Tree-lighting event celebrates start of Christmas season at CBU
Riverside, Calif. (Nov. 30, 2017) – Students, staff and faculty at California Baptist University welcomed the holiday season with the annual Christmas Tree Lighting on the Front Lawn on Nov. 29.
“This event is a long-standing tradition at CBU that kicks off the Christmas season,” said Kristin Holderman, director of campus activities for Community Life. “We hope this event benefits students by fostering community between students, staff and faculty, and developing a sense of school spirit and recognition of campus traditions.”
The event was organized by Community Life and the Associated Students of CBU. Approximately 2,500 attended the event. Event-goers warmed up to the brisk night with hot cider or cocoa while CBU President Dr. Ronald L. Ellis read from Luke 2, which records the birth of Jesus. After the reading of the first Christmas account, individuals lit candles and counted down to the Christmas tree lighting.
“My favorite part was watching as everyone lit candles,” said Jordan Fuller, a history and philosophy sophomore. “I love how others extended their candles to help others light theirs. It brings the whole school together.”
After the tree lighting, attendees shared a variety of activities with their friends, such as taking photos in a photo booth or with Santa, sledding on a artificially made snow hill, make s’mores, decorating ornaments or writing Christmas cards for members of the armed services. As an extra treat, the worship band, For All Seasons, performed Christmas songs in addition to some original tunes.
“I’ve been coming to this event for years,” said Rachael Owens, a junior and public relations major. “CBU does a great job celebrating Christmas. The environment combines community and friendship.”
For Ryan Christensen, an exercise science freshman, the event helped bring the Christmas sentiment to life.
“I loved the countdown to light the Christmas tree,” Christensen said. “It almost felt like a Hallmark movie.”