Kathy adored Christmas, a fact that likely surprised no one on the island. She also really, really enjoyed getting ready for Christmas--the baking, the decorating, the shopping, even the wrapping. This year, she'd pulled out all the stops, even going so far as to hunt down a real live tree small enough to bring back to the dorms and put up. She'd never had a real tree before; her mother not a fan of the idea of needles falling on the carpet and her father declaring that the pine smell made him sneeze. But this year, in her room, she was going to have a real tree, even if it was only about as tall as she was and almost as thin.
...In retrospect, she probably should have asked Raven if it were okay for her to get a tree, but she'd seen it while out Christmas shopping and had been too excited by the idea of having a real tree that she'd just splurged.
If having a tree wasn't exciting enough, there had been a large package waiting for her in the lobby; a present wrapped specifically in birthday-themed paper (with Do not open till Tuesday, nerd! scrawled in black sharpie on the side). She knew she's have an extra present or two under the plastic tree back home from her parents as a nod to her birthday, but Sarah always made it a point to keep Kathy's birthday and Christmas presents separate. She had the best little sister, she really did.
So now, tree safely ensconced in their room (and lugging a tree across the island and up five flights of stairs had been a workout, she'd earned this damn tree), Kathy was blaring Christmas carols, singing along while she strung up lights and other decorations around the room. Her gift was still on the bed, next to a small pile of presents she'd bought and wrapped for her friends. Those would be going under the tree as soon as she finished decorating that.
Yeah, it was final's week, with random mistletoe flying about and no chance for snow for her last Christmas on the East Coast, but none of that mattered now. It was still Christmas.
- Room 508, Thursday Afternoon