Loyola Magazine
It's the most wonderful time of the year

Countdown to Loyola Christmas

Join us as we count down to Christmas Day—and find a daily surprise underneath our virtual tree

’Tis a Loyola Christmas
And all ’cross the land
A countdown to Christmas is in every hand.
The year that has passed has been different, it’s true.
With challenges? Many. And joys? Quite a few.
As we look toward a season that’s festive and bright,
Let’s hold onto what matters most extra tight—
The people we love, and the memories we share,
And a place that is treasured by Hounds everywhere.
In mind and in spirit, we’re joined from afar
By our love for Loyola—wherever we are.
Let’s count down together and find treats every day,
As the little ones dream of what’s in Santa’s sleigh.
With a Hound on your tree, Christmas joy in your heart,
May you know we’re together, though we are apart.

Check back each day as we count down to Christmas Day with a daily activity.

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December 25

Christmas tree with lights in a chapel with a stained glass window above it Merry Christmas!

May yours be filled with light, peace, and joy.

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December 24

’Twas the night before Christmas and a Hound’s in the house…

Enjoy a reading of this classic story by Santa Claus, with special guest Iggy the Greyhound.

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December 23

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum, how lovely are thy branches…

Add a Loyola ornament to your own tree!

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December 22

Numbers pour Noel

How many years has Loyola enjoyed Lessons and Carols? “Paws” to learn the answer—and more fun—in a “Christmas at Loyola by the numbers:” 

  • 32 - years Loyola has celebrated Lessons and Carols
  • 17 - most inches of snowfall on campus in a single day, Dec. 19, 2009
  • 168 - Christmases have been celebrated at Loyola since our founding in September 1852
  • 3,500 - lights on the garland that adorns the Charles Street pedestrian bridge
  • 72 & 96 - inches in diameter of the wreaths that are hung on Donnelly and Sellinger, respectively
  • 20 - years Loyola has partnered with Presence for Christmas to provide gifts to local families
  • 61 - lampposts on campus that are lovingly wrapped with garland and lights each year by Loyola’s facilities team
  • 90 - years a Christmas tree has kept students cozy in Hug Lounge

More fun Christmas Trivia

  • The Christmas Turkey was imported to France by the Jesuits and is still known in some French dialects as a Jesuite.
  • The first North American Christmas carol, “The Huron Carol,” was written by Saint Jean de Brebeuf, a Jesuit missionary to the Hurons.
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December 21

The Loyola Humaninities Building in the snow, circa 1930s-1950s

Rocking Around the Archives, and we found a few photos to share…

Take a walk down memory lane and enjoy these images of Christmases past at Loyola. Photos courtesy of Loyola University Maryland photograph collection, Loyola Notre Dame Library.

Loyola students having a snowball fight
Interior of the Ignatius House decorated for Christmas Exterior of the Donnelly Science Center in the snow The pedestrian bridge that crosses Charles St. covered in snow
Group of Loyola students making a Winnie-the-Pooh snow sculpture Loyola choir posing in front of a television camera for the 1953 Christmas concert
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December 20

The Loyola University Chapel Choir performing for Lessons and Carols in the Alumni Memorial Chapel

O Come, All Ye Lessons and Carols Fans!

Join us tonight for the 32nd annual Lessons and Carols, one of Loyola’s richest and most spiritually uplifting Christmas traditions. Participate in this year’s event at 7 p.m. EST from wherever you happen to be. Hear some old favorites and new pieces and immerse yourself in the beauty of the season.

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December 19

Christmas is coming! Deck the halls—and your seasonal table.

Loyola alumni who registered in advance are participating in a live holiday floral arrangement workshop hosted by Alice’s Table and the Loyola Alumni Association. Get in the spirit yourself by adding to your own household holiday décor. Then take photos and share them on social media with #ChristmasAtLoyola.

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December 18

Gingerbread house decorated with various candies and icing

There’s no place like (a gingerbread) home for the holidays. Learn how to make your own with this gingerbread house recipe from 2007 grad Sally McKenney of Sally’s Baking Addiction fame.

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December 17

Your brain will grow three sizes during this Christmas history lesson.

Learn about the history of Christmas from faculty expert Joe Walsh, Ph.D., professor of history and Classics, in his online lecture, “The History of Christmas: Scrooges and Grinches” at 6:30 p.m.

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December 16

Decorated Christmas tree in the Hug Lounge

12 Days of Loyola Christmas

Your true love can’t give you a gift as fun as this video… Sing along to the 12 Days of Loyola Christmas.

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December 15

Spread tidings of comfort and joy!

Post a holiday greeting and wishes for the Christmas season to members of our Loyola community—students and their families, alumni, faculty, staff, coaches, administrators, and friends of the University—on our virtual bulletin board.

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December 14

All is calm, all is bright… especially with our online tips for a stress-free holiday season.

Find the peace of the season. Rachel Grover, Ph.D., professor of psychology shares six tips to enjoying a (relatively) stress-free holiday.

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December 13

Pause to pray for a student who benefited from Loyola's Emergency Relief Fund.

For the third Sunday of Advent, say a prayer for a student who benefited from the University’s Emergency Relief Fund—and for the person who gave so that student could benefit.

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December 12

Who needs boughs and holly when you have crayons?

Here’s a Christmas craft perfect for the youngest Greyhounds! Download and color our Loyola-themed coloring pages:

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December 11

Illustration of a lit lantern on a brick column

“I’m dreaming of a Hounds Christmas… with every Christmas card I write.” These Loyola Christmas cards featuring campus scenes are perfect for printing at home—or sending digitally—for everyone on your list. (Select Holiday Cards and Emails from the menu on the page!)

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December 10

Exterior of the Sellinger School of Business decorated for Christmas

Fa la la la la la la la Loyola!

Here are a few of our favorite things about an Evergreen Christmas…

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December 9

Do you cheer how I cheer? Wear green and grey in honor of the Greyhounds today.

Go Hounds! Find out when you can cheer on the Greyhounds next at www.loyolagreyhounds.com.

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December 8

Retro image of the statue of Mary on Loyola's campus
Photo courtesy of Loyola University Maryland photograph collection, Loyola Notre Dame Library

Happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception! Hail Mary, full of grace. December 8 is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which occurs nine months before the feast of the Nativity of Mary, on September 8.

The statue of Mary on campus was a gift to the University in 1925. Originally the statue was intended to be placed in the Jesuit residence, but the Carrera marble was too heavy for the flooring. Instead, the statue was placed on a pedestal on the Quad facing the student chapel, which was adjacent to Jenkins Hall at the time, and beyond campus toward the heart of Baltimore City.

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December 7

Dashing through your book pile? Check out holiday-themed books written by Greyhounds.

Book cover for 'Messages of Joy for Advent and Christmas 2020: 3 Minute Devotions' by Michael White and Tom Corcoran

Messages of Joy for Advent and Christmas 2020: 3 Minute Devotions by Rev. Michael White, ’80, and Tom Corcoran, ’96

Book cover for 'Hope is Santa' by Loredana Petrucci McCarty

Hope is Santa by Loredana Petrucci McCarty, Psy.D. ’06

Book cover for 'The 365 Days of Christmas: Keeping the Wonder of It All Ever Green' by Rev. William Byron

The 365 Days of Christmas: Keeping the Wonder of It All Ever Green by Rev. William Byron, S.J., former Loyola Trustee and former assistant professor of economics (1967-69)

Book cover for 'Were They Wise Men or Kings?' by Joseph Walsh

Were They Wise Men or Kings? by Joseph Walsh, Ph.D., professor of history and Classics and co-director of the Honors Program

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December 6

Happy Saint Nicholas Day!

Celebrate St. Nicholas Day, or the feast day of Nicholas of Myra, who had a reputation as a bringer of gifts. Tradition calls for children to leave a shoe by the door the night before St. Nicholas Day in the hope that the kind bishop will leave a coin or a small gift inside.

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December 5

Batch of Evergreen tree and Loyola L-shaped cookies resting on a cooling rack

Get out your rolling pin and mixing bowls—then download our Evergreen tree and Loyola L-shaped cookie cutters, perfect for gingerbread and sugar cookies. Share your decorated creations on social media with #ChristmasAtLoyola and tag @loyolamaryland.

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December 4

Front door of the Alumni Memorial Chapel in the snow decorated for Christmas

Today’s First Friday Mass in Alumni Memorial Chapel is for you. You are being remembered in prayers in the Chapel as we gather virtually this morning.

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December 3

Group of decorative gift bags

’Tis weeks before Christmas and you’ve got gifts to buy
Before Santa’s reindeer take to the sky.
You want to present sheer delights that astound,
Not treats from the Pole, but instead from a Hound!
These gifts come straight off a Loyola grad’s sleigh,
And they’ll fit ’neath your tree, tied with red, green—and grey.

Step aside, Rudolph. Santa's picked a Hound to pull his sleigh! Check out our Greyhound Gift Guide.

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December 2

Fr. Tim Brown, S.J., wishes you hope and light this Advent.

An Advent Reflection from Father Brown

Every year on the fourth Sunday of Advent, I celebrate Mass for the School Sisters of Notre Dame. We've been gathering for Mass together for more than 30 years, and that Sunday I always close Mass with this piece from the British writer Caryl Houselander. She wrote this during the darkest days of World War II. The Germans were bombing London, and people were hiding in their basements, sheltering from the darkness of the world. In that space, they prayed the rosary and held onto hope. The Annunciation was very meaningful to them as they reflected on how the Virgin would give birth to a Savior. May we each have hope in our hearts this Advent season as we reflect on these words.

It was as if the human race were a little dark house, without light or air, locked and latched. The wind of the Spirit had beaten on the door, rattled the windows, tapped on the dark glass with the tiny hands of flowers, flung golden seed against it, even, in hours of the storm, lashed it with the boughs of a great tree—the prophesy of the Cross—and yet the Spirit was outside. But one day a girl opened the door, and the little house was swept pure and sweet by the wind. Seas of light swept through it, and the light remained in it; and in that little house a child was born and the Child was God.

—Caryll Houselander
The Reed of God

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December 1

Kick off the season of giving by helping a fellow Greyhound this #GivingTuesday with a gift to the Evergreen Annual Fund.

’Tis truly better to give than to receive. Your gift funds academic scholarships and need-based grants—and the exceptional Jesuit liberal arts education Loyola has been recognized for, since 1852—for deserving students.