Mismatched holidays of the dorms


Anna Mateffy, Photo Editor of The Spectator, gets in the Christmas spirit with roommate Megan Overstreet. – Photo by Anna Mateffy

Story by Anna Mateffy, Photo Editor

I walked into Sutherland Hall on Monday and the smell of cinnamon filled the air. A few more steps ahead and Thanksgiving decorations covered one door and a happy jack-o-lantern smiled from the next.

When I reached the fourth floor, Michael Bublé’s jazzy version of Jingle Bells rang through the hall. Welcome to the mismatched holiday season of Sutherland.

It is my fourth year living in the residence halls. My freshman year, I lived in Oak Ridge Hall and absolutely loved the glittery versions of Christmas trees and menorahs that replaced cornucopias and smiling pilgrims the day after Thanksgiving break. It may have just been my floor, but there seemed to be an unspoken rule for correctly seasoned decorations.

Each hall has a stunningly different personality, though. My sophomore year, I moved to Sutherland and it became my home to this day.

Sutherland is full of characters. Instead of the timely decorations, it is a mismatched celebration the day the first colorful leaf falls. Christmas ornaments, happy turkeys, spooky witches and stars of David all occupy doors from September until the halls clear after finals.

My roommate and I still stick to decorating for the next holiday. Gel leaves and turkeys cling to our windows until we get back from Thanksgiving break, and then out comes the Christmas tree. I would have a real tree, but they aren’t allowed in the dorms because they are a potential fire hazard.

We block off a day and spend far too much time decorating with colored lights and setting up our disheveled three-foot tree. Christmas music blasts until the last day of finals, attempting to recreate the scenes we know from our childhoods.

We even have a Christmas morning of sorts, with ugly Christmas sweaters, hot cocoa and unwrapping newspaper-covered presents.

Although there are plenty of rules against natural trees and candles, holidays are still a completely magical time in the dorms. Fellow residents throw gatherings and someone is always watching a seasonally-appropriate movie.

If you live in the dorms, enjoy the sense of community which fills the decked halls. Bake cookies in the kitchen, watch movies and light your (electric) menorah. However you celebrate, do it with those around you. I promise it will be on your list of favorite holiday seasons yet.