Sweet Briar turns festive

Students gather for Sweet Briar's annual Christmas Tree Lighting.
Students gather for Sweet Briar’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting.

Students are back on campus today for the final weeks of the semester, and just like every year, holiday preparations are already in full swing.

The Sweet Briar community will kick off events at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, with the annual Christmas Tree Lighting and caroling in the quad near Memorial Chapel.

The festive tradition is one of the few times students are allowed to ride horses on the quad. Before leaving the stables, riders dress the horses for the season, accessorizing their tack with ribbons, lights and — in some cases — deer antlers.

The Student Government Association and the Riding Council sponsor the Tree Lighting. All members of the community are welcome to attend the event.

The Holiday Pops Concert followed by the annual Vespers service wrap things up beginning at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13, in Memorial Chapel. The evening will conclude with a Holiday Chocolate Party at 8 p.m. at Sweet Briar House.

Vespers follows a traditional order of Nine Lessons and Carols. As in many places, it is a longstanding and cherished holiday custom at Sweet Briar and in the Amherst community.

The Holiday Pops Concert is meant to be a festive community sing-a-long featuring tunes such as “Jingle Bells” and “Winter Wonderland,” along with many other holiday favorites.