Heading back to Cambridge after Thanksgiving break with holiday spirits sailing high, it is all too difficult to let them sink under the piles of readings to be caught up on, papers to be written, projects to be completed, exams to be prepped for, and always surprisingly overbooked time that is reading period and finals week. But if we need anything (besides caffeine, and the sleep that will inevitably have to wait until that last assignment is finally turned in) to get us through that hectic end of the semester, it is that very holiday cheer! Here are our top tips for keeping the holiday spirit alive and bright during the happiest time of the year:
- Holiday. Music. We're talking all day, all night (okay, maybe not 'all night' if you want to stay in your roommates' good graces!) rocking out to the holiday favorites that have already taken over the airwaves! Nothing makes the holidays feel more exciting and real than listening to and belting out those classic tunes, as Buddy the Elf can attest.
- Keep tabs on what's going on in your House -- in addition to holiday dinners and winter formals, many House Committees also put on Secret Santa events or specially themed Stein Clubs, Happy Hours, or Masters' Open Houses. If there's one time of year you will want to stay tuned to your House e-mail list, this is it!
- Keep tabs on what's going on around campus -- holiday events abound at Harvard, too! An early one to put on your calendar: the Radcliffe Choral Society and the Harvard Glee Club will present their century-old tradition "Christmas in Cambridge" concert on Friday, November 30th at 8:00pm and Saturday, December 1st at 1:00pm. Freshmen should also look out for information on President Faust's annual gingerbread house decorating study break in Annenberg!
- Get off campus! Head out to Faneuil Hall to admire the beautifully lit, eighty-five-foot-tall Christmas tree (check out the awesome picture below from their Facebook page!) and make a dent in your holiday shopping list -- plus, you never know when you'll stumble across incredible street performances or a cappella concerts. (Insider tip: the Harvard Square Holiday Craft Fair, one of the oldest in Boston, runs for two weeks and is another great spot to get some of that shopping done!)
- Another off-campus option (this one comes with a price tag) -- check out holiday events and performances in Cambridge and Boston. Our staff recommends the Boston Ballet's revamped rendition of the Christmas classic The Nutcracker, running now through December 30th. Group rates are available ($35-50/ticket), so get together a group of friends and treat yourself to a relaxing evening out and a beautiful show! The Cambridge Symphony Orchestra will also be running its Holiday Pops program on December 8th at 8:00pm ($20/ticket), featuring many of the classics and a special reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas that promises all the magic of the season.
- Bring it home! Decorate your dorm room with stockings, trees, menorahs, or anything that will give you and your suitemates that constant reminder that the happiest season of the year is upon us! Then snuggle up to watch your favorite holiday flicks, sip hot chocolate, and exchange presents (and if you're running on that tight, end-of-semester budget, agree to give homemade gifts or go on a fun, free excursion together!). Keeping the spirit alive starts with you and starts at home, so make sure to put in that extra effort to make this your most cheerful reading period yet!