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OC alumna hosts “not another Christmas party”

Rebecca Hobbes is tired of “awkward company Christmas parties,” so last year she decided to do something about it.

“The Christmas Ball is lively, elegant and vibrant, “Hobbes, Oklahoma Christian University alumna, said. “It is not an awkward company Christmas party.”

“I don’t have an adjective for it other than magical,” Hobbes said. “You have the women in their sparkling, floor-length gowns and the men in their suits with bowties. One woman even came wearing elbow-length gloves.”

Hobbes said she was involved during her time at Oklahoma Christian and loved going to the seasonal banquets hosted by the social service clubs on campus.

“It was always something to look forward to,” Hobbes said. “When I graduated, I threw myself into graduate school and realized there was a void. You don’t have the same opportunities like you do in college to dress up fancy with a bunch of your peers and socialize in a classy way. Our options are very limited as young adults post-college.”

According to Hobbes, the idea for the Christmas Ball began while sitting around a table with her siblings last year.

“We talked about how we wished there was a party we could get excited for,” Hobbes said. “I thought it would be enjoyable to have a Christmas party. I thought at first about moving all the couches out of my living room but it didn’t give the elegance of what we wanted.”

Hobbes said after deliberating the options with her brother, in late November 2015 she decided to organize the Christmas Ball.

“I told my friends about the idea and they were absolutely over the moon about it,” Hobbes said. “It was encouraging to hear their responses and excitement. Their excitement around this idea of a Christmas Ball really propelled me to make it a reality.”

Hobbes said the Christmas Ball branched from a vision to create the opportunity for young adults in their 20s and mid-30s, to have the opportunity to dress up, be classy and have fun together in an uplifting environment.

According to Hobbes, she relied on her friends from Oklahoma Christian to help pull the event together. Junior Emily Henderson helped with decorations for the evening. Wes McKenzie, director of communications marketing, emceed for the evening.

“I realized before the event I would need help to be able to enjoy the evening,” Hobbes said. “I organized it but I didn’t want to spend the night walking around with a clipboard coordinated things all night long. I wanted to be a guest at my event.”

Hobbes said she got in contact with Senior Abby Davis, the service director for Gamma Rho, and was able to have four shifts of Gamma girls help out with checking in people at the door, serving refreshments and running the music.

Emily Henderson said her friendship with Hobbes led her to help with and attend the Christmas Ball last year.

“It was a vision that came to fruition,” Henderson said. “It’s exciting to see it all unfold from the music selection and decoration to the venue itself.”

Hobbes said the event was spread strictly by word of mouth, not published on social media, and only had a website to promote the event.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” Hobbes said. “I didn’t know if I was going to be able to pull it off but I was very relieved when 90 people showed up to be a part of the first Christmas Ball.”

Lauren Peters, an administrative assistant for the general counsel at Oklahoma Christian, attended last year’s ball.

“I was curious,” Peters said. “It’s always fun to get dressed up with your friends and try something new. I will use any excuse to buy a new dress.”

Peters said she and her friends had a great time taking lots of pictures, meeting new people and enjoying an evening out.

Those in attendance learned the foxtrot and waltz while dancing to classical musical from Tchaikovsky and Frank Sinatra, to big band jazz and Christmas songs such as ‘The First Noel’ and ‘Silent Night.’

Hobbes said following the event, people encouraged her to continue organizing the Christmas Ball for years to come.

“It was an unmitigated success and I could not be more pleased with it,” Hobbes said. “I accomplished what I set out to accomplish.”

Hobbes said this year’s event will feature a more elegant venue with beautiful chandeliers and staircases. There will be a photo station with Christmas props and fake snow for guests to enjoy before dance instruction begins.

A local ballroom teacher will teach those in attendance how to waltz for an hour followed by a break for socializing. The break will be followed by entertainment provided by ARTS (Art Revealing the Son), a local, faith-based dance company. The company will have their senior ballet students performing an ensemble and solo piece.

After the conclusion of the performances, attendees will learn the foxtrot.

“I’m excited this year gets to be bigger, better and fancier,” Hobbes said. “I want to involve more people now that I know what I’m doing.”

The Christmas Ball is Fri., Dec. 2 at the Springs Event Venue in Edmond, OK.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with dance instruction starting at 8:30 p.m.

“I’m excited to get all dressed up again,” Henderson said. “I’m ready to learn to foxtrot and waltz again.”

Tickets for the Christmas Ball can be purchased for $35 per person.

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