A New Haven Holiday Season

5 people pose with pieces of ice in front of their face

Watching New Haven change seasons—from warm summer days to comfortable fall and now to frigid winter—I can’t help but appreciate the campus’s beauty. At Christmas time especially, Yale and the surrounding New Haven feels almost magical. Below are my favorite things about Yale’s New Haven holiday months.

1. The New Haven Christmas Tree!

In the middle of the New Haven Green, the city of New Haven erects and covers a massive evergreen tree in rainbow lights. It’s absolutely stunning and a nice splash of color among gray, wintery days. 

New Haven Christmas tree lit at night
I took this picture of the New Haven Christmas tree my first year!

2. Yale’s Old Campus Holiday Lights 

My residential college, Jonathan Edwards, has a tradition each holiday season where the first years coordinate and string lights through all our suites to spell out JE LUX. It’s a Latin play on our motto JE SUX. Morse and Stiles first years also have their own holiday light traditions. 

JE LUX spelled out in holiday lights on the side of a building
My JE class spelled JE LUX on the side of our Old Campus Farnam building.  

3. SNOW!

I really cannot express enough how much the snow amazed me when I first arrived to New Haven from Texas. It’s cold and white and beautiful and literally everywhere. Snow makes an already beautiful campus that much more breathtaking.

I made this tik tok of some of the clips of Yale in the snow!

4. The Yale Dining Holiday Dinner(s)

As a previous employee of Yale Dining and forever aficionado of Yale Dining’s food, I can unbiasedly claim that the holiday dinners I’ve attended here have been phenomenal. For first-years, Yale Dining provides a parade performance of food and music. 

"Y" Yule Log carried by Yale Dining employees
A few Yale Dining employees carry a “Y” Yule Log for my first year dinner.

5. First-year Snowball Fight

Per tradition, the first time sufficient snow falls on Old Campus, all first-years partake in a fun-filled classwide snowball brawl. Projectile snow and laughter fills the entirety of Old Campus’ airspace. This snowball fight is one of my favorite memories from my first-year at Yale. 

4 girls pose looking tough in the snow
My first year suitemates and I take a second from the snowball fight fun to pose and intimidate the other colleges.

Holiday time at Yale has always been a bright part of each semester. Even in the middle of finals period as I wrap up the semester’s work, I can always take a moment, look out a window at the snow, and smile. Christmastime at Yale truly is something magical.