chair and fireplace with Christmas decorations

Putting Christ Back in Christmas

Written by: Rachel Lamb and Jonathan Clayton

            On Tuesday, December 3, Oklahoma Wesleyan University held an event called Christmas in the Mansion. The event was open to the public with snacks and refreshments, live music, Santa Claus, and readings of the Christmas story from Luke 2:1-20.

Walking into the mansion was a breathtaking sight. There were Christmas decorations hung from floor to ceiling, with a total number of ten Christmas trees placed around the area. Bri Hudson, a sophomore English major, said “The decorations are really beautiful, and I love that there are multiple trees. It makes it look like a Christmas wonderland.”

There were two different musical groups who played at various times throughout the evening. One of them was a group of carolers from the Oklahoma Wesleyan Chorale, singing “Silent Night,” “Lo! How A Rose E’er Blooming,” “Away in A Manger,” and others on from the Baptist Hymnal repeatedly during the night. The other group performing was Unchained, OKWU’s bluegrass and western swing instrumental ensemble. They performed creative renditions of “Silent Night,” “Little Drummer Boy,” and “I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas,” among  others, featuring soloists Jalen


Dickerson-Sanders and Leah Sawyer. Both musical groups sang or played for fifteen minutes and then switched, allowing the other group to enjoy their evening as well as performing. If you missed these performances, the Oklahoma Wesleyan Chorale will be performing a profound rendition of “Noel” by Christ Tomlin, Ed Cash, and Matt Redman, featuring soloist Jazmine Cooper at commencement on Saturday, December 14 at 10:30am.

Santa Claus was also in attendance at our Christmas in the Mansion. He was there with a smiling, jolly face, ready to take Christmas pictures with any and all in attendance. Children especially enjoyed his presence, with many joyful faces excitedly running up to him to get their pictures and tell them what they wanted for Christmas.

man reading bible with instrumental ensemble behind him

The reading of the Christmas Story from Luke 2:1-20 was the highlight of the event, read by Professor Jason Bussey and others. Families gathered together to hear this story, with many smiling faces and joy and cheer.

Pioneer College Caterers provided gingerbread and sugar cookies for the event, along with hot chocolate and warm apple cider. This was an especially nice touch to the event and allowed many good conversations over cups of hot cocoa or cider and cookies. According to Will Coy, an employee of Pioneer College Caterers, the best way to enjoy the refreshments is to “dunk the gingerbread men into the cup of cocoa headfirst.”

Ketrina Koons, junior Marketing Major and the main organizer of the event, said that the reason for the event was to implement new traditions on campus, include the local Bartlesville community in campus events, and ultimately to remind us all of the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The evening ended with everyone gathering around the circle outside the Mansion, with candles, for the singing of “Silent Night” together. This was a fun and relaxing way to close the evening, as all in attendance were reminded of the birth of Christ and why it changed human history forever.

Jim and Wendy Dunn

This event was a magical evening for all, with many families in the community coming to enjoy the

festivities together. The musicians enjoyed the opportunity to remind people of the birth of Christ through song, as it added a feeling of joy to the event and a great reminder that Jesus is the reason for the Christmas Season!