Studying in the US presents an interesting conundrum: do you stay inside and finish the paper that’s due in only a few days, or do you locate your scarf and gloves and venture outside in search of winter Christmas magic?
Christmas in Australia means a barbeque on the beach. In America, it’s the winter wonderland that Michael Bublé sings about. Sadly still no snow just yet, but when the sun sets early, the lights come on, the warm drinks come out and the Christmas music abounds.
Despite having to study right up until I got on the plane for my little Christmas break in Colorado, I made sure to soak in as much of the DC Christmas spirit as possible. These were a few highlights:
1. Georgetown GLOW: Georgetown encourages DC residents to brave the chilly nights by setting up a number of light installations. You can see all of them within a quick walk around the neighbourhood before you hide from the cold in a bar with a warm cider. Below are two of the Georgetown GLOW installations.
2. Christmas trees out and about: DC is sprinkled with Christmas trees. Of course, there are the famous ones: the National Tree at the White House and the tree at the Capitol building. However, there are others to be spotted too: for example, the red and white tree at the Canadian Embassy or the tree Georgetown put up in the library (presumably to lift the spirits of stressed students). I even attended the lighting of the Christmas tree at City Center! Below are the trees at the Canadian Embassy; the Capitol; and at City Center.
3. Christmas carols at the Kennedy Center: Thanks to a generous ISH friend, there were a number of free tickets provided to Christmas with Choral Arts, a DC choir that put on a program of a number of Christmas carols. Nothing quite gets you in the spirit like being encouraged to sing a long with an auditorium full of your fellow concert-goers.
4. ISH decorations: Of course, there was nothing quite as special as the ISH Christmas decorations. I spent as much time as I could in the Great Hall, soaking up twinkling fairy lights and garlands. We even took a moment to take some ISH family photos, to commemorate those who had been with us for the semester.
Some of the ISH Fall Semester family
I am now on my little Christmas break but I cannot wait to come back in January. From all of us at ISH, happy holidays!