‘Tis the season for colds, enormous amounts of homework, and little to no sleep. It can sometimes be extremely difficult to get into the holiday spirit when finals are looming right around the corner and your friends are deathly ill after performing six Concordia Christmas Concerts, but the Fargo-Moorhead area has a lot of holiday-themed events that can take your mind off of things.

The first thing students might say about various events in town is that they do not have enough time. Trust me, breaks need to be built into a studying schedule. Taking breaks that involve social interaction and physical activity is a very healthy way to keep the brain active during a long day of studying.

One of my favorite things the Fargo-Moorhead area does is Holiday Lights in Lindenwood Park. This event consists of many different light displays along the Red River where holiday lights twinkle in one of Fargo’s public park. The display is designed for cars specifically and requires a small fee for admission, $6 per car. This price is reduced to $5 if people bring canned goods for local food pantries.

This light display has been a tradition for 19 years, and this year the park will be open from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. all December long. In the past, over 65 light shows have been on display. As Concordia students living in the area, we play a part in ensuring this event continues on for years to come. Showing support by paying to get into the park makes it possible for the event to continue and we as students get a little break in our hectic lives.

Last year I saw these light displays for the first time, and it was such a great event to take my mind off of the stress that finals and Concordia Christmas Concerts produce. It was something that involved no thinking, just driving and enjoying what each of the different displays had to offer. When I still lived at home, one of my favorite holiday traditions was driving around my neighborhood with my mom and admiring the Christmas lights on various houses. Last year, Holiday Lights in Lindenwood Park gave me a little taste of home.

If a car is hard to come by, or maybe money is tight at the moment, there are plenty of ways on campus to get into the holiday spirit and take a pause in studying. Anderson Commons is currently decked out in decorations galore. Next time you go to DS for dinner or lunch, stay by the fire a little longer than usual and chat with your friends. Campus Events Commission puts on a variety of events that are holiday themed. Watch out for posters around campus with details of on-campus holiday respite activities.

Finals can be overwhelming, especially when the weather is blustery and the plague is picking us off one by one. Remember to take a break and a breath for more than five minutes. Self-care is something college students are notoriously bad at, and it can affect what we get out of the holiday season. Relax, enjoy time with friends, and have a cup of hot chocolate in between studying for finals. If you have the time, check out the light display at Lindenwood Park, it is a great way to take part in Fargo’s holiday spirit.

Sonja Flancher

Sonja is a sophomore double majoring in Global Studies and English Writing. Aside from writing, she enjoys singing in the Concordia Chapel Choir and spending time with her two golden retrievers. This is her first year writing for the Concordian and she hopes to continue in the years to come!

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