MU tree lighting graphic
Graphic by Madison Cunningham

Annual Tree Lighting Brightens Manchester Campus

Madison Cunningham

Holiday cheer came knocking on the doors of the Funderburg Library Wednesday, Nov. 30, offering many students a break between their study sessions to enjoy the university’s annual Tree Lighting.

The Manchester Junior High School Choir students made an appearance to carol at the tree lighting. They brought familiar melodies such as “Santa Claus is coming to town,” “The First Noel,” and “Frosty the Snow Man” filled the air, along with a fun twist on the Christmas classic “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.”

Among the crowd came many students, faculty and staff of MU, as well as the members of the Manchester community. Among the crowd were children Blake and Rylye Jarrett, who had fun singing and dancing along to the Christmas carols. Their favorite song of the evening was “Jingle Bells.”

As the holiday tunes came to an end, all heads turned away from the choir and pointed toward the Christmas tree. Each bulb, strung with care, was lit, leaving a beautiful view on the mall. Its lights filled the mall with color and holiday cheer.

Shortly after the tree was lit, Santa made his debut. The tree lights were not nearly as bright as the smiles on everyone’s face as Santa made his way down the Mall and into the Funderburg Library to take pictures with the kids.

Many children of Manchester got to see Santa, including Nathan and Natalie Reed, who also got to give their lists to Santa. When asked what they wanted for Christmas, Nathan said “Super Smash Bros” with a smile, “and Beyblades.” His sister, Natalie, is asking for LOL dolls and an Amazon Alexa.

But Santa wasn’t the only one who came to see the crowd. Manny also made a surprise appearance to strike a pose and flex his Christmas spirit.

As Manny walked into the library, the children made their way to take pictures with Manchester’s mascot. Manny, however, had an agenda of his own. He wasted no time making his way to Santa’s side, even going as far as skipping ahead of the line, just to seize his opportunity to tell Santa everything on his Christmas list.

Between the doors of the library, Manchester provided families with festive cookies, hot cocoa, and warm apple cider to help defrost from the cold weather.

Overall, this tree lighting was the perfect way to spark the Christmas season. With Christmas around the corner, it is the time of year when many people find themselves cherishing time with their family and loved ones.