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Annual Christmas in Lights kick-starts holiday celebrations on campus

Students gathered on the Academic Lawn to watch the lighting of the campus Christmas tree at the annual Christmas in Lights. (Photos by Matt Reynolds)

Liberty University’s Student Activities Office brought back the annual Christmas in Lights on Monday to kick-start the holiday season and promote upcoming festivities on campus, its numbers reaching an all-time high.

Students and the Lynchburg community gathered on the Academic Lawn for live Christmas music, a tree-lighting ceremony, free refreshments like hot chocolate and cookies, and a live nativity scene. The School of Music Chamber Singers opened the evening by singing classic Christmas carols, including “Joy to the World,” “Frosty the Snowman,” and “Jingle Bells.”

President Dondi Costin and his wife, Vickey, stood on the Montview steps and reminded everyone that Christmas is all about family, but even more so, it’s all about faith. Costin told the student body that “the most important gift you’ve been given is Jesus Christ himself.” The couple then led the 10-second countdown before yelling out, “Merry Christmas,” and lighting up the tree in the center of the lawn.

With students on Thanksgiving Break next week and two weeks of classes left in the semester before final exams and Winter Break, the annual event allows students to celebrate the Christmas season together.

Cort Comfort, director of Student Activities, said crowd numbers increased by 25% from previous years.

School of Music Chamber Singers perform classic Christmas carols on the steps of the Montview Student Union.

“A Christmas tree is a symbol; it’s a symbol of a place to gather, to be welcoming, to be friendly, to be kind and merry, but most importantly, to celebrate Christmas,” Comfort said. “As Christians, we take this holiday very personally, and I think we all agree that it’s important to have events like this. The idea of having a giant tree on campus, lighting it all at once together, and welcoming the Christmas season, there’s just nothing more perfect.”

Junior Abbye Morgan enjoyed the event with her friends.

“It’s so much fun to get together with everyone and celebrate Christmas and the joy of the season. The Christmas tree is absolutely beautiful.”

The festivities will continue after Thanksgiving Break with the popular Christmas Coffeehouse in the Vines Center on Dec. 2, showcasing student talent. This year’s theme is “Snowed In.” Tickets are available for purchase on the Student Activities website. The School of Music will host two Christmas on the Boulevard concerts, a pops concert on Dec. 5 and a classic concert on Dec. 7. (For tickets, visit the School of Music event box office). Many students take part in Thomas Road Baptist Church’s Virginia Christmas Spectacular, an annual production featuring Christmas music, performers, and dancers.

President Dondi Costin and his wife, Vickey, celebrated the beginning of the holiday season with students.

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