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Christmas Club spreads holiday cheer to Rutgers students

<p>Courtesy of Katie Scorziello |&nbsp;Katarzyna Zembruska, left, and Katie Scorziello run the Christmas Club at Rutgers, which hopes to bring the holiday spirit to students on campus.</p>

Courtesy of Katie Scorziello | Katarzyna Zembruska, left, and Katie Scorziello run the Christmas Club at Rutgers, which hopes to bring the holiday spirit to students on campus.

With the the holiday season approaching, students prepare for the winter weather with fun games and events at the Christmas Club.

Katie Scorziello, president of the Christmas Club, recently created the club with the purpose of gathering students together who also cherish the holiday.

"This club is about spreading positive vibes during the positive season. We’re going to have some social stuff this semester. Some community service-based things. We will be going to nursing homes sometimes. I’m really excited about our events,” the Rutgers Business School junior said.

Although this club does not have meetings, their fun, organized events are sure to put a smile on faces, said vice president of the Christmas Club and School of Arts and Sciences senior Katarzyna Zembruska.

“Imagine. It is December, and you are in your dorm studying for finals, some which, may even last until the day before Christmas Eve," Zembruska said. "Although college is great, it is not quite like home during Christmas-time. Our mission is to bring some of that magic to Rutgers, and celebrate the holidays with our Rutgers family.”

Future events include a trip to the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting, a Door Decorating Contest, a Holiday Scavenger Hunt, a cookie decorating and care package making for troops, Scorziello said.

Because the club is so new, Scorziello said she is taking this as a building year where they think of new things to do that are uncommon to other clubs. 

"So I think like (the) scavenger hunt for example, I don’t really know a lot of Christmas scavenger hunts. We’re open to the possibilities,” she said said.

Students will enjoy the contests and events as an opportunity to de-stress and give back to the community, making it a win-win situation, said School of Engineering senior Brielle Baker. 

She said her favorite part of the club is working with other people who are as happy and as passionate about Christmas.

“It's great bringing people together over something so cheerful. It's also awesome to have this positivity and cheer right before finals, keep spirits high even when most students are sad,” Baker said.

The club is currently working on collaborations with other clubs, in the hope that a team effort might attract more attention to the start-up club, Scorziello said.

“Since this is our first semester, we want to get a bunch of people to know about it. And to get a lot of people at our event. We’re trying to do one with the Baking Club for the baking event, so hopefully we’ll be collaborating with them,” Scorziello said.

Although the club is mostly seasonal, the board hopes to plan some events in the spring for members who are still interested in getting together, Baker said.

“For now, the club is really about fall. In the spring, we’re probably going to do just maybe one community service event. We really want to reach out to a community service audience, while finding a balance between the fun stuff and helping out,” Scorziello said.

Though the name of the club derives for a general love for the holiday of Christmas, the e-board hopes that everyone who is inspired by the magic of generosity and happiness will stop by, even if for only one event,” Zembrzuska said.

The Christmas club is a non-denominational club, meaning that people of all religious and cultural backgrounds are very welcome to join the activities, Zembrzuska said. 

"I mean, who doesn't like baking cookies with friends, winter activities or making Christmas crafts for the children at local hospitals?” Zembrzuska said.

Scorziello said she appreciates the opportunity to celebrate the festivities of her favorite time of year with other University students.

“I think my favorite part of the club is just being able to be around people that are also really excited about Christmas. As soon as Nov. 1 hits, I’m in the spirit. So it’s really cool that other people are too. It’s going to be a great year,” Scorziello said.

The biggest issue that the club now faces is recruitment. The e-board hopes that by talking about its future plans and aspirations, they will generate interest in the club, Zembrzuska said.

“We have about 150 likes on Facebook and are generating more interest each day. But since the club is a relatively new organization, the main concern we are trying to address is engagement," Zembrzuska said. "The more participants the merrier." 

Nicole Osztrogonacz is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in journalism and media studies. She is a staff writer for The Daily Targum. Find her on Twitter @nikki_osz for more.

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