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UM Communiversity Helping Community Capture the Holidays

New 'Happy Holiday Hour' lunchtime classes offered for just $10

Local residents are invited to deck the halls with the UM Communiversity program's wide array of holiday classes being offered this fall on the Oxford campus. Seasonal favorites this year include "Wreath Making" and "Merry Mailboxes" with Oxford Floral's Whitney Pullen. New this year are $10 lunchtime classes to help you spruce up your home in a hurry.

OXFORD, Miss. – As the leaves begin to turn bright red and orange on the University of Mississippi campus, the Division of Outreach's Communiversity program is ready to help local residents prepare for the hustle and bustle of the upcoming holiday season.

"We know everyone is so busy this time of year," said Sandra Sulton, the university's Communiversity coordinator. "We wanted to help make decorating, cooking and capturing precious holiday memories a little easier."

For people who are short on time but would love to decorate like the pros this Christmas, Communiversity will offer five unique one-hour classes that meet during the noon lunch hour.

"These 'Happy Holiday Hour' classes pack a lot of great ideas into 60 minutes and cost just $10," Sulton said.

First up, Robert Jordan, the university's director of photography services, will pass along his best photo tips for "Capturing Your Christmas Card Photo." From what to wear to camera settings, Jordan has rounded up some of his tried-and-true tricks for family photos, kids and babies, and even pets, plus some fun Christmas card photo ideas.
The class is set for noon to 1 p.m. Oct. 26 at UM's Insight Park, off Hawthorn Road near the Ole Miss softball and soccer fields.

Jeff McManus, UM director of landscaping services, is preparing to show participants how to have a beautiful winter arrangement that greets your holiday guests during the "Holiday Container Gardens" class offered at noon Nov. 9 at the University-Oxford Depot.

Participants will learn to use beautiful natural elements from the outdoors including spruce, fir, cedar, holly, dried flowers, pinecones and many other items to create a beautiful outdoor focal point.

On Nov. 16, Jordan Brown, of Oxford's Discount Building Materials, will teach her favorite techniques for putting together a lovely Christmas tree from start to finish in "Tips for Trimming Your Tree." The class will meet at noon at the University-Oxford Depot.

Another new class for this year is "Merry Mailboxes," with Oxford Floral's Whitney Pullen. The class will show you how to add holiday flair to your street by assembling the perfect holiday display using beautiful greenery on your own mailbox. The one-hour class will meet at noon Nov. 30 at the Depot.

The final "Happy Holiday Hour" $10 class is a special meeting with Mitch Robinson from Strawberry Plains Audubon Center in Holly Springs. Robinson will lead the "Christmas Tree for the Birds" class, where participants will learn different ideas for decorating a tree that can be moved outdoors after the holidays and enjoyed by our feathered friends. The class is set for noon Dec. 14 at the Depot.

Two more holiday-themed classes will be offered in the evening to give participants a little more time to create. The first is "Holiday Sweets and Treats" class taught by Jeff and Kathleen Taylor, owners of Oxford's Sweet T's Bakery and recent contestants on the Food Network show "Cake Wars."

The Taylors will share their best tips for making holiday meringues and other sweet treats from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Depot. The cost is $68.

Oxford Floral's Whitney Pullen will be back on Dec. 8 to teach the "Wreath Making" course again this year. One of the most popular Communiversity courses from previous years, this one teaches participants to create a beautiful, fragrant holiday wreath that they take home. This class has been a great girl's night outing in years past. The class meets from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and the cost includes greenery and a wreath form for just $70.

Click here to find out more about the Holiday Series classes.