‘Tis the Season
My most favorite time of the year stretches from around Halloween until New Years’ Day. This is really for two reasons. First, there is so much going on, both in the community and at LMU in particular, that there are plenty of ways to get out with friends and enjoy myself. Second, there is also a lot of opportunities this time of year to give back and participate in community service, which is a really big part of my life. Being in a sorority, I get to experience plenty of both!
During Halloween, there were plenty of things to see and experience. The Kappas love to decorate for the holidays, and this year has been no different. About two weeks before Halloween, I came back and Munson House had been transformed! With paper mice lining the staircase, spider web thrown all around the walls, and the front porch decorated to the nines, I finally began to feel the Halloween spirit. That weekend, I traveled to Knoxville and went through my first-ever corn maze. I went with my boyfriend and about eight of his guy friends, and it was quite the experience. After about two and a half hours, and splitting into three different groups, we finally all made it out! All I could do at that point was laugh and thank my blessings that I had convinced Jared not to take me to a haunted corn maze. Somehow, I couldn’t see myself going through two hours of terror and frustration.
Next on my agenda for Halloween was to volunteer at the Gamma Haunted Forest. Since the Gammas are the Kappas’ brothers, and they always help us out with our big fundraisers, we try to make it a point to help out as much as we can with the Haunted Forest. Being able to help our brothers out is a great way for us to build our brother-sister relationships, and also help out in the community, because a portion of the proceeds goes to Clairfield Elementary School in northern Claiborne County. While we were helping out at the forest for the week leading up to Halloween, the Kappas were also preparing for our first-ever Halloween Carnival!
Every year for Thanksgiving, the Kappas make sure to put together a Thanksgiving dinner basket to feed a family in the area that is having trouble. This year, we really wanted to be able to feed more than one family, and so the first ever Kappa Halloween Carnival was born! In order to play the games we had set up (such as Boo Bowling, Fear Factor, a Cake Walk, Blood Darts, and many others), that participants could either donate canned goods or pay money for tickets. We planned on having the carnival in the field beside the museum at the front of campus, in hopes that the exposure from the road would bring in people who had not seen our fliers. After much preparation, Halloween day came, and the weather threw us a curve ball. It rained throughout the day, so our Carnival was officially moved to Tex Turner Arena, along with all of the other Halloween festivities that were going on around campus, like Trunk or Treat and Halloween Havoc. Looking back, I think that moving to Tex Turner was actually a great thing for the Carnival, because there were hundreds of people that came to Tex Turner to enjoy all of the festivities. All and all, the carnival went off wonderfully, and the Kappas are going to be able to feed ten families this year!
Now that Halloween is over, it is time to focus on Thanksgiving and Christmas. In addition to feeding families in the area Thanksgiving dinner, the Kappas and the Gammas also get together to eat our own Thanksgiving dinner before school lets out for break. Getting everyone together, and eating a home-cooked meal helps put into perspective how blessed I am to have so much friendship and support at LMU.
Now, some people feel that Christmas should not be thought about before Thanksgiving has passed, but the majority of the Kappas are not those people. We unashamedly decorated the house for Christmas just this week, with the idea that we really only get to spend a week or two after Thanksgiving on campus, and we should enjoy the cheer now. During Christmas, I am honestly one of those people who love to give presents more than getting presents. Last year, I knit my entire family, and quite a few of my Kappa sisters, hats and scarves. This year, due to time constraints, I have learned how to can food, and I plan on giving everyone homemade strawberry jam, apple butter, or pumpkin butter.
Besides having our own events such as Secret Santa, the Kappas also sponsor an Angel Tree child every Christmas, in hopes that we can make someone’s Christmas a little better. I personally know that many families are going through hard times this year, and I was just telling my dad that Christmas is not about how many presents you get, but about being with family. That’s what I love about the holidays at LMU. Even when I am away from home, I get to spend these couple of months with my LMU family, sharing in laughs, food, and giving to others.
Feel free to comment, like, or share! If you would like to help with any of these community service projects, or have ideas for more the Kappas can do in the future, feel free to let me know!