CBU combines traditions to celebrate the Christmas season
Riverside, Calif. (Dec. 4, 2018) – The traditional tree lighting ceremony at California Baptist University featured some familiar themes this year: cold weather, hot cocoa and treats, in addition to the reading of the Christmas story and the lighting of the Christmas tree. New this year was the combination of another CBU tradition—Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child, where the CBU community came together to assemble more than 1,400 gift shoeboxes.
The event held on Dec. 3 was organized by Associated Students of CBU, Spiritual Life and Community Life and was attended by an estimated 2,000 individuals.
As attendees arrived for the evening, they were given candles. After CBU President Dr. Ronald L. Ellis read the Christmas story from the gospel of Luke, the event-goers lit their candles and counted down to the lighting of the tree.
“I really enjoyed seeing the Christmas spirit come out of everyone when the tree was lit,” said Isaac Pitman, a mathematics senior.
Shiloh Fox, an art therapy student, said she has lived overseas and witnessed children living in poverty firsthand. Fox said she was happy to see so many students willing to give back.
“It is a great way for students to bring light to children all over the world,” Fox said.
Abigail Kula, a nursing sophomore who participated in preparing items for Operation Christmas Child the day before, said the event was a collaborative effort.
“One of my favorite parts of the process is how everyone comes together,” Kula said. “It was a lot of fun because it allowed everyone to serve others.”