Community manager Erik de Jong understands the CCT’s decision, but he certainly regrets the fact that, “especially in these times,” the Christmas Market also won’t take place. “It’s so important to have the opportunity to meet each other informally and to have something to look forward to. I definitely believe that it’s possible to organize a Christmas Market in the Market hall in compliance with the corona measures, but I understand that it’s considered to be a wrong signal,” De Jong says.
De Jong organized a Christmas Market for the first time in September 2017. Some TU/e staff members and students still vividly remember the ‘shooting Christmas trees’ stunt. Next year saw the introduction of the ice rink, and the event was expanded last year with a giftshop where staff members could choose their Christmas gift package.
The fourth edition
The idea for this year’s edition was to add a large outdoor restaurant. The caterers of Hubble, the Zwarte Doos and the canteens would work together to offer people - sitting down, at a one-a-half meter distance - Christmas dinners. “The idea was to have large groups outside without violating agreements,” De Jong says. “Eating together is still possible now, but indoors only at the Zwarte Doos and Hubble, and in smaller groups. As we know: with a reservation and no more than thirty persons. At least, for as long as bars, cafés and restaurants are allowed to stay open.”
Continuation of social bonding is important, both for staff members and students, the community manager believes. He is now looking for alternative locations to offer this during the Christmas holiday. “I’m thinking of a collaboration with the Student Sports Centre, which also offered activities last year. But I’m also considering making better use of outdoor spaces, we might place canopies on the campus.” If you have an idea, you can - always - contact Erik de Jong.
De Jong still hopes to create some Christmas atmosphere with a Christmas tree in Atlas, because that building serves as the entrance for those few people who are allowed to come to the campus. He tries not to despair. “You need to prevent that. I want to continue to think in terms of possibilities. Don’t let fear guide you. We need to make the best of it during this period.”
The Christmas package is still being considered. It’s unlikely that we will be allowed to collect it on the campus. De Jong will save the video he had announced, and had made already, for later. “Fortunately, Christmas is timeless.”