One of my presiding Christmas memories comes from my freshman year of college. In the weekend dividing the end of regular classes and finals week, my dormmates and I gathered at Prentice Hall cafeteria and broke bread for a Christmas-type feast. There must have been 20 of us huddled around three tables we pushed together. For the passers-by, it must have looked utterly obnoxious, we 4th-floor Verder denizens laughing and conversing as if we were a family from an Olive Garden commercial.
I had not been that close with my floormates that semester, nor would I be any time afterward, but for that one evening, we drew together and acted as a familial unit. Afterwards, we adjourned to the 4th floor lounge for a collective viewing of "It's a Wonderful Life." In retrospect, it remains the only Christmas-type atmosphere I've had since leaving home and coming to college. The next semester was one of melodrama and fracture of our communal unity, but at least I can cling to our seasonal bout of peace and goodwill.