in a relaxed and comfortable way.” The OBU community gathers around for a family like atmosphere of celebrating Christmas.
Another special event is the CAB/ARA Christmas Banquet. This year the theme was “Winter Wonderland,” and directors Rachel Adamson and Kalyn Hammock presented a wonderful event. In contrast to Kerr Christmas, this event is a more formal occasion, but one that still brings the OBU community together.
Adamson said, “I really enjoy the banquet because it is one of the few OBU traditions that give students a chance to dress up. I particularly enjoyed it this year because it was great to get an opportunity to hear so many OBU students perform throughout the evening.” This year’s banquet featured a consistent display of live music from many OBU students.
Following the Christmas Banquet is a well-known tradition—Hanging of the Green. This year was OBU’s 74th annual Hanging of the Green, and featured 20 OBU outstanding seniors chosen by faculty. Ellen Richard, one of the senior honorees this year, said, “It’s a great tradition because it begins the Christmas season on campus, but it also includes the whole community. It was an honor to be asked to participate as a representative of our fine institution. The choirs and musicians are also fantastic, and it’s great fun to hear them perform.”
Hanging of the Green also displays the incredible musical talent of OBU’s orchestra, choral groups and hand bell choir. This event is always a great follow up to the formal banquet, as the OBU community formally ushers in the Christmas season by decorating Raley Chapel.
One of the final official OBU traditions is that of the Fine Arts Christmas Chapel. Once again, this moment features the musical talent at OBU, but is also a fun time to get OBU faculty and students involved in some Christmas cheer. Dr. Dan Reeder hosts this event every year; he always provides some comic relief and some fun Christmas memories during the students’ limited activites week and preparation for finals. This is always an experience not to be missed.
While many official traditions exist on campus, the “unofficial” traditions are often just as fun. Organization Christmas parties, dormitory hall decorating contests, putting up decorations in dorm rooms with roommates, fun Christmas parties with friends and seeing the trees along the oval wound with white twinkling lights. Christmas at OBU is an experienced well remembered.