Christmas Spirit on a College Budget

Christmas is a holiday that has that certain feeling, that spirit that can make you feel like you’re at home even when you aren’t. Christmas can make finals seem like a thing of minuet measures, it can make your problems feel like less of a burden.  It’s the magic of Christmas that can make all of the difference at the end of a semester.  I have always been a Christmas fanatic, I love the goodie feelings of Christmas, yet when I came to college it felt as if I would never be able to buy all the necessary items to make it feel like Christmas at home because of my college sized budget.  Buying a tree, ornaments, lights, wreaths, candles, a nativity set; I couldn’t afford all the decorations that I was so used to while being at home.  While Wal-Mart does provide for a cheap outlet of Christmas goodies, they didn’t have everything that I needed, or it wasn’t cheap enough (when I say college sized budget I mean, flat broke).

I traveled around to thrift shops and hand down stores hoping to find all the necessary Christmas decorations, all so that I could make myself feel that Christmas spirit I was missing.  Hobby Lobby became my place of inspiration as well.  I found myself going to shop in the morning, in the afternoon, maybe even twice a day.  Though they do have great sales usually, they don’t always have the cheapest merchandise (Tip: the online 40% off coupon is a life saver, kids) I bought things few at a time here and there, I must admit I was even starting to buy Christmas items from Joann’s as early as October, because yes, they do have Christmas items out then.

405662_251903074877516_616379015_nBut do you know what the real shocker was? Even after buying all the supplies that I would need in order to make myself feel good around Christmas time, I still didn’t feel the same way I did when I was still at home with my family. I listened to Christmas music and sat by my decorated tree but I still felt like something was missing. Maybe there was another aspect to Christmas spirit that I hadn’t thought of yet. WHAT? The Christmas spirit is just about buying things? Nonsense you may say, this girl is nuts! But it might just be true, though I had a beautiful tree, the stockings were hung, and I had Santa themed candles and night stand decorations; it didn’t make me feel that important part of the holiday spirit because I forgot where that true spirit of Christmas comes from.Being at home with your family makes everything seem so perfect.  Yes, at the Thomas house hold we have a big decorated tree. But we decorated it together, as a family.  Yes, we decorated around the house with wreaths, garland, lights, and the nativity scene. But we put it all up as a family.  Do you see where I’m going with this, folks?

The Christmas spirit may not just be something that can be bought. Maybe, it’s that feeling we get around December untitledwhen we spend all that time with our families, decorating and making cookies for Santa. It’s that feeling you get when you everyone is gathered around the table Christmas Day, everyone gathered together with the television turned to A Christmas Story marathon (We religiously watch Ralphie every Christmas). Together as a family, that’s what puts the bow on Christmas Spirit.

So it didn’t make a difference how much money I had my first year of college.  Even if I would have had the budget to buy three different trees and decorate them like the beautiful trees you see in magazines, I still would have been missing that feeling. That part of the Christmas Spirit that only being with your family around the holidays can give you.

So all you broke college kids, call your families when you start feeling like no matter what you do you can’t get in the Christmas mood.  Because I promise you, even if you’re stuck with a Charlie Brown Christmas tree and a few peppermint scented candles, your family can make it feel like the best Christmas ever until you get home.

In Sisterhood,

Dandi Thomas

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