Krannert lights trees in annual holiday ceremony

Amanda Jablonsky, junior in LAS and an administrator for the Krannert Center Student Association, sorts through presents under the Christmas tree with Alexander Polychronopoulos, age 3 of Champaign, on Sunday evening. The KCSA hosts the Holiday Tree Light Suzanne Stelmasek

Amanda Jablonsky, junior in LAS and an administrator for the Krannert Center Student Association, sorts through presents under the Christmas tree with Alexander Polychronopoulos, age 3 of Champaign, on Sunday evening. The KCSA hosts the Holiday Tree Light Suzanne Stelmasek

By Brian Mellen

Amanda Jablonsky sat on a dim, purple-lit stage wearing a red pointed hat and green tights, reading a book. She was dressed as an elf.

Kids gathered around her as she read lines from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

“The Grinch hated Christmas – the whole Christmas season,” Jablonsky, a junior in LAS, read aloud from the book. “Oh, please don’t ask why, no one quite knows the reason.”

It was storytelling time, part of the Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony, an annual event put on by the Krannert Center Student Association that happened Sunday night at the Krannert Center.

Parents brought their children indoors to experience the festivities at Krannert and avoid the frigid temperatures outside.

Some of the events featured this year included a performance by the Xtension Chords, an a capella group at the University, a visit from Santa Claus and the lighting of the holiday tree itself.

“It’s an attempt to bring in the community to kick off the holidays and get everyone into the spirit,” said Jablonsky, a member of the association and one of the organizers of the events.

“It’s great to see all this turnout,” said Mindy Szeto, a sophomore in LAS and the association member in charge of the ceremony. “It looks like all the kids are happy.”

But not everyone who attended was completely satisfied.

“My parents said I had to come,” said Johanna McCarthy, who was a bit older than some of the other child attendees. “It’s tradition.”