Making the Season Bright!

Taryne Lepp is one of the many volunteers at the annual Great West Life Spirit of Christmas Celebration held at Trinity Western University.

For Taryne Lepp of Langley, Christmas comes twice a year, once on its expected date, and once in early December as she volunteers with Trinity Western University’s annual Spirit of Christmas. Since the event’s conception four years ago, Lepp has been one of the many volunteers who have helped keep things running smoothly, and shared the Christmas cheer with the community.

“Christmas is my favorite holiday,” Lepp says, “so it was natural that I wanted to help out with the event. But over the past couple of years, it has provided a new way of looking at the university as well. Trinity Western has a chance to open up to families in the community in a different way, and students have the opportunity to meet others and work with people they might not normally interact with.”

A veteran volunteer, Lepp has served as the “hospitality coordinator” for the past three years. “I oversee other volunteers, make sure the concert guests are running on schedule— basically make sure the little things go smoothly so that everyone has a good time.” One of the best parts of the gig, she says, is being able to be a part of everyone’s Christmas celebration. “Everybody identifies with Christmas, and seeing the children all excited about the living nativity, the concerts, and the lights and decorations reminds me of being a kid, and the excitement of the holiday season.”

Lepp’s enjoyment of volunteering for the Spirit of Christmas does not mean that her work has been stress free.  “Two years ago, we got a ton of snow and we thought that no one would be able to come,” she remembers. People had to work overtime to plow, shovel, and keep the events running.  “But it turns out, that was one of the best years. Over 9,000 people came, and the campus looked perfect with the snow— like Christmas wrapped in a box.”

Although Lepp graduated from TWU last spring and now works full-time at Surrey Memorial Hospital, she jumped at the opportunity come back to Trinity and work at the Spirit of Christmas again this year. Familiar with the event, she looks forward to meeting the new volunteers and being apart of the yuletide bustle. “It’s like getting to come home for Christmas.”  

Trinity Western University, in Langley, B.C., is a provincially chartered, independent Christian liberal arts and sciences university, enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers 42 undergraduate majors, ranging from biotechnology, education, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 16 graduate degree programs include nursing, counseling psychology, business, theology, linguistics, and leadership, and interdisciplinary degrees in English, philosophy and history. TWU holds Canada Research Chairs in Dead Sea Scroll Studies, Developmental Genetics and Disease, and Interpretation, Religion & Culture.

Last Updated: 2009-11-30
Author: Elisabeth Fallon