OBU officially kicks off the Christmas season on campus this week, with numerous holiday-themed activities and events. The festivities begin Nov. 30 and run for two weeks, filling the end of the semester with warm, festive cheer.
The fun begins Tuesday, Nov. 30, with WMU Residence Hall’s annual event “Deck the Halls.” The event runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. inside WMU, located on the west side of the Oval on the OBU campus in Shawnee. Deck the Halls is a WMU tradition where each hall decorates a portion of their hall according to a Christmas theme. The halls compete to win the best hall and part of the competition is how many people participate in decorating, who has the best interactive games for children and several other factors. On average, each hall in WMU spends anywhere from 20 to 30 hours working on their hall to prepare for the event.
The theme for Deck the Halls this year is “Snow Globe,” so each hall is attempting to look like the inside of a different snow globe. The snow globes this year range from a Nutcracker snow globe to a Christmas tree farm snow globe.
According to WMU’s Resident Director Lyndsey Lopez, people should look forward to a hot chocolate bar and an iSpy game throughout the building as they look at all the different halls.
“Students should take part and attend to support their freshman friends who have been working so hard on their halls,” Lopez said. “They will also enjoy a break from studying and an immersive experience of the magic of Christmas.”
Christmas Chapel will take place the next morning, Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 10 a.m. in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium. The campus is buzzing with excitement for the return of Christmas Chapel, which took a hiatus in 2020 due to modifications to the fall semester academic calendar as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Office of Admissions is likewise hosting a Preview Day on campus that day, allowing prospective students and their families the opportunity to enjoy this festive event.
Kirt Henderson, director of student success, will emcee the chapel. The program will feature musical performing groups from OBU’s Warren M. Angell School of Visual and Performing Arts, caroling, funny videos and more. According to Henderson, OBU students should plan to attend Christmas Chapel because it is the talk of campus for days and weeks following the event.
“In addition to celebrating OBU's talented musicians, Christmas Chapel is designed to be a light-hearted event,” Henderson said. “The OBU community can look forward to seeing an array of students, faculty and staff members participate in humorous skits and videos.”
Later that same evening, Kerr Residence Center will host “Kerr Christmas” at 8 p.m. The event will take place in Kerr’s main lobby. The event is a holiday themed variety show, hosted by Campus Activities Board. Refreshments will be served, including hot chocolate and cookies.
According to CAB member Mallory Locke, Kerr Christmas is a smaller CAB show held every year.
“Because of COVID-19, we were not able to have Kerr Christmas last year, so we are excited it’s back,” Locke said. “We will have acts and emcees that will be in a couple of skits and host an audience game. It’s a super fun time.”
Locke commented on why students should attend the event.
“Students should come because it’s a great night full of music and laughter,” she said. “It’s a great tradition that we are so excited we are able to have once again.”
“Christmas in the Caf” will take place Saturday, Dec. 4, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Café on the Hill in the upper level of the Geiger Center. The event includes a Christmas meal, along with some fun activities and live music. Students and employees can use a meal swipe or pay at the door.
Later that evening (Saturday, Dec. 4), the University will host the 83rd annual Hanging of the Green Christmas program. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium. The event is free and the entire OBU community is invited to attend the spectacular holiday celebration. Combined choirs will perform Handel’s “Messiah,” accompanied by an orchestra. During the evening, a group of 20 outstanding seniors will also be recognized.
“Christmas at Cargill” is a new event this year, taking place Tuesday, Dec. 14, from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Activities will be held outside the Cargill Advancement and Alumni Center, located on the north side of MacArthur just east of Taylor Residence Center, as well as indoors on the first floor of Cargill. All students and employees are invited to attend the free come-and-go celebration. The event will feature Christmas music, lawn games, hot cocoa, apple cider, cookies, cookie decorating, karaoke, Christmas ornament coloring, holiday lights, photo spots and more. Santa and Shaz will each be making a special appearance at the event. Christmas at Cargill is designed to give students a fun, festive break from finals week and to bless all employees and students alike with a fun time of Christmas cheer as a Bison Hill community.
A special donation drive will be held during Christmas at Cargill, benefiting numerous local charities. The following items for each charity are being sought during the drive: canned goods for the Good Things Food Pantry, diapers for Legacy Parenting, non-perishable food items for the Salvation Army, school supplies for Mission Shawnee, and home and personal care items for Project Safe. Those wishing to donate may either drop their items off from their car near the entrance to the Cargill Center off of MacArthur or may carry them in if attending the Christmas at Cargill event.
Numerous other clubs, organizations and academic units will also be hosting other events during the three weeks leading up to Christmas break. Follow @obucampuslife on Instagram for updates.