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Dorms celebrate Christmas traditions

| Thursday, December 6, 2018

Across Notre Dame’s campus, there’s an unmistakable feeling that Christmas is in the air. Many dorms are celebrating the holiday season with their own unique traditions.

Last week, many Carroll Hall residents could be seen sporting elf costumes, advertising Carroll’s highly-anticipated Carroll Christmas, which was held Saturday, Dec. 1. Junior Garrett Rethman, who is serving as Carroll’s president this year, said he looks forward to bringing students together every year during the event.

“It’s a good event to get people to come to Carroll,” Rethman said.

Observer File Photo

O’Neill Hall’s Christmas “O” wreath brightens the days of students during the Christmas season.

Carroll’s Christmas tradition, which is a signature event for the dorm, first began with a tree lighting but has since expanded to include indoor activities. The event now offers visitors cookies, Santa’s Workshop, karaoke and a horse and carriage.

“When I found out I was in Carroll, one of the things I read about was [that] Carroll Christmas is the big tradition,” Rethman said. “It’s like the last big, fun event before finals start. We put a lot of work into it leading up to the event, and then it’s really rewarding to have lots of people come from across campus to enjoy the work we put on for them.”

The women of Cavanaugh Hall share many Christmas traditions, including a tree lighting and a section-decorating competition, but their biggest event is Cavanaugh’s annual Christmas pageant. Junior Emma Brady, Cavanaugh’s president, says that faculty families and South Bend residents come to watch Cavanaugh’s largely improvised and entertaining performance of the Nativity.

Cavanaugh junior Emily Black says that the pageant is a great opportunity to connect with the South Bend community.

“There are a lot of families that will come every year … so you get to see kids grow up,” Black said. “They come back the next year and they’re like a foot taller than they were the year before.”

At O’Neill Hall, the trademark O’Neill “O” wreath glows from the dorm’s third floor. Junior John Desler, O’Neill’s president, believes the wreath is a fun way to celebrate the holidays.

“I love coming back from fall break and seeing all the Christmas decorations up everywhere,” Desler said.

This year, the unveiling of the O’Neill “O” was a pleasant surprise for many O’Neill residents.

“One day we woke up and our B-side stairway was closed and we were like, ‘Oh, what’s going on?’” Desler said.

Once he realized that the stairs had been closed for the wreath-hanging, Desler said he “was really happy with having to walk an extra minute to go around.”

In the weeks before finals, the “O” wreath provides students with a much-needed boost of holiday cheer, Desler said.

“It’s a good reminder of the Christmas spirit,” Desler said.

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