Tree-Lighting Marks Start Of Holidays
Published: Monday, December 9, 2013
Updated: Monday, December 9, 2013 05:12
The air was cold, the drinks were warm, and the music was festive in O’Neill Plaza on Wednesday night at the annual tree lighting. The Nativity season has commenced and the lighting was a celebration of the coming three weeks, as well as Boston College’s heritage. While the night featured all the traditional Christmas celebrations, including Santa, hot chocolate, and holiday tunes—it also was a chance for BC to try something new.
Up until this year, BC had always held the tree lighting outside of St. Mary’s Hall. This year, however, the ceremony was moved to the middle of O’Neill Plaza as the St. Mary’s construction blocked off the usual tree. While the tree was smaller than usual, the charm warmed the spectators no differently than in previous years. It was an event that both had attendees looking forward to the weeks to come as well as remembering the reasons for celebration.
The BC Bells rang in the evening with “Carol of the Bells” among other Christmas favorites. Their gloves gleamed white and their bells filled the air with a traditional Christmas feel. Following the Bells were the Madrigal Singers of BC who sang a capella versions of “Gloria in Excelsis Deo,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” and “Silent Night.” They rocked the stage until everyone’s favorite man dressed in red joined the party.
As the Madrigals wrapped up, police sirens filled the air. The emcee prompted the crowd’s excitement as four police cars pulled up in front of Gasson. To everyone’s delight, especially the younger members of the crowd, Santa Claus stepped out of one of the cars. Santa received a police escort onto BC’s campus.
Children immediately ran from the crowd, up the stairs and toward Gasson.After the commotion settled, the emcee took the microphone and addressed the crowd in a different way than Santa and the musical groups could. He spoke of the original reason why participants celebrate Christmas. “While this is a season for gift-giving,” the emcee said, “we can’t forget the original gift that we are celebrating.”
The lighting ceremony was a welcome introduction to the upcoming holiday season, ushering in a warm and merry atmosphere to the BC community. Couples embraced, children’s faces lit up at the sight of Santa, and the musicians used their craft to spread Christmas cheer.
As University President William P. Leahy, S.J., flipped the switch to the tree, BC’s holiday season commenced.