~n_Tree, Amanda

It was a jolly good time in the Student Commons when Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus came to Algonquin to help celebrate the Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Dec 1.

The foyer of the Student Commons was filled with cheer as students, faculty and ceremony-goers were treated to cookies, hot chocolate and eggnog as they watched and waited for the 14- foot Christmas tree to be lit up-and an opportunity to get a photo with the one and only Father Christmas.

Students’ Association president Sara Grainger attended alongside Shelley Styles, director of Student Support Services and spoke at the ceremony. Styles shared with the audience why the ceremony is important and reminded students to get in the holiday spirit before lighting the Christmas tree.

“It was really nice and very dramatic,” said Elizabeth Neilson, a second-year bachelor of commerce student and volunteer at the event. “I love when they pressed the big button and the tree lit up. And with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus here it was like something out of a movie.”

The ceremony is put on as a way to allow students to relax, have some fun and give their minds a break from upcoming assignments and exams.

“It brings the whole college together,” said Neilson. “Especially around exam time it’s nice to break away from studying for a while, see the beautiful Christmas tree, and get the sense of community that we have at Algonquin.”

Even the adults who attended the event felt the joy and got into the Christmas spirit along with the students.

“It gets the holiday season going,” said Baldeep Randhawa, event programmer for the SA. “It’s also nice because it helps give something back to the students, with the free food, it gives them a break from finals and exams. It’s just so much fun to do and helps get us into the spirit.”

This was the fourth year that the SA and Student Support Services held the Christmas tree lighting ceremony and with a positive turn out it definitely will not be the last.

“We had higher numbers than ever before,” said Randhawa. “The Christmas tree ceremony is definitely something we’ll always do. It’s just such a positive event for the school.”