Eduvation Blog

Seasonal Storytelling: Satire & Sentiment

The annual Ten with Ken Holiday Special “wraps up” its survey of more than 200 college and university holiday greeting videos from around the world, with examples from Austria to Australia, New Zealand to New England!  This week in Part 3, we look at dramatic presentations for comic or heartwarming effect, from parodies of classic movies to political satire, feel-good messages about community, gifts of cheer, and acts of charity. To overcome the weaknesses of amateur acting ability, we see holiday mannequin challenges, mascots and puppies, and the self-deprecation of ugly holiday sweaters.

In particular, we acknowledge some “best in class” videos from last Christmas:

Situation Comedy: The Stockton University (New Jersey) “ITS Holiday Card” stages a tongue-in-cheek sit-com featuring the evil genius behind “elf on the shelf.”

Holiday Mannequin Challenges: The University of Glasgow (Scotland) stages an elaborate mannequin challenge across several floors and several buildings, all in a single take.

Feel-Good Messages: The University of Waterloo Faculty of Environment launches a “challenge” to faculty and staff, with a sentimental twist ending worthy of Dr Seuss’ Grinch.

Holiday Sentiments: Central Penn College’s heartwarming video based on a poem composed by one of its professors, “We Are Season’s Greetings.”

Acts of Charity: George Mason University (in Virginia) produced “Mason Spreads the Joy,” last year’s best-produced and best-acted video about students buying and sharing toys with underprivileged children.


Honorable mentions to:

Tucker Garborg, a film student at NYU, for his satirical ballad, “Christmas in College”. (Definitely worth a look!)

Bow Valley College’s new certificates in Egg-Nog Mixology and Regifting – complete with a website to generate the certificate!

Griffith University’s School of Government and International Relations for professor John Kane’s musical number, “A Very Trumpy Christmas.”

University of Utah Health Care, “Holiday Greeting” year-in-review mannequin challenge.


Watch all 7 hours of source videos in our 2016 Youtube playlist.

We’ve also started assembling a playlist of 2017 videos for next year’s special. (If you have a video to ADD, use this link and you can add it yourself!)


We’ll be back in the new year with more interviews with university leaders from the Ontario Universities’ Fair, and several episodes based on our excursion to Simon Fraser University!

To be sure you don’t miss them, please subscribe to our channel!

All best wishes for a peaceful holiday, and a happy and prosperous new year!

Yours, Ken

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