Yuletide fun at Winter Wonderland

Students on campus experienced the rarest of all snow storms during The Winter Wonderland celebration, offering holiday fun one month before Christmas on the quad yesterday. The event was sponsored by the Associated Students Organization and organized by Amber Winters, Director of Student Activities with assistance from Alexandra Brechensbauer, Director of Planning. They aimed to offer a day of stress-free fun before students had to head home for the Thanksgiving Holiday and begin planning for finals, just a short few weeks away.

The biggest draw during the event was the large inflatable snow globe photo booth. Students jumped around inside and posed for photos, all while being showered with fake snow.

Students stood in line for mint flavored hot cocoa and four different types of bakery fresh cookies, including decadent white chocolate macadamia nut and old fashion chocolate chip from Diddy Riese, the popular bakery in Westwood.

Other activities included professional face painting with themes from the holidays and a crafts table for wreath making.

The Music Appreciation Club performed a curated arrangement of songs and melodies. This included everything from a classical violin solo, a rendition of “Hello” by Adele - excellently executed by Sue Shin - and a few holiday classics including a performance of "Santa Baby."

In addition to all of this, there was also a collection of small dogs for the students to play with. Supplied by a local charity that brings therapy dogs into nursing homes and children’s hospitals, the canines lightened the spirits of those in attendance.

It was all quite the scene, though most of the students attending just happened upon it.

“I saw the snowglobe and then I saw the line and that usually means free food,” said Monica Caris, a second year student studying Early Childhood Development, as she worked on making a double-bowed Christmas wreath. “It’s nice that the school provides things like this for the students. I like crafting and I’m attracted to shiny objects. I’m only here two days a week so it was nice to experience this.”

Andrine Rygg, an exchange student from Norway, spending a single semester at SMC said that she discovered the event through Facebook.

“I think the students are caught off guard,” said Sandra Franko, an SMC Alum who who was dressed as Santa Claus. “They're like 'is this free? Is this for us?'”

It turns out that this was the first campus-wide holiday event to take place in thirty years. “There was another Winter Wonderland, which I found out about through reviewing The Corsair archives,” said Brechensbauer.

According to Winters, she began planning the event about eight weeks ago though things really got rolling in the last few weeks. Winters said, "Overall, the effort was worth it."

“Seeing a girl walk away with a little tree and her Christmas wreath...I asked her if she liked the event, if she really enjoyed herself and she said, yeah, I loved it," Winters said. "And that moment when I was speaking with her, it made me feel like I succeeded here.”