One college student is fed up with people rushing to celebrate Christmas before Thanksgiving—but her pet peeve inadvertently gave her roommate an idea for the perfect prank!
Paige Benoit isn’t fond of people putting up Christmas decorations and playing holiday music the second Halloween is over, and she hasn’t shied away from voicing her displeasure to her friends.
“Our family never played Christmas music before Thanksgiving, so I grew up excited for Thanksgiving in November and Christmas in December,” Benoit, 21, a junior at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts, tells PEOPLE. “I think I really started to get annoyed by it when I came to college because people would start blasting Christmas music at midnight on November 1, and I had never experienced that.”
But because Benoit has been so vocal about it, it didn’t take long for her roommate, Daniella Pitruzzello, to come up with the idea to unexpectantly decorate their dorm with nothing but Christmas decorations right on November 1.
“I picked up on the fact that she didn’t like Christmas before Thanksgiving as soon as I met her,” Pitruzzello tells PEOPLE. “She always complains when her friends sent her Snapchats singing Mariah Carey. Then she’d rant about how Christmas shouldn’t be celebrated before Thanksgiving!”
Pitruzzello came up with the idea for the trick way at the beginning of the year, but her other roommates—Haley McCormick and Liz Browne—convinced her that it wouldn’t have had the same effect if it wasn’t during November. So, when the day finally came, the girls jumped into action.
“I had Liz drive me to the dollar store and I spent $7 on the whole thing,” Pitruzzello says. “Then Liz and Haley distracted Paige at the dining hall for about an hour so I could decorate her dorm.”
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When the roommates took Benoit back to the dorm, they pulled out their phones and started recording as soon as she opened the door and walked into her own Extreme Makeover: Christmas Edition nightmare.
Inside, she saw Pitruzzello had replaced her blanket with a Christmas-themed one; placed holiday tapestry on her wall; covered her closet in Elf wrapping paper; hung a stocking and Christmas lights above her bed and decorated her fan with ribbons and ornaments.
“As soon as Paige walked in she started swearing,” Pitruzzello says. “Then she left the room and hid in our friend’s dorm for a half-an-hour!”
Benoit says all that crossed her mind was, “Dear God, please take all of this down.”
“I was so shocked that I walked out of my room down the hall to my friend Marisa’s room to process what fully occurred,” Benoit, originally from Holden, Massachusetts, says. “I was slightly irritated with the prank at first because they were playing the one Christmas song I absolutely cannot stand.”
After some time had passed, Benoit’s roommates figured she probably wasn’t going to be coming back unless everything was taken down, so they removed the decorations and sent Benoit a picture as proof. But Benoit, who still wants people to give Thanksgiving the attention it deserves, says she can now laugh at the prank and appreciate the planning that went into it.
“Looking back on it now, I laugh because Daniella got me good,” Benoit says. “It was a well-thought-out prank, so I have to give her props for it!”