Get cold.

Usually during the month of December, I find it pretty hard to get in the holiday spirit while I’m at school. At this time of year, instead of being around your family, you’re surrounded by finals, stress, and misery; no one is sleeping or eating well, and everyone is biting each other’s heads off. Trying to feel Christmasy at school nowadays is not easy.

For this reason I usually just try to power through to the end of the semester without focusing on the holidays at all. I lock myself up inside where it’s warm, study like crazy, and tell myself that when I get home, I can Christmas it up 100%. But this year, since our finals are extraordinarily late in the month, and since my sister won’t be home to celebrate the holiday with my family… I haven’t been feeling like I’ll be able to get much Christmas in my Christmas this year. 

That is, I was feeling that way, until the beginning of reading period started.

On Wednesday night, on the spur of the moment, I decided to go ice skating with the Lighthouse Inter-Denominational Christian Fellowship, and had such a blast. I met some lovely people, and sang Christmas carols with friends while trying not to fall on my face on the ice; we all made a conga line and inevitably fell down while trying to skate in sync. If you haven’t been to the Polar Plaza downtown yet, and you can drop $10 on some ice skating fun, you should really try to squeeze it in before the end of the semester. It was so worth it.

Then on Thursday night, I went caroling with the rest of the Adelphian Concert Choir. I’d planned to get lots of recordings of us singing together, but the only video I got was us warming up our hot cocoa-clogged vocal chords with Ding Dong Merrily on High.

The highlight of our evening of caroling was when we met a gentleman out walking his dog, and after hearing us sing he directed us to his house so we could carol for his wife and daughter. They were so thrilled to hear us, and a couple neighbors even started coming out of nearby houses to listen as well. I had never been caroling before, but having done it with my fellow Adelphians, I can say there’s legitimately nothing more fun to do at Christmas.

So in conclusion, my tips for getting into the holiday spirit during finals season: grab some friends. Bundle up. Go outside. Get cold. Something awesome will happen, and that’s where the holidays are at.

And if that doesn’t work, blow off studying and go see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug twice in 24 hours. That’s another thing that worked on me.