Merry and Bright: OU Community Celebrates the Season at Holiday Lights
OU community members gathered Tuesday evening for the annual Holiday Lights celebration, taking a moment to share the joy of this special time of year and to reflect on the meaning of the season.
This yearly festivity at David A. Burr Park features a number of traditions, including the lighting of the holiday tree and menorah; seasonal music led by the Singing Sooners and the OU Wind Symphony Brass; complimentary hot chocolate, hot apple cider, cookies and s’mores; and of course, Santa Claus.
Several new additions were incorporated into Holiday Lights this year – the lighting of the crescent moon, recognizing Muslim holiday traditions; letter-writing to Santa, who greeted guests from inside his “snow globe;” and a surprise “snow” storm.
During the event, remarks about the season were offered by OU President Joseph Harroz Jr.; OU Student Government Association President Justin Norris; Muslim Student Association President Saba Sandhu; Allen Hertzke, founding director of OU’s Religious Studies Program; and Alan Levenson, Schusterman/Josey Chair in Judaic History.
In his remarks, President Harroz encouraged the OU community to reflect on what it means to celebrate this season, particularly during these challenging times.
“One of my favorite sayings about the true meaning of life is ‘to love, and if you can, make a difference.’ At least in my lifetime, there’s never been a time when love is more needed,” Harroz said. “This is a moment in time where we should not just celebrate together, but reflect on the decision we have to either make our differences divide us or to bring us together. This is a place, if anywhere, where we can decide to turn the lights on – the lights in our hearts and our souls – and know that we are the ones that can make a difference.”
By Melissa Caperton; Photography by Travis Caperton
Article Published: Wednesday, November 18, 2020