November 21, 2015

How To Deal: Holidays Away From Home

In college, the holidays have a different feel than they do at home. There isn't any room for an 8-foot tree in your dorm, there's no fireplace to hang the stockings by, and the dining hall can't do pumpkin pie like Grandma can.

Last year in the dorms, I fell into this "where-are-you-Christmas" depression when I couldn't really feel the holiday spirit. It's a little bit easier this year in an apartment (we can actually fit a Christmas tree), but I thought we all could use a post on how to keep the holiday spirit even if we're miles from home and living in a cement block (nice way of saying "dorm").

I asked my reps for their input considering most of them are spread out over the country on different college campuses. So without further a do (further a do? further to do? What's the saying?), here are the tips!

"Chai tea lattes are Christmas in a cup. I [also] have a little, 3-foot Christmas tree that I've had since I was little and I put it in my room every year and add a few little ornaments to it! Big sweaters aren't ugly, they are super comfy and festive! Watching Eloise at Christmastime, Elf, or any of the Holiday classics always gets me in the spirit."

-Caroline, Cy-Fair High School (Cypress, TX) 
*if you haven't noticed, this is my sister. And it's true, we love Eloise at Christmastime and used to reenact the scene where Bill and Rachel sing and dance at the piano together. #cute #sisterlylove

"I like to get in the holiday spirit by getting with my friends or roommates and creating a fun holiday themed recipe or even craft off Pinterest! I also like to add some decorations to my apartment. Just the other day I bought Christmas-themed hand towels for the kitchen...And lastly, getting started on my Christmas shopping gets me in the spirit! It's never too early to start on that!"

-Angela, University of Alabama

"Something to really make it seem like the holidays is to make your room smell like the holidays. Since no candles are allowed in the dorms, I'm going to use the Wallflowers from Bath and Body Works! The "Tis the Season" scent and "Sweater Weather" scent or the "Evergreen" scent would all accomplish the job of making it smell like the holidays.

A small wreath made of mini ornaments will be the final touch of holiday in my dorm room. I found a Pinterest DIY on how to make [one] and I can't wait to hang it up after Thanksgiving Break!"

-Emma, University of Arkansas

"Some things that I do to get in the holiday spirit in our little apartment is lots and lots of cheap Christmas lights! They are so easy and definitely make our home feel a little bit more like the holidays! We hang them up all around our living room and there are some hung up in my room too! ...Also, doing something as simple as making those little Christmas cookies from HEB (grocery store) helps keep the holiday spirit alive!"

-Morgan, Texas A&M University 

"I absolutely love buying Christmas lights and decorating with those...I'm also a huge sucker for those Christmas candles that smell like homemade cookies and Christmas trees! My roommates have bought those small fake Christmas trees in the past as well as wrapping the bedroom doors in Christmas-themed wrapping paper."

-Rachel, (blogs over at Seashells + Sparkles), Westfield State University 

"It is definitely very difficult to be away from your family during the holiday season because family is the first thing I think of during this time of year! To help get into the spirit of the season, the first thing I do is break out the decorations and the Christmas music! I am one of "those" people who has already been listening to Christmas music for about a month before Thanksgiving. I'm pretty sure my roommate will kill me if she hears Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas one more time!

Also my favorite holiday drink is apple cider. I just pour some in my little crock pot, put a dash of cinnamon in, and let it heat up slowly! It makes my apartment smell like a holiday wonderland!"

-Catherine, University of Arkansas

How do you get into the holiday spirit when you're away from home? Or if you do live at home, how do you make your room your own holiday wonderland?

Thanks for reading and thanks to my reps for being the best of help this season!




  1. I love this post! I am currently still in college and I don't get to go home for Christmas break until December 22! I am already pretty bummed out about this! xx, kenz

  2. Such a great post! I've never had to spend a holiday away from home, but I do still love all of those same things-especially hot apple cider that makes your whole house smell yummy :)

    xoox, SS

    The Southern Stylista

  3. Amazing post dear! You have a wonderful blog:)
    What about following each other on Instagram, Bloglovin, Twitter?.. :)

  4. I, fortunately, get to come home for Thanksgiving but you can definitely have fun on your own, or with friends and have a friendsgiving!

  5. My roommate and I plan to decorate our room for the holiday. It's an easy way for the place to feel "homey" without actually going home.

  6. Attempting crafty Pinterest projects always works for me!

    Diary of a Debutante

  7. A lot of my students are going through this for the first time as they're mostly first years. It's hard for them to deal with it.