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The Blue & Gray Press | August 18, 2018

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New Holiday Tradition

By WILLIAM NORDEN

The University of Mary Washington created a new tradition with the Wishmas Tree, located between Mason and Randolph Halls, which invited students, faculty and staff to put a wish inside a star-shaped ornament and add it to the tree.

The Office of Design Services in University Relations served free cookies and hot chocolate while inviting people to join in on the holiday activities.

Students liked the idea of the Wishmas Tree and decorating it because, “it’s just a nice way to celebrate the season,” said Shelby Sanders, a senior. “I think it’s really cute, and I’d love to do it again.”

Other students, such as senior Samantha Corron and freshman Daphne Tsamouras, liked the idea that UMW is “doing something that will incorporate the campus community,” according to Corron.

For Tsamouras, the event brought a feeling of community connectedness.

“Just seeing that everyone is contributing to it, it’s something I like to see. It makes me feel like I’m part of something bigger,” said Tsamouras.

During winter break, the Wishmas Tree will be moved to a permanent location, according to Maria Schultz, assistant director of design services.

“There’s a burlap sack in the bottom with the roots and everything, so we’re going to take it out and plant it somewhere on campus,” said Schultz.

The new location of the tree has not been determined, but design services is open to suggestions.

“If a student or somebody sees a spot on campus that looks barren and needs a tree, we will work with facility services on that,” said Schultz.

This is the first year the Wishmas Tree has been brought to the UMW community, and it may soon become an annual tradition, according to Schultz.

“We’re testing it out this year to see what kind of response we get and if it’s successful,” said Schultz. “We have the stars, we can use them from year to year and they won’t go to waste.”