Dear Belles Athletics Family,
One of my favorite Belles Christmas traditions is caroling at the convent. With the change in the academic calendar and health concerns for our sisters, we were not able to host the event this year; however, the holiday season brings the memory of this tradition vividly to the forefront of my mind.
It starts with all of our student-athletes congregating in the Lillie O'Grady Center as they wait for the rest of their teammates to arrive. They are a colorful bunch! Ugly Christmas sweaters are adorned with flashing Christmas light necklaces. They wear Santa hats and reindeer antler headbands. The chatter is deafening as they greet each other and laugh at the ridiculous outfits.
As Sister Louisita arrives to officially greet our Belles, the music sheets are distributed and caroling directions are given. We form one very long single file line and prepare to make our way up to the residential floors. The line leader yells back to those behind her the title of the first song, "Silent Night". What was deafening chatter just minutes prior transforms, in unison, to an angelic choir (to my ears anyways!). The sisters line their hallways and common spaces as they anxiously wait for the chorus line of Belles to carol through their floor. Some sisters sing along while others listen silently as their hands sway to the melodies that their hearts have not forgotten.
When the singing is over, we say our good-byes and extend our wishes for a Merry Christmas. We are all filled with such joy. This is the joy that comes from sharing quality time with friends and loved ones. It is the joy of laughing, giving, and connecting. This is Christmas Joy!
Even though we enter this Christmas season knowing it will be different than years past, may we all still recognize and embrace this joy of laughter, giving, and connecting, whether it be it in-person or virtual. It has been a rough year. Let Christmas joy and hope reinvigorate us!
From our Athletic Department family to yours, near and far, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!
Julie Schroeder-Biek '88
Director of Athletics