Nov. 21, 2008
The 59th annual celebration of the Hanging of the Greens at Morningside College will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 8 p.m. in the formal lounge at Dimmitt Hall, 3318 Vine Ave.
First celebrated in 1950 and now one of the oldest traditions on the Morningside campus, the Hanging of the Greens includes burning of a Yule log, hanging of several wreaths and decorating a Christmas tree. Morningside President John Reynders will light the Yule log, and Robin Reynders will read the history of the Hanging of the Greens. Santa and his elves also will visit the ceremony. The event, sponsored by Morningside’s Residence Life and the Residence Hall Association (RHA), is open to the public.
The ceremony begins with the Yule log service. Each year a portion of the previous year’s Yule log is used to start the new log to symbolize the continuity in tradition. The story is told of the ceremony’s beginnings in 1925, when Agnes Doolittle, a high school teacher from Spirit Lake, Iowa, invited junior and senior class women to her home for the burning of a special log her family sent from England.
The Yule log came to Morningside in 1949 when seven freshman class women from Spirit Lake, who brought a piece of Doolittle's old log from the previous year to Dimmitt Hall to burn with a new log. The following year, wreaths were hung and a tree was decorated, constituting the first ceremonial Hanging of the Greens.
After the Yule log is burning and the story told, each class hangs a wreath. The final part of the ceremony is the decorating of the tree. Students hang ornaments made by residents from each of the student residence halls on campus. The ornaments are displayed for four years to invoke the memories of the “families” formed in each hall. Students from Dimmitt Hall, Roadman Hall, Residence Complex, Waitt Apartments, Poppen Apartments and Lags Hall will hang the ornaments.