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Students enjoy Christmas Dinner

Marisa Iati | Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Notre Dame Food Services decked the dining halls Tuesday night for the annual Student Christmas Dinner, a tradition senior Susan Garabedian anticipates each year.

“I’ve been looking forward to this,” she said at Tuesday’s meal. “I told all my roommates that we had to go together.”

Staff did their part to make the meal special. Christmas music played, red and green Hershey’s Kisses adorned the tables and a Christmas tree and Santa Claus ice sculpture were displayed. The Handbell Choir performed carols at 6 p.m.

North Dining Hall’s Christmas Dinner featured red and green candles, garland and poinsettias.

Garabedian said she enjoyed the festivity of her meal at South Dining Hall.

“I enjoy sharing a Christmas meal with my best friends,” she said. “It’s my favorite dining hall day of the year.”

Garabedian and her roommates brought some holiday cheer of their own, donning Santa Claus hats.

“We thought about dressing up but decided to go festive instead,” said senior Adriana Taylor, Garabedian’s roommate.

John Ritschard, a University employee, said he has swiped students’ ID cards at South Dining Hall at four Christmas Dinners.

“It’s the best dinner of the year, especially the decorations and prime rib and all the trimmings,” he said. “They do all the good stuff, and everybody on campus looks forward to the evening because it’s really special.”

Christmas Dinners are much busier than other dinners in the dining halls, Ritschard said. He said the menu, featuring prime rib and swordfish, is the same every year.

“Like I say, it’s always good food for good people,” Ritschard said.

John Ritschard’s wife, Lila Ritschard, also swiped students’ ID cards at Christmas Dinner. She said the meal was “fabulous.”

“You just can’t beat it, especially for the price,” Lila Ritschard said. “It’s more elaborate [than other dinners],” she added. “It’s more in line with the candlelight dinners after football.”

Sophomore Lance Mulcahey said he attended last year’s Christmas Dinner as well.

“I think the food is spectacular, considering the standard of the dining hall food,” Mulcahey said. “Although [the food is usually] good, this kicks it up a notch.”

Sophomore Kim Halstead said she really enjoyed the meal.

“Overall, I really, heartily enjoy the decorations, especially the glistening Santa Clause [ice sculpture],” she said. “The atmosphere in general is warm and inviting, and I want to steal that Santa Claus and keep it in my fridge.”