So, there were hours spent creating a sweater, thinking on whether on the front there should be a moose wearing a holly wreath or ornaments with sequins. This was a big deal.
When I arrived at the party, it was as though Christmas came early. People in all sorts of hideous sweaters - - ones with gold thread accents, off-color Norwegian sweaters and even a few individuals who abandoned the sweater idea all together in favor of drawing a Christmas tree on a T-shirt. My personal favorite was the guy who accented his sweater vest with Christmas bow-and-bell earrings. All the ugly sweaters that in regular life would be looked at with distress now were funny and delightful.
The night was magical. We forgot the vast amount of studying and paper writing that we had abandoned for the evening. We talked, we danced and we came home. We got up the next day and did homework.
This time of year can be ugly. We struggle to complete giant papers, balance a semblance of a social life with obligations to clubs, and study for that final test that could make or break our grade. And as we all know, this is stressful.
Furthermore, the ugliness of this time of year can really put a damper on the Christmas season. In fact, I do not think that I have enjoyed, or even really been aware, of the Christmas season since coming to college. I know that I cannot even think about going to the fun Advent services, the international Christmas celebrations all this week in chapel, or even really Christmas Fest, because I must focus on the same obligations I have been fulfilling all semester. Except in overdrive. When I was younger, a month of Advent services, Christmas parties, Secret Santa and other festivities made the Christmas season feel like the Christmas season. Nothing signifies Christmas to me; it is all just a race to complete the semester.
But, we need to take our ugly Christmas/finals season and think of it more like an ugly Christmas sweater. Despite the nonsensical nature of this statement, it has a point: We need to have a little fun in the midst of something so ugly.
So, reward yourself for completing a task. Take a few hours after the library closes at night to watch a cheesy or funny Christmas movie (A Christmas Story, anyone? That was the funniest movie ever when I first saw it). Celebrate the end of a semester with your friends by doing a secret Santa gift exchange. Sip hot cocoa. Go sledding (if it ever snows).