As the holidays draw near, we are burdened by finals as we watch the snow fall. We slip on the ice outside VPH. We freeze shuffling to the caf every day. All we want to do is be at home, next to a lit-up Christmas tree, free at last.
Unfortunately, the end of the semester is no time to relax. The last few weeks are always crazy. Papers and tests and project deadlines threaten to crush the seasonal joy. But we start our own traditions during these college years. The first time we celebrate holidays with our friends in our own dorms and apartments is something special.
So how does NW celebrate?
We deck the halls of our apartment. We hang twinkle lights and buy a tiny tree from the cheap aisle at Wal-Mart. Ugly, mismatched, probably handknitted stockings are hung from pushpins on living room walls. Sparkly red and gold Christmas bulbs hung from the top of windowsills add nice finishing touches to any dorm or appartment. Additionally, a mixed CD of Christmas songs is almost a must for those who like to sing in the shower. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year….”
Here at Northwestern, dorm celebrations take many forms. Stegenga and Fern both celebrate Christmas morning sometime in early December. This is a delightful ritual which involves surprises for the freshmen and breakfast in pajamas with the entire hall. Last year in Steggy, there was an appearance by Santa—and he read them a Christmas story.
West Hall sets up a living room every holiday season in the front entryway. It’s very cozy—with living room furniture and a TV permanently set to the fireside log channel. It’s a great center for community, which characterizes the spirit of West Hall.
This year will be the 19th annual Coly Christmas—a tradition that has been going on since 1992. Each wing chooses a theme and transforms their hallway. Some themes from the past include Northwestern Christmas, State School Christmas, A Christmas Catastrophe, and Heemstra Christmas. (Ironically enough, A Heemstra Christmas was previously put on by 3rd West Coly—the new home for Heemstra men.) The Coly guys go all out, “taking on the roles of actor, singer, dancer, tour guide, Santa, animals, famous people and even Northwestern “celebrities.” Kathy Meendering from the caf even made a cameo appearance last year,” said Coly RD Ryan Anderson. She no doubt sealed the deal for 2nd North, who won the vote last year with “Caf Christmas.”
Anderson says, “One of my favorite aspects of the Bash from an RD standpoint is it achieves both wing and dorm unity. While much of the work is done with wingmates, I think when the night is over, the guys walk away feeling proud to be a part of Colenbrander Hall.” He assures me that “once again, the guys are dreaming up some good themes so the 2010 Bash is sure to be another good one.”
With such a short time on campus between Thanksgiving and Christmas break, be sure to dive right in to the decorating. Be sure to celebrate but also be sure to study so you can continue to enjoy NW traditions year after year.