Christmas On The Quad

Known for its fun and festivities, Christmas on the Quad is an annual celebration that marks the beginning of the holidays. This free event is hosted by SLU Alumni Relations every year, and invites not only students but families and children as well. To ensure the safety of all attendees, SLU required that everyone who intends to show up to be registered at least two days in advance. It was also required that masks be worn by all of those who choose to stay indoors or when entering the tents, although the event itself was hosted outdoors. The tents were used for facepaint and craft stations. Some even had private events that included a live performance and dinner for those invited. “It felt nice to see the sense of community regardless of whether or not these people celebrate Christmas. Seeing that people of all ages showed up also made it feel more inclusive,” said Rumi Matin who attended the event on the evening of December 4th.

Children had the choice between two inflatables, a bouncy castle and a slide. They were also provided with face painting stations and a craft station. These options were also open for students or anyone who chose to partake in them although most of them were kids. The event also featured food trucks including Cheese Shack and Tom’s New York Foodtruck. Both food trucks offered mainly fried comfort food such as sandwiches, hot dogs and a variety of pastas. The Food Trucks pulled this event together in that they were convenient spots for a quick snack or a festive drink.

To make for the festive vibes, there was Christmas music playing along with the hanging lights. In front of the Christmas tree was the nativity scene that had also been featured across the street from the Busch Student Center as lights. The real show of the Christmas on the Quad event, however, was lighting the Christmas Tree. After a speech given by Fred Pestello, Ph.D, the president of Saint Louis University, highlighting the importance of unity and love during this time of year, a prayer was held by Fr. David Suwalsky, S.J. Finally, there was a countdown with SLU’s Billiken that ended with a lit Christmas tree that can be seen from Pius XII Memorial Library.

Most importantly, this event encouraged support towards the Blue Santa Toy drive which spreads joy amongst unprivileged children during the holidays by gifting them toys donated by the SLU community. The Blue Santa Toy drive first came to being when Blue Santa paid a visit to SLU in 2006 to collect donations. He then realized how giving the SLU community is and how much they can help those in need during such an important time of the year. Ever since then, the Blue Santa Toy drive has been included in the annual Christmas on the Quad event. Attendees were encouraged to donate when registering for this event. This toy drive stresses the importance of giving and remembering that not everyone is capable of affording even the simplest gifts. Saint Louis is a highly diverse area even when it comes to social status. Therefore, it is more than necessary to recognize the privilege we have to feel comfortable to celebrate this time while others struggle to give to their loved ones.