These two weeks are definitive for IU students. During Dead Week many classes have final projects and papers due and Finals Week keeps many students up for days at a time either from studying and/or stress. However, I've come up with a few fast and easy ideas to help you decorate and celebrate the holiday spirit without wasting precious studying time.
1. Use Your Resources
My roommate and I have a large window that looks out over a courtyard. When deciding how to decorate, I decided that I would focus my efforts on the window because the decorations could be enjoyed from both inside the apartment and from and outsider's perspective. We had a lot of blank glass space so I put up festive window clings and a "Let It Snow" decoration.
2. Keep it Cheap
At a trip to the local dollar store, I found two stockings for a dollar each and suction cup hooks to hang them on the window. Another very cheap, on hand decoration are the presents you plan to give for Christmas. After wrapping all of the gifts, I lined them up against the window instead of hiding them away to bring color and cheer to the room.
Speaking of cheap, when you're looking for gifts be sure to check local stores for holiday deals. The local Borders is going out of business and selling their products for 30-40% off! Needless to say, a lot of my family members received books this year. Also be sure to make a trip to the dollar store! You can find cheap (but quality) wrapping paper, boxes, gift bags, tissue paper, not to mention the plethora of potential gifts. If you're on a budget, a stop at this store is a must!
3. Take A Baking Break
If you're studying for an exam and feeling a little stressed, use the kitchen in your room or the residence hall's kitchen to make a batch of homemade cookies. It does not take too much time to mix together the ingredients, and you can easily scan through a few study points while waiting for your Christmas cookies to bake. You'll be treated to the delicious smell of homemade cookies and will have a snack to munch on while you work.
4. Get A Little Green
While it's true you likely will not be able to keep a full-sized Christmas tree in your residence hall, that shouldn't keep you from getting any kind of holiday greenery! This year I was lucky and found a baby fir tree for only $3 at Kroger. Other options could include poinsettias or cacti with Christmas lights on them.
I know that this time of year is both exciting and stressful, but if you're smart you'll be able to celebrate the holidays and have successful Final and Dead Weeks. Happy Holidays!