Tag Archives: Christmas

Christmas Illumination from the Saint John’s Bible on Display in Payson

The new Saint John’s Bible display in the Payson Library lobby is currently featuring an illumination of a nativity scene, from the first page of the book of Luke. The nativity scene shows a manger surrounded by animals in front, Mary and Joseph to the right, and the shepherds and townspeople on the left. A beam of light connects the manger upwards towards heaven. The angels intersect this beam to form a gold cross, reminding us that the reason for Christ’s birth was to be fulfilled with the crucifixion and resurrection. You can see the illumination online here, or visit Payson Library to see it in person.

The Saint John’s Bible is a work of sacred art that unites an ancient Christian tradition with the technology and vision of today, illuminating the Word of God for a new millennium. In 1998, Saint John’s Abbey and University commissioned renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson to produce the hand-written, hand-illuminated Bible. The Heritage Edition, on display in Payson Library, is a fine-art reproduction of the original with the mission of igniting the spiritual imagination of people on all faith journeys. Pepperdine University Libraries embraced this mission by acquiring this Bible for the University in honor of its 75th anniversary. One volume will remain on display in the Payson Library lobby, while the others are available for viewing in Special Collections. Please contact Melissa Nykanen at (310) 506-4434 or at melissa.nykanen@pepperdine.edu for more information.

Library Christmas Collection


Are you looking for a book or movie to get you in the Christmas spirit? Pepperdine Library has a wonderful collection of Christmas books and DVDs to check-out during the winter break. Browse the Christmas Collection List and enjoy the holiday season!

Here are a few highlights of the Christmas Collection:


Miracle on 34th Street
starring Maureen O’Hara; John Payne; Edmund Gwenn; Natalie Wood



Christmas Carol

The Annotated Christmas Carol: A Christmas Carol in Prose
by Charles Dickens; Michael Patrick Hearn; John Leech




Vintage Christmas


Christmas: Vintage Holiday Graphics
by Jim Heimann



the-bishops-wife 2

The Bishop’s Wife
starring Cary Grant; Loretta Young; David Niven





Letters from Father Christmas
by J.R.R. Tolkien





The Christmas Candle
by Max Lucado




Happy Reading and Merry Christmas from Pepperdine University Libraries

“Christmas in America”: Today’s featured digital object

Detail of poster advertising the First Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

On December first, the Pepperdine community once again launched the holiday season with a Christmas dinner and tree lighting ceremony on Joslyn Plaza. Over the years, the tree lighting ceremony has shifted locations around Seaver College, as this annual tradition receives periodic renewal. On November 29, 1980, an event billing itself as the “First Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony” brought over 200 observers from the Malibu community. The event centered on the lighting of a 25 foot Deodar Cedar recently donated by the Adamson family in conjunction with the Malibu Optimist Club. The Adamson family, important Malibu landowners, had donated the land for Seaver College back in 1968 and remained closely tied to the university. The name of the tree was “Christmas in America.”

The lighting ceremony included speeches, the singing of Christmas carols, and Santa Claus (courtesy of the Optimist Club), who handed out candy canes to the children at the event. This tree, which, when lit at night, was visible from the Pacific Coast Highway, retained its role as Pepperdine’s Christmas tree for sometime afterward. You can see photos from this inaugural tree lighting in our University Archives Photograph collection.

Christmas in America, 1980

Visitors to Pepperdine University’s Malibu campus can make their way to the northeast corner of the Phillips Theme Tower parking lot where “Christmas in America” still stands, although unadorned. The dedicatory plaque, still affixed to a nearby boulder, reads: “Presented to the community of Malibu in the spirit of peace and goodwill towards all, that fellowship and brotherly love be always in our hearts.”

Merry Christmas and happy holidays from Pepperdine Digital Collections!