Easy Ways to Celebrate the Holidays This Year

December is officially here. While Christmas music has been playing in stores and on the radio for a few weeks now, and red and green decorations have been flying off the shelves since after Halloween, the holiday season is finally in full swing.

With a busy semester coming to a close and finals one of the top priorities on a college student's mind, it's hard to get into the Christmas spirit. How do you even find time to decorate or bake Christmas cookies when you've got projects to do and exams to study for?

Instead of letting the month of December pass you by, there are still ways to get into the holiday spirit while at school.

Decorating your dorm will not only brighten your spirits, but it's a fun way to bond with your roommates. Head to the local craft store to buy a miniature Christmas tree or bring out your creative side and make decorations of your own. Gather inspiration from do-it-yourself tutorials on a website like Pinterest and get to work while listening to some holiday tunes.

If you have an oven in your apartment on campus, grab some dough and icing and bake a batch of cookies. If you don't have an oven, make a gingerbread house instead. You can purchase a kit that comes complete with gingerbread squares, icing and edible decorations to make the entire process simpler.

Another way to get into the spirit is by throwing a get together with a few of your friends at school. Serve the cookies you made and dress up in festive colors, or wear ugly holiday sweaters and have a playlist set up with your favorite Christmas songs.

Money is typically a concern for a college student around the holidays, and you might be asking yourself how you are going to afford buying gifts for family and friends. Instead of purchasing something for each of your friends at school, why not organize a Secret Santa among your friend group? Put a limit on spending, put everyone's names in a hat, close your eyes and choose. It's a fun way for everyone to participate and leaves everyone guessing up until the gift exchange. You can even take it a step further by giving them little hints and clues as to who you are before you actually give them the present.

Don't be a Grinch this holiday season, but if you must, be one while watching "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" on ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas. Then watch all of the other movies that the network will be showing up until Christmas day, such as "The Santa Clause," "The Polar Express" and more.

It's easy to get caught up in the stress of the semester, but don't wait until you get home for winter break to celebrate the holidays. There are still plenty of ways to enjoy the season from the comfort of your dorm. After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year, and projects and finals should not be a reason to bring down your holiday spirit.