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After Thanksgiving, Christmas hits campus in a flurry as students scramble to fit a whole month of holiday cheer into the final 2 weeks of school. Trying to find the holiday spirit amidst the whirlwind of papers, projects, and finals can be difficult, especially considering that the 70 degree “Cali weather” in December doesn’t exactly signal Santa’s coming like it does in Kansas. Never fear, although the process might be accelerated and abridged, Christmas can be present in its full glory at college.

Living in Birnkrant Residence Hall as a freshman, my roommate and I really had to get creative to harness the Christmas spirit within our small living environment. First, the tree. Sadly, unless we were willing to eliminate all walking space in our room, a typical tree was not an option. Luckily, Target had us covered. We bought a 6 inch tall Christmas tree and some fake snow and put it on top of our microwave. Second, add some string lights. Third, cut out snowflakes and tape them all over the window. For the finishing touches, we hung snowflake streamers from the ceiling (still not sure if that is really allowed but it looked amazing). Bring a fireplace up on your laptop, play some Christmas music and voila–your winter wonderland is complete!! Full Christmas vibes.

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Another way to feel the Christmas cheer is by going to the Grove! The Grove is an outdoor shopping area that is about a 30 minute uber from campus! During the holiday season it SNOWS every night at 7 and 8 pm! The Grove transforms into a winter paradise as snow falls from the sky! This is a super exciting activity to share with your friends and might be the only opportunity to see snow in LA! Plus, a night on the town is not complete without a decadent dessert from Dominique Ansel Bakery:)

[/cs_text][x_image type=”none” src=”http://viterbivoices.usc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/IMG_0374.jpg” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/5″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h5″ accent=”false” class=”cs-ta-center” style=”color: hsl(0, 95%, 18%);”]About the Author[/x_custom_headline][x_image type=”circle” src=”http://viterbivoices.usc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Natalie-Kistler_19-20_pp_sq_web.jpg” alt=”” link=”true” href=”http://viterbivoices.usc.edu/dominie/” title=”” target=”blank” info=”popover” info_place=”bottom” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=”Dominie Biomedical Engineering ’21”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-center”]

Natalie is a sophomore studying Biomedical Engineering. Click above to find out more!

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A final way to get into the Christmas spirit is through gift exchanges! This is a great way to spend time with your friends and enjoy one of your last nights together before break! One option is “Secret Santa” where each person buys their “assigned” person a gift without telling them. A “white elephant” exchange with funny gifts is also a fun gift exchange idea! I actually did a Secret Santa exchange with some other Viterbi students tonight!! Complete your event with freshly baked holiday goodies (or bakery items from Trader Joes which are basically the same)!

Hopefully this gives you some inspiration for the holidays and some hope that Christmas can happen in college!! The holiday spirit might be just what we all need to power through the last week of classes and finals!!

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Natalie Kistler

Natalie Kistler

MAJOR: Biomedical Engineering YEAR: Class of 2022 HOMETOWN: Kansas City, Kansas PRONOUNS: she/her/hers