by Susie Magrogan
artwork by Lauren Rudolph
The magic of the holidays is officially in the air. Halloween has come and spooked us all and sufficiently aided to my growing addiction to candy. Thanksgiving reminded us all why turkey is so good and how nice it can be to spend time with family. However, with these two holidays down, the big shebang is still to come, CHRISTMAS! Unfortunately, we still have a few weeks left in the semester before we can really start celebrating. Worried that the delay in celebrating might turn you into a Scrooge? To that I say, “ Bah Hum Bug.” Christmas can easily be celebrated in the comfort of your own dorm room or what ever humble abode you call home while at school.
What does your dorm need first to get in the spirit of Christmas? A tree! It is seen as a staple in many homes during the holiday season and usually proudly displayed in a window that makes the tree visible to passersby. Unfortunately, getting a real tree into a dorm room could be quite the challenge but do not let this minor detail damper your spirits. I have never had a real Christmas tree because apparently they are a “fire hazard” so you can always go the artificial route. However, artificial trees can still take up a lot of space and can be a little pricey. If your heart is set on a tree, you can use a little imagination and a lot of green construction paper and glue to make your own Christmas tree and hang it on your wall. Another option is go outside, pick a tree and decorate it. It might not be the same thing as having your own personal tree but it can be better because you get to share it with others.
I love going for rides with my family to see the crazy light displays in my community. Seeing a house covered in multi colored lights, with a wreath hanging on the door, and those creepy mechanical reindeer on the front lawn, signify that Christmas is here. The good thing about living in a dorm is that you don’t have to pay the electricity bill, which gives you a lot of leeway in the amount of Christmas lights you put up; however you will have to run it by your roommate. You can easily buy lights and garland at Happy Harry’s or any other local convenience store and decorate your heart out. Hang the garland and lights around your room any way you would like. Make the room come alive with the spirit of Christmas. Don’t forget that you can use your door for a canvas of your Christmas spirit too.
Just because you have decorated for Christmas does not mean that you are ready for the holiday. Christmas music always makes me feel cheery, no matter what time of year it is. Pick out your favorite Christmas CD, I recommend *NSYNC’s Christmas album. Make some hot chocolate, put on a Christmas sweater, and then just try to not be in the holiday spirit! Another easy thing to do that helps bring Christmas cheer, is to watch Christmas movies! If you didn’t bring any to school, don’t fret; ABC family has the 25 days of Christmas with a different Christmas movie on every night. If you aren’t interested in their movies you can always watch one on YouTube or go to a video store.
Decorating your room, listening to Christmas music, and watching Christmas movies are still no replacement for actually going home for Christmas. If you can’t make it home this year for the holidays the spirit of Christmas, and Santa Claus, will still find you. There is still one more thing you can do that might make not going home for Christmas seem a little less depressing: help those in need.
Christmas is the time of year when every one realizes how important family and friends really are. During the holiday season you hear of food drives, toy drives, and various things that help those in need so they can celebrate the holidays too. While you are in your perfectly decorated dorm room, it’s easy to forget there are plenty of people out there who are struggling, especially due to slump in the economy. Donating to a charity, giving your change to the Santa ringing the bell on Main Street, or volunteering at a local homeless shelter will give you just that extra push you need to get into the holiday spirit. Knowing that you helped make someone else’s Christmas just a little bit brighter is guaranteed to make yours that much better. As my favorite Christmas song, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas says, “ Through the years we all will be together, if the fates allow. Until then well have to muddle through somehow. So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.”