In the weeks leading up to winter break, I tried to listen to Christmas songs to get into the spirit of the season. I quickly realized that I didn’t feel the same way about them as I usually did when I listened to the same songs at home. As many people discover in college, home is a feeling--not a place. Since I’ve been home, I’ve found that the songs of the holiday season remind me even more of the comforts and traditions of the Christmas season I experience at home. Here are some Christmas songs and the thoughts they invoke for me:

1. "Silver Bells"

This song reminds me of being in the city away from home, seeing the decorations go up.

2. "I’ll Be Home for Christmas"

I’ve become more attached to this song this year--especially since it’s my first time being away and missing a couple of Christmas-related family gatherings.

3. "Sleigh Ride"

This one reminds me of pulling the Christmas tree through the front door and cringing at the sound of needles falling all over the floor and dreading the vacuuming that follows.

4. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"

This one is my personal favorite. It reminds me of untangling the lights and wrapping them around the tree before pulling out boxes and boxes of ornaments.

5. "The Christmas Song"

For me, this one invokes the thought of curling up in pajamas and drinking tea on the floor in front of the fireplace on the first night after all of the decorations are up.

6. "Run, Run, Rudolph"

I don’t hear this song very often except for on one CD my family has. We always play it in the car driving back and forth to see relatives. It’s just a classic Christmas vacation song.

7. "Let It Snow"

I find this to be one of the catchiest songs on the face of the planet. It reminds me of random sing-alongs with friends back home. We usually start singing it and don’t even realize we're doing it until everyone joins in.

8. "Winter Wonderland"

Speaking of friends, this one is the theme song to the late-night adventures together. It’s going to see Christmas lights out in the freezing cold or sitting by the fire pit late at night.