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Berean’s First Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

Berean’s First Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

Traditions. More than any other time of year traditions dominate the Christmas season. Baking, decorating, exchanging gifts – traditions are part of how we celebrate the holy days.

A new tradition was born at Berean Christian High School this year on November 30. Keith Alexander, BCHS’s Facilities Manager is frequently involved in making things happen at BCHS. This year, in partnership with Andrea Andrucko, he helped get the first annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony off the ground at BCHS.

Public tree lightings bring communities together. People from all over the world travel to New York to witness the lighting of the tree at Rockefeller Center. One of the first public tree lightings in America was at the White House in 1923. It was a publicity event promoting the benefits and safety of electricity. Since then cities and churches around the country have used tree lighting events to bring people together and kick off the holiday season.

This year Berean students, parents, teachers, and alumni gathered together around a tree to enjoy hot chocolate, treats, and Christmas carols before launching spirit week festivities in the first week of December.

Ceremonies and traditions bind us together in unique ways that trigger memory and emotion. Life has a way of moving too fast around us. New burdens get onto our plates. Inflation is worryingly high, global politics gives us no reason to hope for greater peace in the days ahead, and sometimes out of nowhere our circumstances change through an unexpected health diagnosis or job loss. Hardship is nothing new. The stories in the bible show us as much. But traditions are a source of comfort, familiarity, and security. There’s something about eating a frosting-smothered sugar cookie or a slightly overdone gingerbread man that demonstrates how much God loves us and wants us to be happy.

When traditions are shared with others, they glue people together as a family. Gathering around a tree and counting down to flip the switch and see it light up is a reminder that God gave us community. He gave us to one another.

Mr. Alexander loves Christmas. He says he would happily light the whole school up with lights if he could. For a long time he has wanted an official tree at the school, and this year he and Ms. Andrucko were determined to make it happen.

This year’s ceremony included a short devotion from Mr. Harris about four sacred trees that changed the world. The only downside of this new school tradition is that eventually the tree has to be taken down. But that just means we get to begin anticipating next year when our community gathers around holding mugs of hot chocolate, eating home-baked cookies, and counting down to the moment when our tree is lit again for the Christmas season in 2023.

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