Long Sleeves. Long pants. Sweater. Socks. Boots. Scarf. Mittens. Pea coat. Hat… Check. Check. Check! I feel so bundled up as I set foot into the frigid outdoors of December in Virginia. I don’t think I have ever worn this many layers during my so called “winters” at home in Florida, and this chilliness definitely takes some getting used to. And then, my friends tell me, “Get ready for February!” as they laugh at my inexperience of all things nippy and winter-like. What on earth is going to happen? Let’s just say that I’m worried.
Standing with some of my wonderful friends as we enjoy the snow on the Sunken Gardens
Though the cold is at some points totally unbearable, (during the 1:00 am fire alarm evacuations that Yates has a habit of experiencing for example) I’ve become so excited for the winter season here in Williamsburg. Like two weeks ago: I was unhappy about the 27 degree temperature whilst ushering the Choir concert in PBK, until I walked outside to see the sky unexpectedly filled with a thousand small flakes of white. The transformation of campus into a winter wonderland was absolutely magical. A blanket of snow covered everything for a few spectacular hours, turning it into my own personal Narnia. A huge group of girls from my hall trouped across campus just to soak it all in (and give me the opportunity to make my first snow angel). It was all sadly gone by the next morning, but I will never forget my first snow that night on the Sunken Gardens.
In these past few weeks, I have been able to experience many traditions and events celebrated around campus in order to welcome the holiday season. Grand Illumination was in Colonial Williamsburg at the beginning of December and was the most impressive fireworks show I have ever seen. The fireworks were shot off in three different places, surrounding DOG Street in a ring of shining lights. Also, William & Mary’s annual Yule Log Ceremony has become a huge holiday tradition. This year it was on a rainy and cold night, so I was surprised to see just how many students came out to throw their sprig of holly in the Yule Log fire. The ceremony takes place in the middle of exams, so the holly represents a person’s worries and cares. Once the Yule Log is lit in the Wren Building’s Great Hall, students can figuratively throw the worries and stress of the semester away. We also all had the opportunity to see President Reveley read How the Grinch Stole Christmas in his traditional Santa Claus outfit and hear a great rendition of ‘Twas the Night After Finals from Ginger Ambler before we crammed our way into the Hall under our umbrellas.
A layer of White covered everything in CW
Even though final exams and papers loom over our heads for these last few weeks of school, Williamsburg knows how to celebrate winter in style. Activities in Swem every night at 9:00, The Primal Scream on the Sunken Gardens Wednesday night, and surprise hot chocolate in our dorm lounges help to relieve stress and remind us to stay balanced in our work.
Just this morning it snowed again, so I took a study break and walked down to Colonial Williamsburg in the middle of the flurries. Everything was covered in a soft dusting of fluffy white making the whole street seem so cozy and quaint. It must make me look like such a goof, but there is something about the snow that just keeps me smiling. So- I’ve decided: with all of the activities for students, and decorations throughout CW, there is no time more magical than The Holidays in Williamsburg.