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Perhaps the most controversial topic on campus that I’ve experienced is when the Christmas season really starts. Everyone has a strong opinion, and from the title of the article, you know mine. 

For context, when I was a young and naive freshman and believed there was only one round of midterms, I decided to cope by pretending it was Christmas time. I threw on Christmas PJ pants and Christmas music and danced around my room to feel something other than winter sadness. 

So, of course, the day after Halloween, the autumn decorations were taken down and packaged up. A few days went by, and the white lights above my bed got switched out to rainbow. I was so enthusiastic I even got my roommate in the spirit, and she hung up the extra pack I bought. 

I was downtown and realized Target might have Christmas decorations, so I practically ran there to look. It was a little thing, but it brought me so much joy. That’s what the season is about, isn’t it? I walked around the isles and bought more Christmas stuff than I should have.

I got some Christmas candy, matching PJ pants for my roommate and me and a few desk decorations. I also picked up my three-foot Christmas tree and the ornaments I ordered with it. I probably spent about three hours all together getting my side of the dorm all decorated. I honestly have no regrets whatsoever, and I don’t know why this isn’t a more common obsession or popular opinion. 

Christmas has never been a religious affair to me, so maybe there is some underlying bias. For me, it’s the feeling of hope and happiness. It’s the childlike joy that makes me hate the cold weather less. Then, the cozy blankets and the warm lights make the cold even more bearable. I have to find joy in all the little things.

Another part of me romanticizing Christmas is that I’ve never had my own tree before. I was practically giddy getting to decorate my own tree how I wanted because it was only mine. It’s a tiny tree, nothing impressive, but I can call it my own. What’s even more special is that the last two years, my family hasn’t even bothered to put up a tree. So, this is the first one I’ve gotten to decorate in two years, and when you love Christmas as much as I do, that’s pretty special. 

The holidays mean something different to everyone, and there’s no shame in how you want to celebrate, even if it’s outside of the expected time range. Besides, is there anything more magical than turning on rainbow Christmas lights and turning on your tree when the world goes pitch black at 5 pm? 

Picture of my dorm bed decorated for Christmas
Madeline Haller

Madeline (she/her) is a first-year at Penn State studying Psychology and Labor and Human Resources from Bangor, Pennsylvania.
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