By Marie Bueno
Big name retailers across the city have stocked their shelves with popular toys and red, green and gold holiday decorations, anticipating huge profits. Though, Texas A&M University-San Antonio has a different goal: sharing the newly decorated campus with the community.
A campus holiday lighting ceremony kicks off the season 6 p.m. Nov. 19 in the Central Academic Building courtyard. Students are invited to sing Christmas carols and enjoy hot cocoa as officials “flip the switch,” lighting up the campus at 6:15 p.m.
“Students, faculty and staff gathered in the courtyard, we flipped on the Christmas lights and carols were sung,” Marilu Reyna, associate vice president for university communications and special projects, said of last year’s event. “It was a beautiful night.”
While most people wait until after the Thanksgiving holiday to set up their Christmas trees and hang wreaths on their doors, Christmas decorations at A&M-San Antonio arrived Oct. 30.
On a muggy October afternoon, boxes filled with wreaths, garland and red bows sat on the pavement in front of the central academic while workers climbed ladders to dress lightposts.
“We decided to set out decorations a bit early,” Reyna said. “We want the students to enjoy the decorations.”
In previous years, decorations went up a few weeks before the university let out for Thanksgiving break, not giving students enough time to fully enjoy the decorations, Reyna said.
Holiday decorating this year was originally set for the first week of November. However, the company hired to set the decorations, Elite Lighting Designs, arrived a week earlier due to scheduling conflicts with other clients.
“Since the decor has gone up, my professors have been in a better mood,” kinesiology senior Justin Garcia joked. “Maybe next year the festivities should start even sooner.”