Seventh annual Hotty Toddy Holidays brought students and community members together on the University of Mississippi campus Wednesday, November 30 to celebrate the holiday season.
The main events took place in the Student Union and the historic Circle and is put on each year by the Student Activities Association (SAA).
“We started planning last spring when we selected our executive council,” SAA director Christian Schloegel said. “We picked our new committee members for the year, and we just decided on how to decorate the Union and what kind of different programming we wanted to happen.”
This year’s program included holiday karaoke, arts and crafts, balloon animals, ice skating, free shirt giveaways and hot chocolate with cookies. More food was provided by Domino’s Pizza and cultural student organizations like the African Caribbean Student Association and the Saudi Arabian Student Organization.
“This is for the kids and their families and also for the students,” SAA co-director of entertainment Jarrius Adams said. “Next week is finals week. It’s very stressful, so it’s just a big bundle of free stuff for people to come and relax.”
Mr. Ole Miss, Cole Putman, suited up as Santa Claus for the final time for pictures with Santa.
“One of my biggest honors at Ole Miss has been being Santa Claus, and this was my third and last time doing it,” Putman said. “I hate it’s over, but I’m so glad I got to serve in that capacity.”
SAA co-director of pageants Lindsay Miller dressed up as one of Santa’s elves and joined Putman for pictures.
“This was my first time being an elf, and it was somewhat fitting for my personality, especially being an elf with my best friend Cole,” Miller said. “Cole has such a great personality, and his humor made it rewarding to be the elf of this year’s Hotty Toddy Holidays.”
Following musical performances by Ole Miss student Sam Mooney and Miss University Leah Gibson, Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter shared his thoughts with the Ole Miss family as he led the countdown for the annual lighting of the university’s Christmas tree.
“It’s an honor being here to celebrate this wonderful and holy tradition of the lighting of the Christmas tree. I’m even wearing on of my Christmas ties to celebrate the occasion,” Vitter said. “The lights of Christmas symbolize many things – the joys, hopes, and happiness of this wonderful season.”