Nina Sharma and Saksham Anamd enjoy the holiday festivities at the Christmas tree lighting celebration.

The Student Commons was packed with students, children, staff and even Mr. Claus himself — all enjoying the festivities of the Christmas tree lighting celebration held on Dec. 4.

The event started at 4 and went until 6:30 p.m. and was free for everyone. Students were able to take pictures with Santa and there was a whole table of refreshments. The snacks included eggnog, hot chocolate, cookies, and latkes.

This was brand management students Nina Sharma and Saksham Anamd’s first time at a holiday event like this.

“I think it’s really festive. Christmas where we come from is celebrated in a non-traditional way. It’s nice to see something different,” said Sharma

Anamd, who had already found his way to the refreshments, and was sipping a hot chocolate as he spoke, talked about how Christmas is portrayed in media abroad and why he was excited to be at the event.

“I’ve always seen people in the movies sitting on Santa’s lap and I might get to try it myself for the first time so I’m excited. Also, it’s a great way of bringing people together,” said Anamd.

Anamd also had only good things to say about the snacks provided.

“I don’t know what kind of cookies these are, but they are delicious.”

According to event officer for the AC Hub Melissa Marchand, this is the seventh year the celebration has been held.

“The AC Hub is partnering with the SA to do this event. It’s a long tradition; this year is the seventh year we’ve held it. One of the student support services directors, Shelly Styles, back in the day wanted to start the celebration and it’s just been ongoing since then,” said Marchand.

Although the event is open to everyone on campus, it was geared more towards people with children. The event had a dedicated spot for child-friendly activities called the kid corner.

“In the kid’s corner, well do cookie decorating, letters to Santa and some little crafts as well,” Marchand said. “It’s a little bit unpredictable when you do an open event to the public, we’re expecting some students and lots of employees and their children to come by, usually it’s pretty packed.”