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Tree lighting event kicks off Christmas season early at Liberty

November 19, 2013 : By Melissa Skinner/Liberty University News Service

Liberty Univeristy's Arthur S. DeMoss Learning Center decorated for Christmas.

Liberty University began its Christmas festivities early this year with the fourth annual Christmas in Lights celebration hosted by Student Activities on Monday, Nov. 18.

President Jerry Falwell, Jr. and his wife, Becki, greeted the crowd in front of Arthur S. DeMoss Learning Center.

“We decided to host the tree lighting early this year because Thanksgiving break falls later than usual, and we wanted students to be able to enjoy the appearance of campus before they go home for Christmas break,” he said.

This year, 6-year-old Emma Eagle lit the tree. The Falwells met her earlier in the evening and learned she was born on the same day that Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr. passed away.

“We thought it would be unique to have Emma light the tree in memory of my father’s legacy, ” he said.

After the tree was lit, students enjoyed sugar cookies, hot chocolate, and hot apple cider. They also sang Christmas carols, led by the School of Music Concert Choir, and had the opportunity to take pictures with the Falwells.

“Liberty helps me prepare for the season very well by offering numerous activities,” said senior Daniel Ellis. “At Liberty, we learn that Christmas is not just about presents, it is about Christ.”

Sophomore Cole Forrest, a transfer student, will be experiencing his first Christmas at Liberty.

“I am really excited about my first Christmas at Liberty, and I am looking forward to seeing all the lights lit up for Christmas. This tree will help people get in the mood for Christmas, and I am also looking forward to attending other holiday events,” he said.

The university will continue celebrating the Christmas season when students return from Thanksgiving break. Student Activities will be hosting its annual Coffeehouse on Friday, Dec. 6, at 11:30 p.m. in the Vines Center. The School of Music will host two separate concerts in the Towns-Alumni Lecture Hall. The Christmas on the Boulevard Concert will take place Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. and the Concert Choir will perform “Lessons and Carols” on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m.