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All I Want for Christmas Is You
Considering that I spent a good portion of this morning listening to the Rent Soundtrack, reminiscing about my sophomore year of college when I lived in Middle Hall, the creative arts dorm, I thought it would be a good time to break out this Christmas song, and the reason why I will always love it no matter how garish Mariah Carey is.
It was the week before Christmas break and things were due–major term papers, projects, and tests. Staying true to ourselves, my roommate, Liz, and I waited until the absolute last minute to get anything done. The room was littered with books, papers, magazine cut outs (I had to make a journal for a class that required a semester’s worth of entries with creative flourishes… a project which I did not start until about a week before it was due), assorted food wrappers, and water bottles stuffed with cigarette butts.
It only took a brief survey of the situation to know the truth: We were fucked. And we needed a miracle.
As the day lurched on, rumors that a pretty significant snowstorm was supposed to be hitting the Eastern Shore by nightfall began swirling. The hope for an unexpected day off sent everyone into a dizzying dreamfest, and by early evening, we were banking on this storms being our much-needed Hail Mary.
“Just imagine what we could do with that extra day… Think how much better our papers would be. We could finish everything with time to spare. We would be like machines. Hard-working, caffeine-fueled machines that had perfectly double-spaced papers without even having to alter the margins or the font size…” we mused.
“I swear, if it snows… if this Christmas miracle happens, we will never, ever let things get like this again,” we emptily promised.
Dreaming quietly in our rooms was not enough (though doing anything quietly never really was…): we needed to do something, anything to let the gods know that we were serious about our pleas. The Catholic prayers we both grew up with just didn’t seem like enough. We needed to take further action.
We needed to do a Snow Dance.
I can’t remember how the idea came about, or why it needed to happen on the Cater Walk, the main brick walkway that ran right in front of our building, across the main stretch of campus, but it did. It almost felt necessary. The plan was in place: we gathered some trash bags (the heavy, black, industrial ones that the cleaning ladies left in generous abundance, hopeful that college kids might one day take it upon themselves to change the trash when it begins to overflow. They never did), and got to work creating our outfits: we carefully cut out the head and arm holes so they fit like large ceremonial shrouds over our pajamas. Liz manned the music while our friend and I made our way down the flights of stairs to the side door of the building, onto the Cater Walk.
Once we were ready and in position, we gave Liz the all-clear and she began to blare the Christmas tunes from her computer speakers, which she positioned in the window so we (and the other passersby) would be sure to hear. She created a playlist, that she oversaw from her perch upstairs until we figured out the proper volume level (and ensured the speakers would not be in danger of actually falling out of the window). She then came down to join in on the half-dancing/half-flailing that was taking place below our window.
Although there were many gems on LIz’s playlist, the song that really stood out was “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Blame it on its saccharine sentiment, how catchy the tune is, or the fact that it’s incredibly easy to dance to while wearing a trash bag, but this became our Snow Dance Anthem. If anyone was going to get us a much-needed day off, it was going to be Mariah and her jingle bell-laden chorus.
I know there are a lot of realists out there–people who would contend that it didn’t matter that we did that dance until the RA from the Math and Science dorm next door came out to sternly shoo us back into our rooms in the name of “quiet hours”–or that the snow pattern that was creeping towards us was already well on its set path before the first trash bag was cut. But when we started to see those snowflakes fall–and accumulate–we couldn’t help but congratulate ourselves for the most important work we did all semester: We had made it snow, so much that classes were indefinitely canceled the next day.
The next day was magical–we felt invincible, powerful–like we could control our destinies and the weather. With our newfound bravado and self-congratulatory spirit, we opted to spend the morning not studying or prepping our papers, but pulling out our trusty trash bag outfits again–this time to make ourselves into human sleds as we belly-flopped and slid down the hills of the campus green. Sure, we would eventually go back to being the newly diligent and always desperate students we previously were by the afternoon, but that morning, we were snow angels, winter warriors–children excited for the first magical snow of the season. And life, goddamnit, was good.
#friends #holidaze #music #musings