Bright lights and hope
Seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child is the greatest of Christmas gifts. The annual Celebration of Light and Hope gives Merrimack College students, faculty and staff an opportunity to embrace that gift in an evening of fun.
“The Celebration of Light and Hope is an opportunity for faculty and staff to bring their children and grandchildren to join our students in a celebration of the Spirit of Christmas,” said Fr. Ray Dlugos, O.S.A., “as we light the campus with the bright lights of hope that this season is about.”
While enjoying the holiday sounds of the Concert Choir, students, employees and their families voted on their favorite “class Christmas tree” — four trees, each decorated by groups of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. Meanwhile, with bright eyes and wonder, little children awaited the magic moment when the combined “power of the children,” with the help of President Christopher E. Hopey, would light the Christmas tree just outside the Rogers Center for the Arts. Miraculously, the rest of the campus was lit as well.
After the tree lighting, the crowd made its way across the road to the Merrimack Athletics Complex where food, gingerbread cookie decorating, entertainment by the Jazz Ensemble, and an opportunity for photos with Santa greeted them. While some remained in the lobby visiting with co-workers, many headed for the ice for an evening of skating with the men’s and women’s hockey teams. From the littlest of fans to fellow students, all took to the ice under the caring eye of the players. Team photos were taken, line dances were happening, and on the faces of expert skaters to young beginners, smiles were everywhere to be seen.
Dana Rowland, associate professor of mathematics, enjoys this celebration with her children every year: “I love my family having a chance to hang out with my colleagues, enjoy good food and music, and also have a chance to skate with the hockey teams.”
Caroline, 5, said the best thing about Light and Hope is “skating and cookies.”
It’s also an opportunity to see Christmas through the tummy of a child.