The 45 Best College Holiday Events
Starbucks once had a slogan during the holidays that was perfectly fitting for the season: “It’s time for some jolly, by golly!” How true and accurate that sentiment still is. When it comes to the holiday season, countless tired and overworked Americans look forward to quality time with family and friends to eat, drink, and be jolly during the most magical time of the year. Many people are transported back in time to the innocent, nostalgic past when the excitement for Christmas morning was the best time of the year. Undoubtedly, the holidays are brim full of good cheer and memories. Our many colleges and universities offer community events, concerts, campus lighting and parties that are often free of charge and high quality and can add to the joy of the season. We have discovered the best college holiday events in the nation, both for students and the public.
The list was compiled based on the following criteria:
• Number and variety of events – 40%
• Number of days events are offered – 20%
• Uniqueness of events – 20%
• Community involvement – 20%
45. Whitworth University
Whitworth University will present its Christmas Festival, “Ring Out Your Joy! Peace to the World Is Given!” at Martin Woldson Theater on Saturday, December 12 and Sunday, December 13. The concert is given by over 120 student performers including members of the Whitworth Choir, Whitworth Women’s Choir, Men’s Chorus, the Chamber Singers, as well as student instrumentalists and student narrators. The program will include choral works, readings, and traditional carols for audience and choirs; the performance will be concluded by candlelight, creating an ambiance of Christmas peace.
44. George Fox University
George Fox University will present their 2015 Christmas Concert, “Unto Us A Child is Born,” on Friday, December 11 through Sunday, December 13 at Bauman Auditorium. Over 80 student musicians including the Concert Choir, Chorale, and Festival Orchestra will perform traditional Christmas carols. In addition to festive music, the productions will include narration, congregational singing, and Scripture reading. George Fox University is a Christian liberal arts and sciences university located in the lush Willamette Valley in the quaint college town of Newberg, Oregon.
43. Biola University
Join students from Biola University on Friday, December 4 and Saturday, December 5 at 7:30 p.m. for the “Peace on Earth” Christmas Festival. Featuring an array of sacred music, Scripture and pageantry, the show features over 200 musicians from the Biola Conservatory of Music as well as student actors from Biola Youth Theater. The festival will be held at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, which has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “one of the best Broadway-style houses in Southern California.”
42. Willamette University
Willamette University celebrates the holiday season with food, music and a lighting ceremony during an array of holiday activities taking place at Willamette University November 30 through December 6. One notable event is “Christmas Unplugged-Reclaiming the Holiday Spirit,” a program presented by Emmy-Nominated musician and storyteller John Doan. This acclaimed performance will take place at Hudson Concert Hall. There will be a holiday celebration in Jackson Plaza before the free holiday concert in Smith Auditorium. The celebration will include music, cocoa and cookies. At 7 p.m. a countdown ensues to watch the Hatfield clock tower shimmer with holiday lights. The evening will conclude with a holiday concert in Smith Auditorium. Beta Theta Pi fraternity will be at the event accepting donations of coats and clothing to benefit people in need.
41. Roberts Wesleyan College
Roberts Wesleyan College will present its annual Christmas Gala on December 5 and December 6 in Andrews B. Hale Auditorium. The Gala will feature favorite Christmas songs and carols performed by the Roberts brass, string, jazz and vocal ensembles, culminating in the joyous “Gloria!” Following the performance, guests will have the opportunity to mingle with the performers, stroll through the Davidson Art Gallery, and enjoy a festive reception in the Kodak Atrium. All proceeds will go to music student scholarships.
40. Gonzaga University
Gonzaga University presents its annual Candlelight Christmas Concert at St. Aloysisus Catholic Church. Timothy Westerhaus conducts the GU Concert Choir and Women’s Chorus with the Men’s Chorus conducted by Peter Hamlin. Also performing are the GU Brass Choir and the Spokane Brass Quintet, conducted by Robert Spittal. The concert will take place on Friday, December 11, and Saturday, December 12. The Jazz Ensemble will offer an enjoyable evening of Christmas favorites including selections from the Nutcracker Suite and A Charlie Brown Christmas on Thursday, December 3. The concert will feature special guest, Julia Keefe.
39. Capital University
Capital University will present their Christmas Festival 2015, “With All Your Heart,” from Thursday, December 3 through Sunday, December 6. The Festival is a transcendent musical offering featuring over 300 musicians, including performances by the World Choir Games Gold Medal-Winning Chapel Choir, Choral Union, Women’s Chorus, the Chordsmen, and Philomel. The performances will include inspirational readings of poetry and Scripture; the music features songs from past centuries, familiar carols, all which represent a variety of musical styles while celebrating cultures around the world. In addition to the concert, tickets are available for a delectable dinner Thursday and Friday evenings before the performance.
38. Northwestern State University
The annual Christmas Gala at Northwestern State University will be presented December 2, 3 and 4, 2015 in the A.A. Fredericks Auditorium on the campus of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Performances are at 7 p.m. each evening with a nine p.m. performance on Dec. 4th. The Christmas Gala, a popular holiday production, put on by the NSU’s School of Creative and Performing Arts. It is inspired by New York’s Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular and features songs, skits and dance numbers that celebrate the magic of Christmas. This unforgettable event is attended by more than 12, 000 people in Natchitoches.
37. University of Redlands
During its sixty-eight years of existence, the Feast of Lights has become one of the most recognizable and respected University of Redland’s traditions. Under the leadership of Directors J. William Jones, Jeffrey Rickard, and Nicholle Andrews, its fame is nation-wide, and much of its music has been recorded. As stated by an early participant and University of Redlands faculty, the Feast is “a tapestry of scripture, poetry, music and drama. Always recognizable at its core, it is ever new in the elements and changes that appear annually in its music, drama, and over-all structure.” The Feast of Lights begins Friday, December 4, 2015, and runs through Monday, December 7, 2015.
36. Midwestern State University
The Midwestern State University-Burns Fantasy of Lights is one of the largest holiday displays of its kind. Its purpose is to provide a festive holiday atmosphere on campus, to serve as an outreach to the community, and to be a focal point for holiday activities in North Texas. The Fantasy of Lights is filled with individual displays that showcase themes or characters from well-known children’s stories, fairy tales, and holiday themes. New scenes are added periodically as finances and circumstances permit. The display was originally the property of Mr. and Mrs. Burns who delighted in sharing the Christmas spirit with their community as a young married couple in the 1920’s; upon their deaths, the display ultimately was gifted to the university on the condition that it was offered to the public free of charge.
35. University of the Incarnate Word
Beginning on November 21, University of the Incarnate Word flips the switch and turns their campus into a spectacular exposition with nearly one million Christmas lights. This is one of the most anticipated holiday traditions in San Antonio, and visitors to the campus can enjoy this Christmas wonderland through January 6, 2016. The campus will be illuminated nightly and will be open to the public and available for self-guided tours. Follow this event on social media using #LTW2015.
34. Concordia College
In 1927, Clara Duea, Concordia College’s piano, and organ professor, organized the Concordia Music Club, and one of their activities was a Christmas program. The very first concert was performed in Old Main’s Chapel, but in 1928 it was moved to Moorhead’s Trinity Lutheran Church. This has grown into the Concordia Christmas Concerts of today that join approximately 350 singers in five choral ensembles and a 72-piece symphony orchestra to create a beautiful collection of Christmas music for the holiday season. There are four performances in Moorhead and two in Minneapolis. The concert is broadcast on regional radio stations.
33. College of the Holy Cross
College of the Holy Cross finds several ways to ring in the Christmas season. During Advent in early December, a Festival of Lessons and Carols service is held in St. Joseph Memorial Chapel. The Office of the College Chaplains and the College Choir host the beloved service, providing an opportunity to gather as a community and reflect on the joyous message of Christmas. The Purple Key Society invites the campus community to an annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The event features a visit from Santa Claus, musical performances by student groups, and free cookies, hot chocolate and cider.
32. Purdue University
Elaborate sets, intricate and specially tailored musical arrangements of sacred and secular holiday favorites, the introduction of new and soon-to-be Christmas classics, and dramatic and comedic skits and dialogues continued to enthrall nearly 30,000 audience members annually at the Purdue Christmas Show. The show is available to millions of people across the nation and beyond through Public Television and the Armed Forces Radio Network. There will be three performances on Saturday, December 5, and one on Sunday, December 6. Locals and viewers alike won’t want to miss this magical, lyrical production.
31. University of Colorado – Boulder
The Holiday Festival the University of Colorado – Boulder is a beloved annual tradition. Audiences are usually sold out as visitors flock to Macky Auditorium to enjoy this lively program of seasonal music including choirs, orchestra, ensembles, and faculty soloists from the College of Music. Performances run from Friday December 4 through Sunday, December 6. The University of Colorado – Boulder is a public research university located in Boulder, Colorado. Proceeds from the Holiday Festival will go to the CU Music Scholarship Fund.
30. Concordia University – Nebraska
Christmas at Concordia is a cherished annual tradition of hymns, scripture readings and original music from Concordia students and faculty. More than 3,000 attendees travel from all over the country to attend the concert series, which features the A Cappella Choir, Symphonic Band, Male Chorus, Handbell Choir, Women’s Chorale and University Brass Ensemble. Concert admission is free, and the concerts will take place from December 4 through December 6 at St. John Lutheran Church. On December 6 beginning at 4:30, visitors and students alike may come to enjoy refreshments, music and holiday fellowship, culminating with caroling and the lighting of the 40-foot outdoor Christmas tree at 6:00.
29. University of Virginia
Beginning in 1968 as one of the first in the nation, the University of Virginia McIntire Department of Music presents the annual Messiah Sing-In on Tuesday, December 8 at 8:00 p.m. in Old Cabell Hall. The Sing-In is conducted by Donald Loach and benefits the University’s choral ensembles. The Charlottesville Symphony at the University of Virginia and the University Singers join forces to present their annual Family Holiday Concerts on Saturday, December 5 and Sunday, December 6. Over the past ten years, these popular concerts have launched the holiday season with an array of music ranging from the peaceful to the joyous. Performances this year feature traditional holiday cheer, including “Sleigh Ride,” the “Hallelujah Chorus” and interactive crowd favorite, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” and a choral suite from Disney’s Frozen. The program will also feature special guest Rita Dove, a United States Poet Laureate, narrating “The Night Before Christmas.”
28. Oklahoma Wesleyan University
Join Oklahoma Wesleyan University to begin the Christmas season on the right note at the annual Prelude to Christmas event coming December 3, 2015. This community event is for the whole family, and will feature the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra for a night of great music and Christmas nostalgia. The evening begins with a concert at 7:00pm in the Lyon Chapel and Fine Arts Center. This year’s Prelude program, titled “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”, is a reminder of the true meaning of the Christmas season, and will also give special honor to all those who serve our country. Following the concert, everyone is invited to continue the evening with cookies, cocoa, and a fireworks display. There will also be a Christmas Chapel on December 4 featuring the OKWU Chorale, Relentless and Handbells.
27. Gordon College
Gordon College kicks off its Christmas Festivities on December 4 with carols, hot chocolate, a bonfire, s’mores, and hayrides, as the campus is lit up with Christmas lights. Following this delightful event, the Annual Christmas Gala will be held at the A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel. This is the Gala’s 25th Anniversary, and will feature traditional Christmas favorites in addition to spiritual selections that pay homage to the solemnity of the season. The audience will enjoy performances by the Gordon College Children’s Choir, College Choir, Men’s Choir, Women’s Choir, Gordon College Symphony Orchestra, and the Gordon College Wind Ensemble. The Gala will be performed both December 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m.
26. Boston College
There are numerous Christmas events at Boston College. “Christmas Reflections” is a celebration of the Christmas season in story, music, and dance with choreography by Robert VerEecke, S.J., Jesuit artist-in-residence, and Helen O’Dwyer, alumna, and director of the O’Dwyer School of Irish Dancing. The University Chorale of Boston College will present their Annual Christmas Concerts from Friday, December 4 through Sunday, December 6. Also on December 6, there will be a unique and joyous festival of music and scripture called Lessons and Carols, a service of Christian worship that celebrates the coming of Jesus as Redeemer. This story of Jesus is told in six short Bible readings and is interspersed with the singing of traditional Christmas carols, hymns, and choir music. The 45-minute service will be followed by holiday refreshments.
25. Luther College
“Christmas at Luther” is a musical celebration of Christmas in the college’s beautiful Center for Faith and Life. Now in its 34th year, the five concerts feature performances by six choirs under the direction of Allen Hightower, Andrew Last, Jennaya Robison, and Jill Wilson. The celebration also features Luther Ringers led by college organist Gregory Peterson, the Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daniel Baldwin; along with audience singing. In addition to this captivating concert, the members of the Luther College Student Congregation invite visitors to join them for the annual “Christmas at Luther” Advent Eucharist service. All are welcome, and music is provided by the Luther College community. This event takes place on Sunday, December 6 at 10:00 a.m., the Second Sunday of Advent.
24. Wheaton College
The annual Wheaton College Christmas Festival Concert will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 4 and Saturday, December 5. The concerts will feature the Wheaton College Choirs and Symphony Orchestra. An additional matinee performance will be offered at 4 p.m. Saturday, December 5. All three performances will take place in Edman Memorial Chapel, located on the northeast corner of Washington and Franklin streets in Wheaton. In addition to the Christmas Festival Concert, the Community School of the Arts (CSA) at Wheaton College presents “Christmas Through the Ages Suzuki Strings” Christmas concert at 10 a.m. Saturday, December 12. More than 300 CSA Suzuki and Early Childhood Music students ages three through high school will perform familiar Christmas carols and holiday favorites from the 1400’s through 1962 on the violin, viola, cello, guitar, and harp.
23. Oberlin College
Raising money for charity is a central part of Christmas at Oberlin. On Sunday, December 13, Oberlin College hosts its annual Messiah Sing-Along, an event that will benefit Family Promise of Lorain County. A few days later, on Tuesday, December 15, Oberlin College will present its Empty Mugs Holiday Brass Organ Spectacular, a festive, free concert featuring Oberlin Conservatory musicians with holiday favorites. All proceeds benefit the Oberlin Community Services, which is a responsive community organization meeting low-income needs in the county. Oberlin College is a private, liberal arts college in Oberlin, Ohio.
22. The Catholic University of America
The Christmas season begins on Friday, December 4 at Catholic University. Join President Garvey and the Catholic University community for the annual Christmas Tree Light Ceremony: Light the Season! The event features an evening of carols, acapella singing, Christmas stories, refreshments and conversation. After the tree lighting, there will be a Christmas Concert for Charity. The following evening, students will enjoy an evening of dancing, food, and fun at the Mistletoe Ball 2015. The ball will be held at the Mayflower Hotel from 8 p.m. until midnight and is a great opportunity to celebrate the holidays with friends and take a break from finals.
21. Mississippi College
Mississippi College Singers enter and exit Provine Chapel by candlelight as the student group performs “Of the Father’s Love Begotten.” The December 3 through December 5 concerts will be extra special this year as MC leaders mark the festival’s 30th anniversary. Following the Friday night performance, the MC Music Department will host a reception at the Aven Hall lobby for Festival of Lights alumni. The festival attracts more than 1,200 guests annually; the concert features music and scriptural readings following English traditions of Lessons and Carols at King’s College in Cambridge, England.
20. Michigan State University
Hidden Lake Garden, a botanical garden, and arboretum operated by Michigan State University, will host the Evening of Lights celebration on Friday, December 4 and Sunday, December 6. The gardens, grounds, and conservatory will be glowing with lights and luminaries depicting many colors and themes. On Saturday, December 5, the Holiday Festival will include the lights and luminaries plus holiday craft activities and refreshments for families, as well as a visit from Santa. In honor of the garden’s 70th Anniversary, the conservatory will be filled with holiday music from Harry Fee’s era played from original vinyl records. Come and see luminaries and lights, listen to live music and records, partake in holiday crafts and refreshments, and visit Santa!
19. Assumption College
On December 6, Assumption College will host its Children’s Mass and Breakfast with Santa. Mass starts at 10 a.m. at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit, and will be followed by Breakfast with Santa at 11. During the breakfast, children will enjoy a Christmas reading by President Cesareo, holiday student performances, craft tables, and a chance for photos with Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Buddy the Elf. The following day, the Assumption College Band will be performing a concert of familiar holiday repertoire along with its regular concert selections in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. Featured will be different instrumental ensembles as well as soloists from the Band. This concert is free and open to the public.
18. Wartburg College
For over 65 years, Christmas with Wartburg has been a traditional celebration ringing out the joy of Christmas. There are four concerts in this series, both on- and off-campus, which are attended by nearly 7,000 people each year. The program features the Wartburg Choir, Castle Singers, Wind Ensemble, The Ritterchor, St. Elizabeth Chorale, Kantorei, and Handbell Choir. Not only does Wartburg offer this gorgeous musical performance, the Wartburg Community Festival of Trees is hosted together by Wartburg College and the Waverly Chamber of Commerce. Over 5,000 guests annually attend the Festival of Trees, which is another fabulous way to enjoy the holiday season.
17. College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University
The College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University presents a unique tale during the Christmas season. All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 relives an astounding moment in history when Allied and German soldiers laid down their arms to celebrate Christmas together. This dramatic re-telling by Theater Latte Da pieces together firsthand accounts of World War I soldiers who recounted stories of sharing food and drink, playing soccer, singing carols and burying each other’s dead. In some places along the Western Front, the truce lasted a single night and in others it endured until New Year’s Day. Christmas carols and trench songs are woven into this moving ode to peace. This popular production is currently sold out, but there is a waiting list. In addition, the Amadeus Chamber Symphony, CSB/SJU Brass Choir, CSB Women’s Choir, CSB/SJU Chamber Choir, SJU Boy’s Choir, and SJU Men’s Chorus will perform another year of sacred music for the season. The ensembles, individually and in various combinations, will present compositions written in celebration of the Seasons of Advent and Christmas.
16. University of Notre Dame
The University of Notre Dame presents its 2nd Annual International Crèche Display and Pilgrimage from November 18, 2015 through January 31, 2016. With a theme this year of “Love Incarnate With Us Dwells,” this annual event contemplates the tenderness of God revealed in the nativity sets on display, inviting families to celebrate the seasons of Advent and Christmas. The thirty-three visual representations from nineteen countries are on display at five locations on the campus of Notre Dame: the Eck Visitors Center, Morris Inn, the Coleman-Morse Center, Geddes Hall and the Main Building. Booklets and QRs for self-guided tours are available at each location. These beautiful Christmas crèches should not be missed this holiday season! Not only is this fascinating display part of a Notre Dame Christmas, the university will have its official University Christmas ornament for sale, a tradition that has taken place at Notre Dame since 1993.
15. St. Mary’s University
At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, December 2, the St. Mary’s community will gather at the front of St. Louis Hall, by the fountain, for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony processions. Guests are then invited to the Alumni Christmas Social in the Pecan Grove from 8 to 9 p.m. Their website welcomes all: “Join us as we transform the Pecan Grove into a snowy winter wonderland.” The following evening, the St. Mary’s University Music Department will be hosting a Christmas Concert featuring the talents of student ensembles. Donation boxes will be set up at both events to accept new and gently used toy donations in support of the Miracle on 36th Street Community Christmas.
14. St. Olaf College
The St. Olaf College Christmas Festival was started in 1912 by F. Melius Christiansen, founder of the St. Olaf College Music Department and is one of the oldest musical celebrations of Christmas in the United States. The festival features more than 500 student musicians from the St. Olaf Orchestra, St. Olaf Choir, Viking Chorus, Manitou Singers, the and Chapel Choir. The festival has been featured nationally in TV Guide, the Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, and the Los Angeles Times. The name of the festival this year is “On Earth Peace,” and runs from Thursday, December 3 through Sunday, December 6; visitors attending the festival will also enjoy numerous other holiday concerts during the weekend including a “Merry Tubachristmas,” “Saxophone Christmas”, “The Runestones Accordion Ensemble,” and several others.
13. Lipscomb University
For more than a decade, the Lipscomb University community has celebrated the start of the holiday season with beloved Nashville entertainer Amy Grant and an all-star line-up of artists and friends at the annual Lighting of the Green concert. This year’s tenth-anniversary edition is set for Tuesday, December 1. Joining Grant will be Steven Curtis Chapman, Jon and Valerie Guerra, The Settles Singers, Arcadian Wild, Corrina Gill, and Choirs from Lipscomb Academy and Lipscomb University. Festivities begin at 4 p.m. and the free holiday concert begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Allen Arena Mall on the Lipscomb campus. The evening will conclude with the lighting of a Christmas tree in the Allen Arena Mall. In addition to this exciting event, there will be a Winter Concert on December 6. The concert will include holiday selections, and will conclude with combined choirs and wind ensemble performing a medley of familiar Christmas carols.
12. Bob Jones University
Bob Jones University stuns students and visitors every year during the Christmas season with over 100,000 twinkling lights that adorn the campus. Not only are the outdoors shimmering with Christmas cheer, but BJU also presents the Living Gallery program that combines drama, special choral, and orchestral arrangements, and live portrayals of classical works of art that celebrate the Christmas story. Hundreds of hours are spent putting together sets, costumes, makeup and lighting to create this fabulous drama. The Living Gallery runs December 3 through 5 at Rodeheaver Auditorium.
11. Carthage College
Carthage College presents their annual Carthage Christmas Festival as a gift to the community; tickets to this fabulous have been free since the festival began over 20 years ago. The festival includes the annual Service of Light when the chapel is filled with candlelight. The festival lasts from Friday, December 4 through Sunday, December 6. Each evening includes performances by students in the Carthage Choir, Carthage Women’s Ensemble, Lincoln Chamber Singers, A. F. Siebert Chapel Choir, Wind Orchestra, and other instrumental ensembles, as well as students from the Theatre Department. In addition to the concert, visitors may enjoy the holiday buffet as well as the art exhibit at H. F. Johnson Gallery of Art.
10. University of Portland
The Advent Concert presented by the University of Portland is the choral highlight of the year, with the sixty voices of the University Singers and Women’s Chorale, plus festive brass and organ. The featured work is Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, accompanied by UP harp teacher Jenny Lindner. The concert will be held at St. Mary’s Cathedral. In addition to this concert, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the holiday at UP. Students can enjoy the Advent Visio Divina, FASA Christmas Gathering, Advent Mass and Brunch with Santa, and the UP Holiday Fashion Show. The Christmas spirit is everywhere at the University of Portland.
9. Virginia Wesleyan College
A series called, “Monumental Moments” is part of the Christmas season at Virginia Wesleyan College this year. One part of this series will be “A Service of Lessons & Carols” where Advent and Christmas scriptures will be presented with poetry and singing. Another part of the series will be held on Wednesday, January 6. On this traditional date of Epiphany, ‘Nollaig na mBan’ (“Little Christmas”) marks an Irish tradition which offers women a time apart from duties of hearth and home to celebrate and reflect on the New Year. This will be presented in the Monumental Chapel. Not only will students enjoy this fascinating series, there will be the opportunity to ring in the season with an evening of holiday favorites performed by the Wesleyan Singers and Wesleyan Chorale at the Christmas Concert.
8. High Point University
December 4 and 5 at 7:30 pm, High Point University will present their Holiday Choral Concert that will feature members from University Singers, Chapel Choir, Women’s Chorus, and Chamber Singers. Songs will range from popular holiday standards such as “Jingle Bells,” “White Christmas,” and “Baby It’s Cold Outside” to more traditional arrangements of songs like “Silent Night,” “Patapan,” and “Carol of the Bells.” Lessons and Carols will take place on Wednesday, December 9; this special candlelight service is the final Chapel service of the fall semester, bringing the community together to remember and retell the Christmas story. The service is based on the traditional Festival of Lessons and Carols from King’s College, Cambridge, England. In addition to these musical extravaganzas, the community may enjoy the Community Christmas Celebration on December 17th and 18th.
7. Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University will host “Freeze Fest: Winter Party” which brings ice skating, broom hockey, human curling, dodge ball, crafts, photos, and treats to one place. Students can get into a festive mood with this Polar Express themed party! There are several other ways to celebrate Christmas at Brigham Young, there is the “Celebration of Christmas,” “Christmas Around the World,” “Tuba Christmas,” and “FHE Christmas in Nauvoo” All of these delightful events are available during the first few weeks of December before students go home for the holidays.
6. Pacific Lutheran University
The Scandinavian Cultural Center at Pacific Lutheran University is teeming with fantastic events. From the Norwegian Christmas Service to the Swedish Sankta Lucia Fest to Nordic Christmas Fest, there are plenty of opportunities to ring in the season with Christmas cheer. The Sankta Lucia Fest is celebrated in the Swedish; the hour-long program features Swedish music, song, and dance, and a very special children’s performance. The annual Nordic Christmas Fest has been a much-anticipated event in the Scandinavian Cultural Center for over two decades. The Cultural Center is at its loveliest with candlelight and magical holiday decorations. The evening is filled with great conversation, fantastic food, and lively entertainment. The Norwegian Christmas Service is a candlelight service that has become a family tradition for many in the Tacoma-Seattle area. The event is conducted by students and faculty in the Norwegian Program.
5. University of Dayton
Christmas on Campus is an annual celebration held each December on the University of Dayton campus. It is a hallmark event symbolizing the Catholic and Marianist tradition of the University of Dayton. On Tuesday, December 8, the university will celebrate their 52nd Christmas on Campus. When Christmas on Campus began, it was a celebration for UD students and faculty. Then UD decided to involve the greater Dayton Community, thus local families were invited to come to the event and share in the Christmas celebration. It came to the attention of UD students that many children may not have the opportunity to fully celebrate the Christmas holiday. Rather than simply inviting children, they created a way to “buddy-up” a child. Nearly 1000 children from Dayton City Schools are “buddied-up” by UD students the night of Christmas on Campus. The university also hosts “At the Manger: World Nativity Traditions” from November 28, 2015, through January 24, 2016.
4. Villanova University
There are a variety of opportunities to celebrate the holidays at Villanova University. The annual Holiday Bazaar is a great place for holiday shopping. This will be held on December 2 and 3. On December 4, join the Villanova Jazz Band in Belle Air Terrace to kick-off a festive December. The Villanova Voices and Singers will present their annual Christmas Concert in St. Mary’s Chapel with selections performed by Haveners & Spires. The audience will enjoy sacred, popular, and well-known Christmas Carols in this musical celebration of the holidays on December 5th. The Villanova Band and the Villanova Pops Orchestra will present their concerts on December 6.
3. St. Norbert College
St. Norbert College is alive at Christmas time with holiday cheer. Christmas with the Knights is a becoming a great tradition at St. Norbert. The audience will enjoy some classic Christmas carols, some modern favorites, Broadway hits and even some Christmas disco! This highly talented, high-energy troupe of student singers delivers memorable performances in an intimate setting. It’s professional-quality, cabaret-style music theatre. Those who appreciate a more traditional musical experience will enjoy the Festival of Christmas Concert which includes choirs, bands, brass, flutes, piano, organ, and handbells, or the Brass and Organ Christmas Spectacular at St. Norbert Abbey Church. St. Norbert also puts on “Miracle on 34th Street,” a compelling story about the real Santa Claus.
2. Texas Tech University
Come and enjoy more than 25,000 colored lights that illuminate 18 buildings during Texas Tech University’s Carol of Lights. The 57th Annual Carol of Lights will be held on Tuesday, December 1, 2015. The Ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a Carillon Concert. At 7:00 p.m., the Masked Rider and Horse, Saddle Tramps Torch Light Processional and High Riders will begin at the University Seal at the Broadway Entrance and follow the luminaria-lighted route around Memorial Circle to the Science Quadrangle. The Tech Trombone Choir will accompany the Texas Tech University Combined Choirs. This is one of Texas Tech’s largest and oldest traditions and is attended by over 20,000 Tech students and residents. The lights will be turned on every night from dusk until midnight from December 2, 2015, through January 1, 2016.
1. Seton Hall University
There is no shortage of Christmas events at Seton Hall University. The season kicks off with a Tree Lighting Ceremony on Tuesday, December 1. Throughout the weeks following, there is carol-singing, Crèche blessing, a pancake breakfast with Santa, Jazz Band Christmas Performance, Winter Ball, Lessons and Carols, University Christmas Party, and Young Alumni Christmas Party. Festivities abound and students will ring in the Christmas cheer during the two weeks leading up to Christmas Break. Also noteworthy at Seton Hall is the “12 Acts of Kindness” initiative, now in its second year. This was originally inspired by nursing student Hillary Sadlon who spurred the SHU community to give unselfishly to others. Last year hundreds of simple and sincere acts of kindness lit up social media and motivated others to join the “12 Acts of Kindness” movement.