Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace: Xavier’s 19th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

Students celebrate the Christmas season.

Elie Carlos, Writer

On a cold December morning, jazzy Christmas music and excited chatter fill the air. Everywhere you look, there are flashy sweaters and Key Club members delivering doughnuts. Finally, in front of the Bell Tower, you see four colorful Christmas trees, ready for Xavier’s annual lighting ceremony.

For the 19th year in a row, the Xavier community came together on Dec. 3 for the beginning of Advent and the joyful anticipation for Jesus’ birth on Christmas with a tree lighting ceremony. Each Christmas tree was decorated with either pink, yellow, green or red decorations by each grades’ student councils with ornaments created by Mrs. Deirdre Van Sickle’s textiles class.

“This is my first year on student council, so this year I got to help decorate the senior class tree the morning of the ceremony which is something I’ll remember for a long time,” said senior senator, Meg Ingram.

Then, all of the class presidents blessed their trees with one of the themes of Advent: hope for freshmen, love for sophomores, joy for juniors and peace for seniors. The freshmen were “grateful for compassion” and wanted to keep sight of what was important. The sophomores wished to “increase their love” for God and those around them. The juniors wanted to “close the doors of hate” and instead look to Jesus. Lastly, the seniors asked for freedom from harm and suffering “throughout the world.”

At the end of the semester, the trees will be donated to families in need through the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

“I felt closer to my companions because we were doing something together that would help to bring joy to families that don’t get to celebrate Christmas like most of us do,” said sophomore stewardship officer, Katie Hassett.

This Christmas season, remember to keep Jesus in your hearts by giving back to those in need. “I think that it’s really awesome to be able to give back to others and to, in a way, do good in order to be better prepared for Jesus, and to just feel a sense of holiday spirit and the 4 themes of hope, love, joy and peace,” said junior president, Kassidy McIntyre.