Modified Christmas traditions are coming to town

The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting and 12 Days of Christmas Competition, longstanding and favorite campus traditions, will be done with some modifications to follow COVID-19 restrictions.


Holiday campus traditions are typically held towards the end of the semester to kick-off finals week, however, classes will be held remotely after Nov. 20. 


Before the lighting, Marlin Ministries usually performs holiday songs before going into the 12 Days of Christmas Competition, where different teams and organizations can sign up and compete for “the most festive”.


A holiday themed dinner in Boyd Dining Center typically follows the tree lighting. A fire pit, fun lawn games and snacks were planned to avoid large gatherings inside the building.


Due to unexpected rain, the Tree Lighting and related activities were held in Batten Student Center on Friday Nov. 13 at 4:30 p.m. There was an artificial tree with lights along with cardboard cutouts of Santa and Mrs. Claus as a festive photo-op for students. Students were encouraged to stop by and grab a cup of hot chocolate, brownies and more holiday treats.


 “We will still have a DJ playing holiday music, however, we will be thinking of a virtual alternative for the 12 Days of Christmas in early December to ensure we are following CDC and University guidelines,” Director of Student Activities Sarah Guzzo said.


Another favorite tradition on campus is Late Night Breakfast, which is usually filled with holiday music, ugly Christmas sweaters and gingerbread house decorating competitions. 


“We’re looking into at-home activities that students can do like printable coloring pages, creating a playlist with songs we typically play, maybe a TikTok competition for the different line dances that usually happen,” Guzzo said. 


Off the Hook is also working with Dining Services on recipes for breakfast foods students can make at home. “Kind of like a Food Network video from Chef that will be put on social media so students can follow along and cook with him,” Guzzo said.


Students can find more information on virtual activities they can do by following Marlins Off the Hook or the Student Activities pages on Instagram, which are very active. For those not on Instagram, look out for the weekly email sent out by Student Activities.


“We’ll also be including our new students who are starting in January as a way to get them connected to the community before they even get onto campus. This might be a great way to meet new Marlins and help our student organizations recruit new members as well so just be checking that stuff out,” said Guzzo.

By AJ Adan