As the holiday season approaches each year, many apartment dwellers can't wait to adorn their place with decorations. But when roommates celebrate different holidays or have conflicting ideas when it comes to decorations, it can lead to arguments.
If you find yourself living with a roommate who disagrees with you when it comes to decorating your apartment for the holidays, there's no reason you can't try to compromise despite your religious differences.
How to Reach a Compromise With Your Roommate
Here are the most common reasons why apartment dwellers argue with their roommates when it comes to holiday decorations, and how to handle each situation:
"My roommate wants to dictate decor for the whole apartment." You and your roommate should make sure any disagreement you have over holiday decorations only concerns the shared spaces of your apartment, such as your living room and a shared bedroom. If you and your roommate each have your own bedroom, there should be no dispute about these rooms. Your individual bedroom is your own turf, which means you should feel free to choose a decor that pleases you. Just as your roommate shouldn't tell you how to decorate your own room, you should respectfully leave decor decisions about your roommate's bedroom to your roommate.
"My roommate's holiday decorations are a reflection of me." Just because a holiday decoration is in your apartment doesn't mean it's an advertisement of who you are or a representation of what you believe in. This concept applies to any type of wall decor. For instance, if a tenant hangs a Yankees pennant in the living room, it doesn't necessarily mean that all her roommates are Yankees fans (or even enjoy following baseball, for that matter). Similarly, a poster you put up in support of your favorite political candidate isn't automatically suggestive of all your roommates' political beliefs.
"I feel threatened living among decorations for a holiday I don't believe in." Chances are, your roommate's desire to add holiday decorations to your apartment is simply to celebrate a holiday that's important to her, and not an attempt to proselytize you. Remember that, and you probably won't feel threatened or uneasy.
"I'm all for holiday decorations, but my roommate wants to transform our apartment into a winter wonderland." Sometimes, roommates strongly disagree about the extent of holiday decorations in their apartment. If you think your roommate is going overboard and you would prefer a sparser display of holiday cheer, you can try to meet in the middle. In the alternative, you can agree to do things your roommate's way this year and your way the next year. You might also get your roommate to agree not to put up the holiday decor very early.
Hopefully, you can use the above pointers to help resolve a holiday decoration dispute with your roommate. If you're looking for a new roommate and you have strong feelings about your apartment decor (for the holidays or in general), you might consider mentioning it at a roommate candidate meeting.