Holiday Traditions for You and Your Roommate

By Ashley Paskill

For many students, the end of the fall semester means the winter holidays are quickly approaching. While this may be a time of stress with presents to buy, cards to send, and projects and exams to complete, it may also be a time of fun things to do, especially with your roommate. There are so many traditions you can continue or start, so here are a few to get you in a festive spirit.

Roommate Tips: Holiday Traditions for You and Your Roommate
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Decorate your living space

As with any other season or holiday, decorating your living space for the winter holidays is one big way to get into the holiday mood and lift your atmosphere. This may include checking out local thrift stores for inexpensive décor items or even working with your roommate to make your own decorations. This is also a great season for natural inspiration such as a holiday tree. You may even start a tradition of buying a Christmas ornament that reminds you of each other.

Holiday lights

One of the prettiest sights to see during the holidays are houses decorated with brightly colored lights and blowup decorations. Some families go all-out so visitors can even park and walk up to their yards and walk through the lights. Make it a tradition to check out some of these with your roommate and drive around with each other to look at them.


A wise man once said, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear.” One way to do this is to go caroling through your dorm room complex, your apartment complex, or even your neighborhood with your roommate. Practice a few songs so you can perform a few on rotation for each family around you. It does not matter if either of you have a good voice or not. All that matters is that you have fun and are spreading holiday cheer to your neighbors.

Learn something new

There are various holidays that take place at the end of the year. Of course, Christmas, Hannukah, and Kwanza are the most popular and the most widely known. However, Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains around the world and in the United States. If your roommate celebrates a different holiday than you do, ask them to teach you about it and show you their family customs. If you and your roommate are celebrating the same holidays, see if you can find someone on campus, either an individual or group, who may be celebrating a holiday you do not. Take the time to go and learn about the holiday and see how it is celebrated. Even families who celebrate the same holidays celebrate them differently from others, so see how others celebrate and how their family is different from yours.

Bon Appetite!

No matter what holidays are celebrated, food is always a huge portion of the celebrations. Have a holiday party with your roommate and neighbors. Have each person bring a dish their celebration is known for. You may even have each person do a small presentation or write-up on what it is, what is in it, and why they chose to bring it with them. Ask if it is a long-time family tradition to make the food and how it ties in with the holiday.

Ugly Christmas sweaters

Ugly Christmas sweaters are one of the most incredible ways to express yourself and your creativity this tie of you. Whether you paint or sew your sweater, you can make your own holiday sweaters that will last through all of your holiday get-togethers or celebrations. Even if you cannot afford to make or buy your sweaters, consider buying matching winter hats or nail polish to enhance your look.

Gift exchange

One of the quickest traditions you can do with your roommate is to hold a gift exchange with them. It can be as simple as buying them a gift and giving it to them before or after classes are done for the day. You do not even have to be in contact with each other. Just leave the present in a spot for them to find it and open it. This can be a fun hide-and-seek type of thing if you have time as well. You know each other well enough that you know likes and dislikes.

Holiday crafts

While this can fit in with crafts and décor, it can be its own fun category. You and your roommate can find craft kits at local craft and general item stores. As time goes by, the cost of each individual cubby. As time goes on, the crafts will be less expensive and hopefully, the ones you can choose from will be quick and easy to complete in one sitting.

As college students, working during the holiday season can be a time of stress as things pile up. As such, having fun things to do with your roommate can put you in a fun and festive mood, helping you to forget your stressful to-do list, at least for a little bit.

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