Christmas in the Plaza prepares students for the holidays

December 18, 2008

by Caitlin Crawford

On Dec. 9, Christmas in the Plaza opened its doors at 5 p.m. in the Student Center, Main Floor, and everyone stood still waiting in line for Build-A-Bear, to be exact.

Angela Carter, Christmas in the Plaza committee head, said one cannot have a holiday season without a cozy bedtime pal.

“Before the doors even opened, there was a line backed up to Chick-Fil-A,” Carter said. “Everyone loves stuffed animals.”

Stephen Lynch, Christmas in the Plaza production manager and a junior business administration major, said he could not agree more.

“We ran out very early last year, so we ordered extra this year, and we still ran out before everyone got to make one,” Lynch said.

Lynch said even with the location change, students, faculty and local families enjoyed themselves by perusing an elaborate display of activities such as taking pictures with Santa, decorating Popsicle picture frames and ornaments, singing Christmas karaoke, ice-skating, writing letters to soldiers overseas and more.

“Changing from the plaza to the TONK went very smoothly,” Lynch said. “We were able to fit all the activities inside, including this year’s iceskating rink. It was a tight fit with everyone inside, but it just meant you bumped into more friends to talk to.”

Carter said although it was not held outside, attendance was great and people continually paraded themselves into the fun.

“Being around the festivities with everyone laughing, singing and enjoying themselves was my favorite,” Carter said. “I think people have grown to see it as a tradition and look forward to the festivities each year.”

Lynch said Christmas in the Plaza requires a lot of behind-the-scenes effort.

“It takes a lot of work to get everything ready for the students, but it’s all worth it when we have a huge turnout like we did and everyone [had] fun,” Lynch said.

He said the event allows students to escape the routine and busy lifestyle of class, homework, presentations and projects.

“Christmas in the Plaza is fun because students are looking for a reason to get into the Christmas spirit,” Lynch said. “As busy as we can be, everyone makes time when we throw a Christmas party this big.”

Carter said the event is a true ideal of the Christmas spirit.

“The theme for Christmas in the Plaza was Winter Wonderland and was inspired by the ‘Artificial-Ice’ skating rink,” Carter said. “The ornament and picture frame making were homemade crafts that children and even college students could look back on and remember. It brings a feeling of a classic Christmas home.”