Every year, Seattle Pacific students gather in Tiffany Loop for Tradition, an annual Christmas celebration organized by SPU's Student Union Board. It's long been a time for young alumni to return to campus, for professors to bring their kids, and for families from the local Queen Anne community to listen to music, meet real-life reindeer, and get a photo with Santa Claus.

Here are 10 things you’re sure to see at Tradition.

10. Tons of Ugly Christmas sweaters (and maybe even a few beardaments)

Finding the perfect ugly Christmas sweater to show off at Tradition can seem overwhelming … until you realize how many friends from your residence halls are already planning a trip to local thrift stores in search of the perfect outfit.

male students wearing ugly Christmas sweaters

Photo by student photographer Galen Dailey.

9. Friends standing in line to take photos with real-life reindeer

reindeer at SPU's Tradition

This year’s reindeer guests, Boomer and Dasher, graciously posed for photos all evening.

8. Live Christmas music to get everyone in the holiday spirit

SPU students sing Christmas carols

The Student Union Board (STUB) always finds a mix of music for Tradition. This year, the band Citizens and Saints performed a live show.

7. Photos with Santa Claus

students take pictures with Santa

Why go to a mall when you can get a photo with your friends and Santa right on campus?

6. The entire event is put on by SPU students

SPU student leaders

Tradition is just one of the many Seattle Pacific events planned and organized entirely by student leaders: (left to right, back): Celeste, Julie, Reed, Garrett, (middle) Andrea, Hannah, Abby, (front) Yikhwan, Kirin, and Christi). (Photo credit: @seattle_pacific on Instagram)

5. Did we mention how awesome our student leaders are?

SPU student leaders

Just look at them. (Photo credit: @spu_stub on Instagram)

4. Amazing holiday-themed desserts

christmas cookies

From this cookie-decorating bar from a few years ago to this year’s gingerbread houses and colorful cupcakes and cookies, Tradition is overflowing with sweet treats.

3. Hot chocolate. Everywhere.

student smiles with hot chocolate

Yikhwan Dillard, a 2009 graduate who now works on campus as staff, says over 400 cups of hot chocolate were served in the first 90 minutes of the event.

2. Tons of creative Christmas accessories

female students wear reindeer horns

Last year’s Student Union Board got in the spirit with these custom antlers.

1. Seattle Pacific’s iconic tree-shaped Christmas lights

These giant tree-shaped lights have been an SPU tradition for well over a decade.

Bonus (because it doesn’t happen every year) … snow!

crowd of students under Christmas lights

One of the things we love about Seattle is how close we are snow-covered mountains: perfect for snowboarding, skiing, sledding, hiking, and snowshoeing … but don’t usually have to deal with regular winter snowfalls that shut down roads and businesses or knock the power out.

Snow-covered mountain adventures are just an hour or so away. And if we really want to have a white Christmas on campus … there is probably a way.

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