Story by Valentina Garcia, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of Josh Weiland
The holidays are always a magical time, and Christmastime at AQ is no different. There are many opportunities granted to help one come into the holiday spirit, whether that be by raising your Christmas cheer level or preparing yourself spiritually. We have reached the time of decorating trees, staying in next to the fireplace, telling stories while drinking hot cocoa, and riding horse drawn carriages while singing carols. These are all Christmas activities you may have participated in recently on campus.
AQuismas is an AQ tradition, and this was the fourth year of it happening. It really feels like a family moment; some of your favorite professors and people on campus come in and read Christmas stories. This year, the storytellers were: Fr. Stan Drongowski, Director of Alumni Relations, Brigid Avery; Professor of Communication Dr. Ian Borton; Dean of Students Dr. Andie Wirgau; Professor of Political Science, Dr. Molly Patterson; Vice President of Student Affairs, Brian Matzke; and Student Support Services Adviser Sara Haviland. The event closed with student reader, junior Emily Higham. The stories they told ranged from different versions of T’was The Night Before Christmas to If You Take a Mouse to The Movies. I enjoyed The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish, which is about a fish realizing that the best presents he can give to his friends come from the heart. This story was read by Higham, and the book was recommended to her by Wirgau, who reads it every Christmas to her three-year-old son. Regina lounge was decorated for the occasion: there was a storytelling chair brought in that made the lounge look like the cover of a Christmas book or like a place where St. Nick might appear any minute and commence telling a Christmas story. AQuismas was an event put on by Residence Life.
Another popular event put on by Residence Life was the Winter Dance which was held on December 4 in the Donnelly Center. Horse-drawn carriages were brought which captured the interest of many. First-year student Andrea Hennes remarked on how special it was to ride the carriage under the starlit sky. Gabrielle Zeinstra, another first-year, said, “The horse-drawn carriage was my favorite part, but the dancing was nice, too.”
The DJ played great music that everyone enjoyed dancing to, and was taking recommendations also. This helped the dance be successful.
As a Catholic college in the Dominican tradition, naturally Campus Ministry would also do things to help students prepare spiritually for Christmas. Some of these things are Advent related, like the Advent on-campus retreat. The retreat helped students have some quiet prayer time to prepare for the coming of Christmas. It is a retreat “designed with the busy student in mind,” so it does not take much of one’s time to participate in. In addition to this, on December 16 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Campus Ministry will sponsor Sing for Joy! in Bukowski Chapel. Students, faculty, and staff can come together and sing Christmas carols.
Christmas is a time we all prepare for, whether that be by setting aside family time or time with friends or time to grow spiritually. It is a time for comradeship; you could have participated in this by sitting in the Regina Lounge in your pjs and a blanket, waiting for the storytelling to commence, or by getting all dressed up to dance with friends. Or maybe you’ll participate in it next week, by singing carols in Bukowski Chapel. Take some time to enjoy these opportunities if you can. You won’t regret it!
About the Writer…
Valentina Garcia is a first year student who loves sunny days, Jane Austen, and preferred tea to coffee until she started college.