Clubs, cookies and Christmas

Ian Troost, a Christmas Eve baby who helped restart the Holiday Club, arrives to the meeting wearing his holiday attire. Troost loves the holidays and wanted to create a club where students who also love the holidays could meet and create a community. Photos by Blake Bekken

Ian Troost, a Christmas Eve baby who helped restart the Holiday Club, arrives to the meeting wearing his holiday attire. Troost loves the holidays and wanted to create a club where students who also love the holidays could meet and create a community. Photos by Blake Bekken

Holiday Club meetings usually include movies, cookie dough (Toll House cookie dough because it’s made by elves), snacks, sparkling cider and a discussion about future holiday plans. The goal of many club members is to raise awareness of the existence of Holiday Club to obtain more members. 

Holiday Club meetings usually include movies, cookie dough (Toll House cookie dough because it’s made by elves), snacks, sparkling cider and a discussion about future holiday plans. The goal of many club members is to raise awareness of the existence of Holiday Club to obtain more members. 

Before every meeting, the newly reinstated Westminster Holiday Club recites the Code of the Elves: 1.) Treat every day like Christmas 2.) There’s room for everyone on the nice list 3.) The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

The club then sings its anthem, “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” and gets on with the business of the meeting.

Holiday Club, originally called Christmas Club, was started by Westminster student Brian Rukulous. Until recently, it was inactive until Ian Troost, sophomore, restarted it during the 2014-15 year. The members renamed it Holiday Club to incorporate all holidays.

“Holiday Club doesn’t focus on religious aspects of holidays,” Troost said. “Rather just the celebrations of the holidays or the fun side of holidays.”

Holiday Club celebrates many other holidays besides Christmas. This year, it has celebrated National Donut Hole Day and National Mickey Mouse Day, and last year the members decorated eggs around the springtime. The club welcomes all ideas from students of holidays they would like to celebrate.

Holiday Club is here to raise holiday awareness for all holidays, no matter how small or big,” said Amy Dockstader, sophomore psychology major and the club’s past president, on Holiday Club’s Facebook page.

Dockstader recently stepped down as the club’s president, due to her busy schedule. The club met and held elections for a new club president on Nov. 18.

They elected the current cheermeister, Wren Matelich, to be the new president and Emma Crosby to be the new vice president.

“[Being the new club president] will be fun, I think,” said Matelich, sophomore and possible environmental humanities major.

Troost, who restarted the club last year, predicts there will be more club meetings now that the club has elected a president.

Ian Troost begins the Holiday Club meeting by reciting the Code of the Elves. Troost restarted the program in 2014 and renamed the club to be inclusive of all holidays.

Ian Troost begins the Holiday Club meeting by reciting the Code of the Elves. Troost restarted the program in 2014 and renamed the club to be inclusive of all holidays.

“When we get a [new] president we would like to have a meeting every month and celebrate the big holiday occurring that month,” Troost said.

Club meetings usually include movies, cookie dough (Toll House cookie dough because it’s made by elves), sparkling cider and a discussion about future holiday plans and events they would like to do at the next meeting.

Some ideas the club has discussed for the upcoming holiday season is placing a Christmas tree in the commons that anyone can decorate and doing Christmas caroling on campus. Members would also like to do volunteer opportunities that correspond with the most recent holiday, such as working at the soup kitchen during Thanksgiving.

Right now, the club has around 10 consistent members. However, they are looking to expand and receive more involvement from students.

“We gotta get more people to come,” said Matelich, the new club president. “Like a lot more people.”

One way the club would like to expand is to reach out to students and notify them that the club exists. Many students did not know there was a holiday club on campus at all.

“Really? There is a holiday club?” asked Hanna Lukes, senior psychology major, when she heard about the club’s existence. “Sign me up, man.”

The club aims for students to have a fun-filled hour or two eating cookie dough and other snacks and creating a community that loves the holidays. Troost, member of the club and a Christmas Eve baby, said he loves the holidays and Christmas especially.

“My favorite part of the holidays is the whole month of December, Christmas music or just seasonal music,” Troost said. “It is the most wonderful time of year, you know.”

The club has a Facebook page, so if students would like to join, they can message the club or speak to Troost directly.