Snow flurries have started to dance through the chilly air, Christmas tree farms are ripe for the picking, and you hear nothing but “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” circulating the radio stations. It is definitely that time of year, the time for love and laughter, the time for cheer, the time for….oh yeah, final exams. That’s right. Before you can sip hot cocoa by the fire at home or unwrap that Christmas Eve gift, first you must beat your brains out in the library hunkered over your Anatomy and Physiology textbooks. Just because you have a couple, maybe five, exams to brood over, doesn’t mean you have to be a Grinch – or at least live like one. Your dorm room deserves some of that holiday cheer to pep you up this testing season! Here are 15 festive ways to decorate your Kent State dorm room for the holidays whether you’re the cheap dollar-store type, the DIY-er, the lazy-but-jolly, the Pinterest addict, or good old Buddy the Elf himself.
1. Keep it bright!
Pick up a small strand of holiday lights, be they colored or gold (try the LED, they’re the brightest!). Wrap them around your bed post, your ladder, string them along the wall or the bottom side of your lofted bed.
No, not the stuff vampires fear or that Italians put on bread. Add garland to your holiday lights to make them really stand out. The thick green caterpillar-like decoration also comes in colors like shining silver and gold, royal blue, ruby red, or snow white.
3. The best holiday decorations always have a theme…
…and there are plenty. Try red and white for that candy cane resemblance, classic North Pole red and green, Disney’s Frozen blue and white, a magical silver and gold, or add a pop of royal purple. Feeling a little childish? Why not use ALL THE COLORS!
4. Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree…
What is Christmas without a fat, green plant in the room? So you’re not going to a tree farm to chop down the real thing. Purchase a small, fake tree, about a foot in a half tall. Add lights and miniature ornaments from your local crafts store. Small trees look best on a pedestal, so set it on your desk or lamp table.
5. Kent is located in Northeast Ohio. What else happens in Northeast Ohio? It SNOWS!
Snowflakes are always appropriate for the whole winter season. Use printer paper or white coffee filters for this classic kindergarten craft. Fold the paper and nip out designs with a pair of scissors, then open your one-of-a-kind winter weather star. (Dear RAs, this is always the cheapest, simplest craft).
6. Okay, so you’re not the crafty type.
Dollar store window clings to the rescue! They come in a variety of themes from Santa and his elves to snowmen with tiny carrot noses. Fun and squishy, you can stick them either to your whiteboard outside your dorm room or your window, showing the world inside and out that someone festive lives here.
7. Show your Kent State pride.
Pull a Santa hat over that stuffed black squirrel mascot, kick up your fuzzy socks, and call it a night. Maybe pop a red clown nose on his face and call him Rudolph the Red-Nosed Squirrel.
8. Mason Jars
One of the newest fads in DIY decor are Mason jars. Pinterest is full of designs and all the supplies you’ll need, from conventional paint and glitter to ribbons, buttons, and google eyes. Some examples include a red Santa belly with black ribbon belt, a brown reindeer with pipe cleaner antlers, frosted glass with a few little snowflakes, or a simple red bow with some jingle bells. Stuff them with holiday treats like M&M’s or chocolate kisses to snack on during Netflix binges – I mean study breaks.
9. A unique wreath
The classic holiday wreath says “welcome” to any home during the holiday season. Be a little more unique than the traditional greens with holly berries. Take an old wire hanger, bend it into a circle, and thread on some Christmas tree bulbs, tying off the top with a lovely bow. Match the theme with your garland and lights, or keep it Kent State with blue and gold. Hang your wreath from your window or on the wall.
10. Find a festive holiday scent!
Sadly, the warmth of a fire on a cold winter’s night just isn’t possible in a little dorm room. Not even the flickering flame of a candle to keep you in the holiday spirit. Your room should smell as festive as it looks. Use gel scent beads, an oil diffuser set, aerosol sprays, or scent plug-ins. Find these at Yankee Candle, Bath and Body Works, Hallmark, or big box stores like Target and Wal-Mart. Common holiday scents include sugar cookies, evergreen spruce, and cinnamon stick.
11. Every year there’s a craze over Starbucks’ holiday cup designs.
This year features a red cup with a variety of holiday themed designs such as lights, snowy trees, Santa and his reindeer, and more. Especially before and during finals week, college students are more than likely to hit up the coffee-lover’s paradise more than once. Save your red cup(s), rinse them out, and decorate your desk! Maybe fill them with fluffy, fake snow.
12. Elf on the Shelf!
You don’t have to be a housewife to enjoy a little Elf on the Shelf during the holiday season. He’s everywhere – both inside and outside the Internet. Hide the creepy little red and white guy in your roommate’s shower tote, string him from the window (but don’t be morbid), make him a bed in the tissue box, or play peek-a-boo in the Christmas tree.
13. Decorate your windows
Let the world outside know your jolly spirit by stringing some ornaments from the window. Use some ribbons, tie them onto the wire loops of the Christmas bulbs or candy cane hooks, and hang the decorations at varying lengths.
14. Christmas cards are a lost art that’s easy to bring back.
Spread some cheer and heartwarming wishes by exchanging them with friends. You don’t have to spend seven dollars on a glittery card from your local Hallmark. Use print-outs or hand-make them. What matters most is the message inside. Use ribbons to dangle cards on your wall, or display them tent-style on your desk.
15. The ultimate Christmas playlist
Finally, the easiest, cheapest, most festive way to celebrate the holiday season. The Polar Express says “seeing is believing,” but when that little jingle bell from Santa’s sleigh jingle-jangles, hearing is believing, too. Pandora has a variety of holiday music stations from the classics to pop-artists. As they do every December, the television channel Freeform, formerly known as ABC Family, is dedicating the first 25 days of the month to the Countdown to Christmas. So keep the music on repeat and don’t miss your favorite holiday film.
Kent State regulates dorm room decorating. Absolutely nothing may be displayed on the front of your door and nothing may be attached to the ceiling. Both are potential fire hazards.
Otherwise, happy decorating! And, of course, may your good exam grade be one of the best gifts you get this holiday season.