On Nov. 29, the Center for Campus Ministry hosted the Hanging of the Greens, an annual event in which students decorate the chapel for Christmas. The event functions as a kickoff to the upcoming Christmas season. Typically, many students return home for Winter Break to find that many of their favorite family holiday traditions have been performed without them. To many students on campus, the Hanging of the Greens provided for them a remedy to this problem. “Every time I go home for Christmas, every year, the tree is already decorated,” said Spencer Blanden, a sophomore at MC. “I’m like, ‘What? You can’t exclude me from tree decorating.’ It’s really cool because I get to have the experience of decorating with a lot of people, and it feels like a family.” Hot apple cider and cookies were served while Christmas music played in the background. Students helped decorate the Christmas tree with red, green and off-white decorations. Garland was also hung across the banisters.
“Free food, cookies, and everybody’s real excited to be decorating for Christmas,” Blanden said. “Everybody’s in the holiday spirit.” “I heard actually a few weeks leading up to this event that it’s a not to be missed — the cider is awesome, there will be caroling and just good cheer all around,” said Fatima Sharbell, a student at MC. “Frankly, the cider was enough for me!”
Everyone attending this event was excited and glad that they had attended. With the final exams approaching soon, many students are feeling the pressure of the end of semester responsibilities. The Hanging of the Greens provided a night where students were given the opportunity to enjoy the season and relax before the next two weeks.
“I came out because I love the chapel, and I love Christmas, and this is like my family on the campus, so I’m celebrating Christmas with them,” said Lauren Voyles, a senior at MC. “In the past, it’s been the same wonderful and joyful time. It’s just a great way to de-stress from exam worries, your thesis and this stressful stuff in your life, and you get to come to this fun place where it all melts away.” Anne McKee, campus minister, noted how the staff at the CCM look forward to giving students an opportunity to take a break from the stress that is associated with the end of the semester and just take the time to enjoy one another and the season.
“Since everyone goes home for Christmas, we don’t have any Christmas programs here at the CCM,” McKee said. “We look forward to the Hanging of the Greens as a way to give students an opportunity to take a break from exams.” Sharbell described how well everyone worked together and interacted with each other. “Positive experiences just grow really organically with these people,” Sharbell said.
“It makes me feel a more a part of it [the holiday season] and gives me that whole family feeling,” Blanden said. Cider and cookies will be available in the CCM from now until the end of the exam period.