Each year, Missouri Valley Collefge hosts an event called “The Hanging of the Greens.” The college holds the event right before all the students head home for their winter break.
“The Hanging of the Greens” began back in the 1970s by the Rev. Timothy Nelson, who at the time, was a Valley professor. This isn’t anything new though, because when people in Old English days would decorate their house for the season, they would hang up their evergreens and other decorations for Christmas.
This event isn’t just a Valley ceremony. It is held at many different churches, schools, colleges, and universities all over the nation to bring in the new holiday season.
The day of the ceremony, the campus was lit up with white candle luminaries, which were placed along the sidewalks in the quad. After eating a delicious holiday dinner in the R. Wilson Brown Room, people gathered in front of Ferguson Center to start the first carol.
With each carol sung, the sound of the voices tended to raise and the students danced a little where they were standing. It brings out many of the holiday joys from the students. Sophomore Drew Easterley said, “I enjoy this ceremony because not only does this mean that winter break is coming, but it means that I get to go home and see all my friends that I have not seen since I have came back to school from summer.”
With each building where the group went to hang the greens, the Rev. Pam Sebastian read a scripture that symbolized Christ. For many students, they liked hearing the different sculptures that she read. Junior Katie Franiuk said, “The scripture readings from the Bible were my favorite part, because it reminded of going to church with my family when I am back at home.”
The group sang many different carols that night, such as, “Deck the Halls,” “12 days of Christmas,” “Rudolf the Red-Nose Reindeer,” and. of course, the one and only “Jingle Bells.”
Senior Leah Bartlett said, “I have been in attendance since my freshman year here and singing the carols is my absolute favorite part of the night. I love Christmas music. I also love the fact when you walk into Wal-Mart that is all you hear playing over the sound system. This time of year brings everyone together and makes you realize what is more important: your family and friends.”
For those in the holiday spirit, “The Hanging of the Greens” is a big hit at Valley.