Better than Disney World?
The lights twinkle. Children run all over, surely a side effect of the endless hot cocoa and sugar cookies. Holiday carols pour out of every building, and adults hum along. Yes, it’s that time of the year — Christmas on Campus.
I eagerly waited in the lines near the school buses to meet my second-grade buddy. Within five minutes of meeting Mariah, I learned that she was leaving for the “Happiest Place on Earth” the following morning. I immediately wondered, could UD’s evening of holiday magic compare to Mariah’s upcoming trip to Cinderella’s Castle? It’s as if the University responded “challenge accepted.”
Mariah and I had a jam-packed evening full of Christmas crafts and laughter. We made reindeer food, wrote a letter to Santa, decorated a sugar cookie, and her favorite, made sparkly slime. Referring to herself as “the Slime Master,” Mariah educated me on the numerous ways to make the gooey substance. Who knew you could make slime out of butter?
When Mariah opened her gifts of art supplies and Disney Princess coloring pages, she was thrilled. Whatever she had planned to do during her flight to Disney World was immediately replaced by a pack of Crayola colored pencils and a Frozen coloring book. Although the gift bag was as tall as her and fairly heavy, she still tried to carry it from station to station.
As the evening wound down, she did not want to leave. After using silly props at the photo booth and getting to meet Santa, we began our walk back to the bus. Mariah skipped in front of me, candy cane in hand, exclaiming, “I don’t want to leave! I want to stay!”
Two women in front of me turned around, smiled and gave nods almost as if to say, “UD has done it again.” And they were right. An 8-year-old who wants to stay on a college campus instead of going to Disney World is high praise, indeed.