Last night was our annual Christmas party for my Raikes class (aka cohort). These are the people I've lived with all through college. We've taken about ten hours of classes together every semester, helped each other through countless hours of homework and group projects, and through it all, became close friends.

I love the Christmas party because it's our best chance to get away from the stress of school and just enjoy each other's company. We do a Secret Santa gift exchange, and the results the last two years have been absolutely delightful. Every gift seemed perfect for the recipient. It's either something well aligned with their interests, or relating to a joke that most people are in on. I'm not used to people clapping after a person opens a gift because it was so perfect, but at our cohort parties, it happens a lot.

I don't think I would have been able to survive Raikes without my cohort members.  I'm thankful for every chance I get to gather and be merry with them.