With Christmas approaching, the Muncie and Ball State communities are partaking in festivities to help celebrate the holiday season.
Shales Hall director Erin Kilbride said residence halls are trying to make the holidays special for students who may be missing their families.
Shales Hall is holding a "decorate your home" party on Dec. 4. Residents can paint the windows, hang lights and possibly decorate a Christmas tree.
Kilbride said the hall is also holding a holiday party on Dec. 9. There will be a gift exchange followed by a dance.
Some students are getting into the Christmas spirit this year by decorating their rooms on their own. Alyssa Miller, freshman, has tried to make her room feel more at home by putting Christmas lights and tinsel throughout her room.
"I put a sexy fiber-optic Christmas tree up that lights up," Miller said.
Miller said she is missing out on decorating with her family so decorating her own room has not only prevented her from becoming home sick but has also helped her explore her creative independence.
On campus and around town, people are gathering to celebrate the season.
The annual tree lighting ceremony, held by President Blaine Brownell, will take place Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at Frog Baby.
Children, as well as adults, can visit and have their picture taken with Santa Claus at the Muncie Mall until Christmas Eve. Special picture packages are being offered such as the Santa Special Pack that includes a $10 gift certificate to Old Navy.
Muncie Mall is also offering a free gift wrapping service until Christmas Eve. The free service is sponsored by Union Chapel Ministries.
The Festival of Trees is being held until Dec. 8 at Minnetrista Cultural Center. Trees are decorated along the parkway and are auctioned off to bidders. The proceeds will go to Ball Memorial Hospital.
The Muncie Center for the Arts is involving Ball State students in their celebration this year by sponsoring The University Singers in a holiday benefit concert. The event is being held on Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Muncie Civic Center. The proceeds from the concert will go to talented undeserved youth to take music lessons.
The University Singers will also be performing holiday music for a private reception at the White House on Dec. 18.