Annual holiday festivities bring joy to the Xavier community

Sydney Missigman, Editor-in-Chief

On Thursday, Nov. 30, the Xavier community jumped into the holiday season with the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest. These events, in conjunction with the donuts delivered in homeroom, made for a sweet start to the most wonderful time of the year.

Many groups at Xavier helped make the Tree Lighting Ceremony a success. Key Club, Student Council, the sewing classes and other volunteers dedicated many hours into making this festive event joyous for all. Each group had a specific role in the production.

Courtesy of Annika Nielson ’18
The senior Student Council officers decorate the senior tree with red ornaments made by Xavier’s sewing classes.

President of Key Club, senior Katherine Hann, said, “the lighting of the trees signifies the real beginning of the Christmas season [at Xavier] and kicks it off with some sugar and holiday outfits.”  

The Key Club officers started planning this event in early fall, as it is one of their largest events of the year. Hann explained that, “Key Club has prepared for the Tree Lighting Ceremony by forming three committees [made up] of our members.” The Key Club members could choose which committee they wished to volunteer for: donuts, hot cocoa or trees.

The Student Council members also played a large role in the Tree Lighting day, as they decked out their class’s tree with the class colors — red for seniors, green for juniors, yellow for sophomores and pink for freshman. The StuCo officers sacrificed an early morning on Nov. 30 to ensure that their class’s tree reigned supreme.

Hann said her favorite part of the Tree Lighting Ceremony, as a Key Club officer, is “picking up the 1,356 donuts from Rainbow Donuts and driving to Xavier while blasting Christmas music! Before I was an officer though, my favorite part has been the ugly sweater contest because we get to see so many fantastic and hilarious outfits.”    

In addition to the cheery decorating of the class Christmas trees, the Ugly Sweater Contest is a highly-anticipated event for students each year. This is the time when they can break out their grandma’s hand-sewn sweater and show it off for all to see. Maybe it wasn’t the way their grandma intended for it to be worn, but at least it’s not sitting in the closet!      

Hundreds of students were decked out in red and green sweaters, which made for an eventful contest in Founders Hall. However, at the end of lunch a winner for the ugliest Christmas sweater was crowned: faculty member Jeff Gilbert.

Some other favorites of this merry day included wearing fuzzy Christmas socks, eating the donuts delivered in homeroom and walking by the beautifully lit-up trees.

Not only is the Tree Lighting Ceremony and Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest a great way to kick off the holiday season at school, but it is a wonderful way in which Xavier gives back to the community. Each of the four trees that were decorated are donated to families, via St. Vincent de Paul, who would not otherwise receive a tree. Hann agrees that spreading holiday cheer is what the Season of Giving is all about.

These holiday events truly mark the beginning of a Christmas-filled December at Xavier. The vibrantly-decorated class-color Christmas trees add a little extra holiday cheer to the students’s ordinary school day.

Courtesy of Annika Nielson ’18
Senior Student Council officers sport their ugly Christmas sweaters on Nov. 30, 2017.