Categories: Holidays

Decorating Your Dorm For Christmas

Now that Halloween is over, it is my favorite time of the year. Before anyone accuses me of skipping Thanksgiving, I will be sure to give it a spotlight. However, not too many people decorate for Thanksgiving and when you are living in a dorm, where you are kicked out for three weeks of December, you decorate early to make sure you actually get to enjoy your Christmas decor. Besides, decorating for Christmas is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season, the abundance of lights and Christmas music makes studying and homework just that much more bearable. Just because you’re living in a dorm doesn’t mean you shouldn’t decorate. In fact, this is when being homesick is at its peak as each of us is dying to go home to celebrate the holidays with our families. Here are some simple items that can add a splash of Christmas to your decor:

1. Christmas Tree

Would it really Christmas dorm decorations without a Christmas tree? However, if I may direct your attention toward the list of things you cannot bring to a dorm, a real Christmas tree is on the list, curious enough. There are still plenty of smaller, plastic versions that would be the perfect size for our quaint dorms. I suggest one that is three feet or smaller, some even come in the one foot that is ideal for setting on top of dressers and keeping out of the way. Pick out tiny plastic ornaments to hang on it, these can be found in tubes at Walmart and Target for less than five dollars. Top with a bow or a tiny star; I chose a bow due to how tiny my tree was. Follow this link for an affordable, convenient tree at Target.

2. Garland

Garland is another cute, but discreet, way of adding to your Christmas dorm decorations. It can be wrapped over the tops of mirrors and doorways to add a splash of the holidays whenever you enter a room. There is the cheaper, tinsel garland which is more durable and comes in bright colors; or the tree-like garland which comes in a pine-tree-green. These can even have fake snow on it to add a more whimsical effect to your dorm room.

3. Lights

Though you will find lights up in my room year-round. They are also very reminiscent of the holidays and an essential for Christmas dorm decorations. Multicolor lights are perfect for adding color to your room and giving a more playful feel of the Christmas lights you see on houses at Christmas-time. Another option would be white lights with white wire, which would stand out less against the walls. Plus, they give a more whimsical effect, similar to that of a white Christmas. Whichever you choose, try to stick to your theme of either brighter colors or mild, pastel colors–although, this is just a recommendation, have fun with it!

4. Pillows

Target, TJ Maxx, and Kohl’s are some of the best places to find holiday pillows. Simple touches like pillows are the easiest way to add a theme to your room. Choose from cute designs like Santa, reindeer, nutcrackers, and cute holiday phrases reminiscent of the season. Plus, pillows give a cozy, inviting mood to a room, which is exactly the goal for Christmas. You want a room that you will love coming home to, pillows will make you want to come home, grab some hot chocolate, and cuddle up with a Christmas movie.

5. Fleece Blankets

In addition to your new pillows, adding fleece or knit blankets are another way to welcome the cold weather of winter. Choosing colors that suit your theme, such as red and green, will add to the cozy feeling your pillows are already providing. While I know it is more expensive to completely change the theme of your room for a month-long holiday, the simple addition of a pillow or two and a throw blanket can give the winter vibes you are searching for. It can add to what you already have without having to pay too much money for new pieces. Also, it will be getting colder and you will definitely appreciate the extra warmth.

6. Wreath

During my days of dorm life, I loved decorating for Christmas and I wanted to share my cheer and Christmas dorm decorations with everyone. I chose to hang something on the door to ensure I was spreading my Christmas spirit to the whole hallway. Mini wreaths are the perfect size for our dorm rooms, plus, they aren’t nearly ass expensive or extravagant as the ones you would find on the front dorms of homes. Despite the fact we are decorating for Christmas, we don’t want our Christmas dorm decorations to become too expensive. A wreath can make this room feel more like home, seeing it on your door upon arriving after a long day could be a warm welcome home.

7. Stockings

Include your roommates! The best part about Christmas is being able to spread your cheer to those around you. Christmas is a time for spreading joy, and the chances are that if you are feeling homesick, so are your roommates. Take this opportunity to bond and cheer them up by creating stockings for everyone. Or, make it a group activity. Stockings can get expensive depending on their material and patterns. However, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree provide one dollar felt stockings and glitter glue. Make it a group activity to use the glitter tubes to write names and decorate the stockings and hang them up for each of you. This doesn’t make you responsible to fill it later but it would be fun for each of you to set a price limit and get each other a small gift.

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8. Snow globes

Some people collect snow globes, some don’t, but you don’t have to be a collector to find five dollar (and under) snow globes to throw in random places around the dorm room. If you have no interest in snow globes, there are also other knick-knacks to add around your sink, dresser, and desk to add a little bit of Christmas to every corner. Christmas dorm decorations that are small and simple like snow globes can be found at Dollar Tree and Family Dollar for less than ten dollars. Try adding snowman and Santa figurines, countdown-to-Christmas chalkboards, and nutcrackers.

9. Wax melts

This might not exactly fit in with your Christmas dorm decorations, but it is still essential on my list. I would love to tell you to go crazy with the Christmas candles; however, those are not allowed in dorms. In order to get around this, wax melts will give you the same effect without getting you in trouble with your RA. The best smells are cranberry (similar to cranberry sauce), fresh winter scents (like winter air), Frasier fur (the smell of Christmas trees), and sugar cookies (a sweet smell of vanilla to remind you of your families holiday baking). Did you know that through smell we are able to recall memories and are more reactive to them? These scents are perfecting for giving you the feels of home and Christmas memories.

10. Fake snow

For anyone born outside of Florida, Christmas and snow are one and the same and it is just not the same without it. However, we can’t exactly produce it on our own. Thankfully, there is plenty of alternatives–decorative versions of snow to bring your dorm the white Christmas you love. Plus, it is super cheap to pick up anywhere that sells Christmas decorations. The best type to buy–that offers the least amount of work and clean-up–is the felt type that comes out like a fluffy sheet. Lay it across your window sill and desk and place any decorations on it to accent it. Or, layer lights underneath it to give it a soft glow.

Being that Christmas is my favorite time of the year, I am very passionate about Christmas dorm decorations. During my first year away from home, I was beyond homesick as the holidays drew near. My mother offered me just a couple items from her very large collection and it immediately made it feel like a piece of home was with me for Christmas. I have added to the collection since and I have found comfort in the holiday season and the joy that it brings. I would love to hear your own experiences with decorating and what you choose to add to your collection; let me know in the comments below!

Featured image source: Pinterest
Taylor Saathoff

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