The latest and greatest from my cohort this week has been the discussion of “Texas winters” and weather or not it will ever feel like the holiday season…specifically, without snow.
I think this is a question a lot of people have, both graduate students and just people generally who move to the south and start to move into their first holiday season here. What’s it like to do the holidays without snow? How can you get into the holiday spirit without it? And it doesn’t even get that cold here? How do you guys DO this?
I have lots of answers, as someone who loves the holidays and has spent them in warm and cold climates; I’m here to tell everyone not to worry. Even if it’s a new type of holiday season for you, there are still lots of ways to make it magical!
For starters, even if the leaves are taking a little longer to turn orange and yellow than you’re used to, get out there and look for the ones that have started to change! There’s lots of fall colors emerging just in time for Thanksgiving this year, so take a walk around the teaching gardens or some of the local College Station parks and enjoy the crisp air and colorful foliage!
Also, check out BCS’s coffee shops for some winter-y beverages! There are lots of varieties of coffee, tea, and hot chocolate to try at places like Sweet Eugene’s, Harvest Coffee Co., and many more! And, for those of us that don’t want to go too far off campus to get our warm-beverage-fix, Starbucks has all of their holiday drinks back in stock for this festive season!
You can also still do winter-y things even if it’s not that cold outside. Texans bundle up in 60 degrees, not always because we’re cold but because it’s fun to bundle up! So let yourself put on that scarf you like or wear those winter boots just because you can. Even if you don’t think it’s entirely necessary for the weather conditions, do it to feel like fall and winter are here and you’re rockin’ your cold-weather-look!
There’s also fun fall/winter activities you can still participate in: baking and cooking holiday treats with friends is always fun, or hosting Friendsgiving, or going ice skating. Also, definitely decorate your office or lab, it will take you 10 minutes and it’s oh-so-worth it!
The holiday season is truly a mindset more than it is a time of year. And if you’re getting used to a new place and maybe even starting your own, new traditions, it’s important to be open-minded to experiences that will put you in the frame of mind to enjoy the holidays.
Serina Taluja is doctoral student in the Genetics program.