From tubing to light shows, campus and community celebrate the holidays

There are many holiday activities offered in the metro area to suit the young and the young at heart.

Provided here is a partial list of activities offered in Oklahoma City and surrounding areas. For a complete list and schedule visit the website

Chesapeake Snow Tubing: Great family fun at the Red Hawks Field at 2 South Mickey Mantle Drive. Session size is limited and operated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Admission is $10 per person for a 90-minute session. Go to for a list of operating times.

Devon Ice Rink: Ice skating for the whole family. The rink will be open noon to midnight, starting on Dec. 12. Admission is $10 per person with skate rental or $7 without. For more information, visit the website

New Year’s Eve: New Year’s Eve offers big plans with Opening Night 2012 from 7 p.m. to midnight on Dec. 31 in downtown Oklahoma City. Opening Night is a New Year’s Eve celebration with music, dancing, theater and fireworks! Admission wristbands are $8 in advance or $10 at the event. Children 5 and under are admitted free. The wristbands are valid for all Opening Night events.

Did you know?

Christianity and Christmas

•   In the early Church, Christmas was not celebrated as a major feast. The first evidence of the Church attempting to put a date on the day of Christ’s birth comes from 200 AD, when theologians in Alexandria decided it was May 20. By the 380s, the Church in Rome was attempting to unite the various regions in using Dec. 25 as the universal feast day, and eventually that is the day that stuck.

•  The famous children’s character Santa Claus is actually based on the early Church Bishop Saint Nicholas. He was born during the third century (around 270 AD), in the village of Patara in Turkey, and was known for secretly giving gifts of money to the poor. The modern image of him as a jolly man in red most likely comes from the 1823 poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” also known as “The Night Before Christmas.”

•  In the late 1800s, a candy maker in Indiana wanted to express the meaning of Christmas through a symbol made of candy. He came up with the idea of bending candy sticks into the shape of a candy cane. He incorporated several symbols of Christ’s love and sacrifice through the candy cane. First, he used a plain white peppermint stick, symbolizing the purity and sinless nature of Jesus. Next, he added three small stripes to symbolize the pain inflicted upon Jesus before his death. There are three of them to represent the Holy Trinity. He added a bold stripe to represent the blood Jesus shed. When looked at with the crook on top, it looks like a shepherd’s staff because Jesus is the shepherd of man. If you turn it upside down, it becomes the letter J symbolizing the first letter in Jesus’ name.






If Christmas lights tickle your fancy around the holidays, here is a list of Christmas lights that will give a thrill to everyone. Visit to see the complete list of Christmas light displays in the downtown area.

Yukon’s Christmas in the Park: Yukon’s annual event offers a more than 3-mile drive through 100 acres along Jim Watson Drive with a display of more than 300 incredible christmas lights, all from your car. Admission is free, but donations are accepted at the end of the drive-through.

The event runs through Dec. 31 in Yukon City Park from 6-11 p.m.

Chickasha Festival of Lights: Take the 45-minute drive south to Shannon Springs Park in Chickasha. The Chickasha Festival of Lights attracts visitors from all over the nation and includes an animated, musically choreographed show. Be ready for some long lines, though, because this is one of the best around. This free event runs to Dec. 31. Bus tours, carriage rides and photos with Santa available for a charge.

Guthrie’s Annual Territorial Christmas:

Guthrie celebrates Christmas in grand territorial style! The celebration boasts live performances, trolley tours by candlelight, and Victorian evening walks featuring live window scenes depicting life in Territorial Guthrie. Carolers, peanut vendors and lights galore illuminate the historic district. The festivities run until Christmas. For more information call 405-282-1947 or 800-299-1889.

Free Christmas Dinner: Not everyone has a home — or a meal — for the holidays. If you are looking for somewhere to get warm and enjoy a hearty Christmas meal, help is as close as a trip down to Norman. The dinner will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Christmas Day at Norman High School, located at 911 W. Main Street. For more information or to volunteer or donate, call 405-364-3273.

More OCCC students and staff provided their favorite parts of the holiday season. OCCC theater major, Stewart Braud, said lights are his favorite part of the holidays.

“I like listening to the holiday music,” said Tim Seals, literature major.

Stenography major, Kimberly Perez, goes to Mexico for Christmas with her family.

“My favorite part is being around family and the general atmosphere of the holidays,” said Michael Cowan, theater major.

Angel Icenhour, business major and OCCC admissions services assistant said “putting up the Christmas tree after Thanksgiving dinner,” is her favorite holiday tradition.

Hanukkah, also known as The Festival of Lights, is a Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days and nights. This year, Hanukkah starts at sundown, as all Jewish holidays do, on Dec. 20.

As an African American and Pan-African holiday celebrated by millions throughout the world African community, Kwanzaa brings a cultural message, which speaks to the best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense. This year, Kwanzaa is celebrated from Dec. 26 – Jan. 1.

To contact Emily Schorr, email

To contact Sarah Hussain, email


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