Deck the halls and bake the cookies


It’s that time of year again. The Christmas lights on Boston Common have been strung. The tree at Faneuil Hall is lit. And Starbucks is featuring peppermint mochas instead of pumpkin spice lattes. Bitter cold temperatures mean more time spent inside. Emerson students know how to celebrate the holidays both indoors and outdoors, exhibiting their decorating expertise by stringing lights, assembling trees, and mounting menorahs.

Delilah Kaufman, a freshman visual and media arts major, said she wanted to get a head start on Hanukkah this year by cooking latkes in her dorm. 

“I love to cook, and everyone loves latkes,” she said. “There were a lot of materials I had to buy — tons of latke mixture, apples, and cranberries, but I’d say the time and money spent was well worth it.” 

What began as cooking latkes for fun turned into a large gathering on the ninth floor of Little Building, where students from Piano Row, Paramount, and Colonial flocked to experience a taste of Jewish cuisine. 

“It was interesting that people whom I’d never met showed up,” said Kaufman. “It was definitely a bonding experience.” 

With holiday window displays popping up around Boston, students said they tried their hand at decorating their own spaces.

In Little Building’s 10th floor common room, Christmas arrived early. Red ribbons dot the walls, sparkling silver garlands line the windowsills, and a giant stocking hangs beside the television. A tiny tree adorned with candy canes is placed near the window, which is covered in paper snowflakes and penguin stickers. The floor’s residents also outfitted their trash can to look like Santa Claus, complete with a beard and hat. 

Rachel Samson, a freshman visual and media arts major, was one of several residents who contributed to the adornmants. 

“I personally think the decorations make the room feel more homey,” said Samson. “We spend so much time here anyway, so why shouldn’t the space be decorated for Christmas?”

Residents also decided to screen holiday-themed movies nightly until Christmas arrives. Their choice of films, which Samson said mimics ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas Marathon, features classics such as How The Grinch Stole Christmas and The Santa Clause, plus original suggestions from floor members. 

Just down the hall, students have brightened their dorms with Christmas flair inside and out. Mary Olsen, a freshman performing arts major, said she wanted to continue her tradition of decorating her room at home while at college. Hanging from her door is a Christmas countdown in the shape of a tree. Inside, Olsen’s space is adorned with rainbow lights, window letters that spell out “Merry Christmas,” and a miniature tree on the windowsill festooned with bright red ornaments. She also set out a pine-scented air freshener, which she said reminds her of traditional holiday scents. 

“I love [this time of year], and decorating my room has always been a tradition,” said Olsen. “I felt like I needed to continue with it.” 

The doors of the ninth floor common room in the Little Building have been decked out with paper snowflakes. Freshman performing arts major Kylie Kirk said she was inspired by a floormate to get creative and add a little festivity to the doors. 

“They’re simple to make, and they’re really a nice touch,” said Kirk. “People really appreciate them.”

Even those who live in suites are busy preparing for the season. Freshman marketing communication major Lindsey Simpson said she hopes to celebrate with her suitemates by preparing and feasting on Italian food together.

“We’re planning on doing a pasta dinner because we’re broke college kids,” said Simpson. “It’s the cheapest and most delicious thing to make.”

Maddie Crichton, a freshman journalism major, also said she and her suitemates plan to deck out their space with multi-colored lights, garlands, and a small artificial tree. Crichton said they’ve had plans for months. Back in September, she said she and her friends planned a gift exchange and a screening of Love, Actually

Freshman visual and media arts major Lucie McCormick, who lives with Crichton, said she feels celebrating the holidays together will be a great way to show appreciation for one another.

“We’ve all gotten pretty close as a group already, but I think [this] will be a good way for each of us to have to think about just one other person and focus in more on them,” she said. “My suitemates are like my family.”