Hello, hello! Thanksgiving is over (though leftovers still remain), so it’s officially time to get into the holiday spirit. In fact, just this past Monday, my minion (he knows who he is) posted on Facebook that people were talking to him and smiling at his job (apparently this is unusual behavior). Our exchange went something like this:
Me: “It’s called the holiday spirit. You’re in for about a month of it.”
Him: “Ack! Does it wash off???”
Me: “No. And it’s highly contagious.“
Later that evening, he and his family were supposed to join Dad and I for SMU’s Celebration of Lights. The minion ended up having to work, so we kidnapped his kids and girlfriend and took them anyway. ^__^
The Celebration of Lights was one of very few events I actually enjoyed attending as a student (and still enjoy as an alumna). It takes place on the front steps of Dallas Hall. People gather in the quad and sing along to Christmas carols. President Turner reads the Christmas story (which I still think Linus does better). And they light up the tree for the first time. It’s just a really nice way to start off the season. The free cocoa and cookies are a bonus.
The performances all change a little each year. Students and student groups volunteer to sing different carols, so things rotate as people graduate and new people enroll. Some are better than others, but SMU has a decent music program, so everyone is (usually) pretty good.
However, I suppose my favorite part of the celebration is the fact that something always goes wrong. Little things. One year, the microphones kept cutting off. This year, they were supposed to the flip the lights on after the first verse of Silent Night (like usual), but apparently the switch flipper wasn’t paying attention or they had technical difficulties, because the lights didn’t come on until the song was almost over. Not to mention the fact that they always run just a couple of minutes late (it wouldn’t be SMU if things started on time).
Don’t get me wrong, all of that was entirely serious. I go to this thing knowing that there will be something worth laughing about each year. That’s why I enjoy it. That sounds kind of mean now that I think about it, but it’s true. The hiccups make it exciting, even though I’m sure all of the people who are “back stage,” so to speak, are freaking out about this stuff.
All in all, it’s a nice way to open the holiday season. Plus, the kids seem to have a good time. It’s open to the community, so if you’re in the Dallas area next year, consider checking it out (or drive by some time between now and January 3rd while you’re out oohing and ahhing at all the lights to get a look).
I hope the holiday cheer finds you soon, if it hasn’t already! See you next week.