Missing Home: Decorating Your Home Away From Home for the Holidays

You will have sugar plums dancing in your head in no time.

Not everyone can travel home for the winter holidays, but creating a festive atmosphere at your college home away from home can be a comforting second choice. Try these cheap and easy tips and you will have sugar plums dancing in your head in no time.

Get Lit

Bring the scent of winter right into your dorm room with a holiday-scented candle. Brands at all price ranges offer a variety of holiday choices such as pumpkin pie, fresh-baked cookies, evergreen and cinnamon. Be sure to check your dorm rules for candle use!

Set the Mood

The cheapest way to feel festive? Tune in to a holiday Pandora or Spotify playlist! There are hundreds of ready-made playlists that can make studying for finals or cleaning your bathroom feel jolly. For a more interactive experience try your hand at making your own holiday mixtape online.


Go Mini

Search your local Walmart, Target, Home Goods or Goodwill clearance sections for low-priced mini Christmas trees and holiday trinkets. Nothing beats sitting around the tree on Christmas morning with your family, but a small tree set up can be an under-$20 solution.

Dollar stores are a perfect place to find holiday gear for cheap. Stock up on Santa hats, tinsel and wrapping paper for even more decoration.

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If you are feeling crafty, paper snowflakes are a fun way to bring snow to places that may never see it. Cut regular printer paper into creative shapes and designs and hang with standard tape. Added plus- this can be done with a group…or a date.

Share the Love

Dorm building feeling lonely? Surprise your home-bound floor mates by taping candy canes or mistletoe to their door before school resumes. Sharing the spirit of the holidays can make your floor look extra-festive and will be a sweet surprise when your friends return.

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Play Host

Invite other people who stayed over the holidays to a celebration. The holidays are about spreading cheer and celebrating the season, but use the time as an opportunity to meet new people! Offer to host a dinner, potluck or party in your apartment or dining hall kitchen with an open invite. No one wants to spend the holidays alone.

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Arizona State University