nod to diversity, Christmas Tree Lane becomes Holiday
By Lexie Grant
December 11, 2008 | The Associated Students of Utah
State University Traditions Committee changed the name
of Christmas Tree Lane to Holiday Lane this year to
be more accommodating to growing diversity.
Crystal Degen, chair of the Traditions Committee, said
the name change was an important way for the university
to be more considerate to diversified beliefs of the
She said, "Not everyone celebrates Christmas.
We are trying to consider what other people believe
and include them in the lane."
Degen said that a Festivus was held during the week
of Holiday Lane to include those who do not celebrate
A Festivus is a non-denominational holiday, made famous
in the sitcom Seinfeld. It was formed due to
the dismay of the commercialism of the traditional December
holidays, and is continuing to be adopted and taken
seriously by many people throughout the world, according
to New York Times reporter Allen Salkin.
The Festivus involves an aluminum pole rather than
a tree, and an Airing of Grievance ceremony where people
are given the opportunity to tell others how they have
disappointed them in the last year. The USU Festivus
included a spaghetti dinner, an Airing of Grievance,
and a free concert featuring Allred and We Shot the
Another new change to Holiday Lane, Degen said, was
the presence of menorahs to the lane.
student Amy Mattson said, "If we are celebrating
holidays, and you can put Christmas trees in, why not
extend it to include other holidays that are celebrated.
Utah State may not have the most diverse student body,
but we still need to be open to the ideas and cultures
of other people."
According to Degen, Holiday Lane is a service project
held the first week of December. This year, there were
33 trees decorated and donated by different clubs and
organizations at USU. These trees were put on display
in the TSC International Lounge.
The trees have diversity in themselves. The different
clubs and organizations get way into decorating, and
design their tree to the theme of their group.
Kiely Hayden, Student Alumni Executive Board Service
Chair, was in charge of organizing the decorating of
the USU Student Alumni Tree. Hayden said that thinking
of ideas and ways to decorate the tree was a fun experience
for the group.
As an organization Student Alumni decided to use one
of their best traditions to theme the tree, True Aggie
Night. Hayden said it was full of hearts and kisses,
and topped with a miniature replica of the A. She said,
"This year we have been celebrating True Aggie Nights
to the fullest. It was such an awesome way to extend
this celebration and share one of our organizations
main events as a service project."
With the help of Bear River Head Start, the trees
will now be distributed to low-income families in the
Cache Valley who would not have a Christmas tree without
this service project.
Hayden said, "I feel so honored to be a part of this
amazing tradition at USU, and I hope that our tree will
be able to bring the Christmas spirit to a family in