It is a struggle to find the holiday spirit when being confined to cinder blocks, apart from your family, and without the smell of cinnamon candles or pine tree.
Professor Kathryn Nogueira, who attended MU and lived on campus for one year also had difficulty recapturing the Christmas spirit on campus in her time spent as a student.
“For me, I think it might have been difficult to get into the holiday spirit while living on campus because during those last few weeks of December, when you are still in your dorm, most students are focusing all of their attention on finals and not necessarily any upcoming holidays they might celebrate.” Nogueira recalled. “I think a lot of people also associate the holidays and their holiday spirit with the traditions they had at home or with their families growing up.”
It seems as if the only way to find the holiday spirit when in college is to add ambush your dorm with holiday decorations. Whether it be Christmas or Hanukah, there are plenty of ways to deck your dorm with holiday decorations.
If your holiday is Christmas, it is always a pleasure to find the perfect Christmas tree with your family and put it up in your house. As many of you probably do not have enough time to head home and follow through with the tradition. Fortunately, you can still make do with an artificial tree and spruce up your dorm for a low price.
An artificial tree can be purchased at the K-Mart on Route 36. A tree is just the first step to make your dorm reflect like the holiday season. The next step would be to decorate it with ornaments, lights, and a star. You and your roommates could even have a Christmas decorating party with your MU friends in order to spread the holiday spirit.
Sophomore Allie Phillips has a tree in her Redwood dorm room and said, “Without living at my house, I miss the Christmas spirit, so I put up a tree in my dorm to make it feel more like home.” Tinsel is another quick and easy decoration to glisten up the room. Red Bows as well as wreaths can be hung on doors or walls to add a classic look. Hanging up stockings with the names of your roommates is a spirited idea too.
Sophomore Jackie Leming and her suite mates hung up stockings in their suite in Willow Hall. Leming explained, “It makes the room more festive and we like putting treats in them to surprise each other.” If you want to, you can incorporate your own Christmas treat for your roommates by placing a bowl of candy canes as a center piece on the common room table.
If your winter holiday is Hanukah, there are many decorating options posed for you this season. Candles are not allowed to be lit in the on-campus housing, but this does not mean you have to go without a Menorah. There have now been many Menorahs which are no longer actual candles, but instead they use electricity.
Another great way to get in the Hanukah spirit simply involves a dreidel. By playing this game with the candy gold coins, it will become easier to find the holiday spirit.
If you want your palates to find the Hanukah spirit, then you can either make or buy festive treats such as potato knish, latkes, or loukoumades.
Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukah, decorating your dorm will help you feel more at home this holiday season.