Though holidays are usually characterized by spending time with family and eating delicious food around a big table, there are ways to get in the holiday spirit at college. It's always hard leaving behind family holiday traditions, but being at college creates the opportunity to form new traditions with your new friends! Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, or even Kwanza, get your friends together and celebrate the holidays in a new way!
The first thing you need to get into the holiday spirit is some decoration for your room. Buy a mini Christmas tree (a fake one is probably better so it doesn't die) or get an electronic menorah! Every time you enter your dorm room you'll have a token of the holidays to remind you of the best time of year.
After you've decorated your dorm room, host or attend a holiday-themed party. Depending on the size of your dorm room, host a holiday party with friends or people from your hall. In college, everyone is always looking for something to celebrate! My friends and I went to a Christmas themed party and even though I don't even celebrate Christmas, it was so much fun dressing up and celebrating with everyone. There were themed drinks for the holidays, and everyone chanted "All I want for Christmas is You" which is always fun.
It's such a fun idea to go to different events surrounding the holidays that your college offers. Though your family may not be there to celebrate with you, your friends and peers can become your new family. Going to a Christmas tree or menorah lighting with your college community can be just the thing to lift your spirits and relieve stress. The beautiful lights remind you of this magical time of year and encourage you to embrace it before it's over! I even went to the Hillel to a Hanukkah party where we sang songs, played dreidel, and ate traditional Hanukkah foods. Maybe the food isn't as good as your family's homemade version (it's definitely not...) but singing songs (even if it's with a bunch of strangers) can give you that feeling of warmth, comfort, and familiarity, especially if you are one of the only ones sticking around for finals.
Maybe celebrating the holidays at college isn't quite like celebrating them at home with your family, but that doesn't mean you can't have just as much fun! Instead of trying to compare celebrating holidays at college with celebrating them at home, for new memories with new people that you'll have to look forward to the next year! Soon, you may be wondering how you ever celebrated holidays any differently.