No roasted chesnuts, but lots of cheer

Ruth Brown

Ruth Brown

The Christmas season is here, bringing with it some holiday events. Students and Brookings residents will have the opportunity to participate in many different activities.

For those students who are feeling generous, Melissa Geddings, member of AmeriCorps VISTA with the Office of Diversity Enhancement, is helping organize Project Joy. Project Joy is a charity program that helps some of the underprivileged children in Brookings have a better Christmas.

“Thanks to the Project Joy Committee, this year we have a little over 450 kids who will be receiving toys through Project Joy,” said Geddings.

Project Joy has small Christmas trees in every residence hall, the Student Union and in the Agricultural Heritage Museum. Each tree has paper ornaments in the shape of a bear, with the age of the child and what they want for Christmas. The project started on Nov. 13 and will last until Dec. 5, but as long as the toys are dropped off by Dec. 7, it should be alright, said Geddings.

“Parents of the children will be able to come and pick out which of the donated toys they want for their child from Dec. 11 through Dec. 13,” said Geddings. “That way the kids don’t just get a random toy.”

Project Joy is not just available on campus; it is a city-wide project. Those individuals who are not on campus may purchase gifts for children ages 0-18. The gifts may be dropped off, unwrapped, at Sports Connection, Flowers on Main, Fergens’ Clothing and Shoes, Gift Gallery, Sioux River Bicycles and Fitness, Rude’s Home Furnishings, Cover to Cover, Trendz, Cottonwood Coffee Shop or Town and Country Shopper, said Doris Roden, Program Manager for Downtown Brookings, Inc.

Downtown Brookings is also hosting an event called Holiday Indulgence. It is meant for women who want to enjoy a relaxing massage, sample some tasty foods and do a little holiday shopping, said Roden. It will be held on Dec. 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Brookings Activity Center.

For those Brookings residents and students who believe in Santa Claus, he is here to visit. Santa’s house is available until Dec. 8 from noon to 2:00 p.m. Santa also has a mailbox that is meant for those who wish to send a Christmas wish letter. While waiting to see Santa, people are welcome to enjoy a real horse-drawn trolley ride, said Roden.

The classic R&B group The Temptations will be coming to the Brookings Swiftel Center on Dec. 10. The group has been a part of American music for more than 40 years, selling more than 22 million albums with three Grammy Awards. Some of The Temptations’ most popular songs are “My Girl” and “The Way You Do the Things You Do.” The concert will be a combination of Christmas carols and some of the group’s greatest hits, said Molly Eich of the Brookings Swiftel Center.

The Brookings Arts Council is hosting the 21st Annual Festival of Trees until Dec. 9. There are 23 trees this year, each decorated by different groups and individuals. Groups such as the SDSU Veteran’s Club and the American Cancer Society will have trees decorated for the festival. Along with the Festival of Trees is a silent auction. All the money raised by the silent auction will go to helping the Brookings Arts Council.

“I think everyone should come out and enjoy the real beauty of Christmas,” said Vicki Schuster, Brookings Arts Council executive director.

#1.883039:1723745601.jpg:christmas.jd.web.jpg:Christmas decorations above Main Avenue glistened on the freshly fallen snow.:John Dahmen