It is finally time to get into the holiday cheer as Christmas is right around the corner. Whether you’re a Catholic or an atheist, most of us still have the holidays off to do something. It doesn’t have to require going to morning mass or celebrating Kwanzaa the next day. Yet, we all should look forward to things we want to do. Most of us are home, whether we like it or not. You’ve got to hang out with those annoying cousins that you’ve spent two years avoiding. When you answer questions about your life choices, you say you’re majoring in the undecided and have decided to drop out of college to live on the streets as a hobo – after all, that’s much easier than having any of these tenacious conversations.
But what’s the point of spending the holidays miserable? If you’re in a place you hate or are obligated to be, you might as well have fun while you’re at it. Me personally, I get bored really easily and really fast. So sticking in my hometown of nowhere-ville really gets to my head. Like some of you out there, especially the ones with a heart for travelling and nomadism, hear me out. Sometimes Christmas tradition is exciting. Sometimes we can bring our derpy college lives back to the house of high school terror stories. Then again, we might as well have fun while we do it.
1. Go Canning
For those of you who don’t know what canning is, think of caroling. You know those days when you walk in a really big city and there are street musicians on almost every corner? Well, that’s how it was in France, and I always wondered what my professors would say if they saw me singing random show-tunes on the sidewalk as well. Probably would think that I’m poor and am in desperate need of a home, so they would reluctantly offer me a small box. Well, with canning, you would basically stand on the street and sing, holding a hat or a can in front of you so people can throw some money in.
The best part about Christmas Canning, though, is that you don’t keep the money. Afterwards, maybe you could give it to the homeless or buy some poor kid a meal. After all, it is Christmas, and let’s not forget the giving spirit that the holidays are all about.
2. Watch Christmas Lights
When I was in France, I couldn’t wait to go home in December because I really wanted to see some Christmas lights. I miss driving around and seeing lawns filled with Olaf inflatables and candy canes lined up in rows. My favorite part is driving at the set-up decorations at festivals while listening to Christmas music and hanging my head out the window like a dog. Whether I am roaming around in a festival or around a neighborhood, I roll down the windows and let in the cold air. Why? Because it’s winter, and winter should be cold.
Even if you don’t have a car, I would take a friend or someone you care about and just stroll through neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights. Some people don’t have any (because they’re lazy, yet I used to be one of them), but so many people get really into it. Walk around with some warm eggnog in a thermos. Cuddle with someone and reflect on the year while you look around. Honestly, I would rather walk than drive. Partially because I hate driving, but also because I could spend as much time as I want admiring the lights without being forced to move forward.
3. Dress Your Pet
The best part of Christmas is dressing up your dog in the cutest elf or Santa costume you can find. Then take lots of pictures of him or her and post it all over your Snap Chat story. Who knows? Maybe you’ll have a guard reindeer outside playing with the kids.
4. Binge Watch an entire TV show
Bring Netflix HOME! Bring college HOME! Unless you’re usually stuck with no Wifi on Christmas, in which case sucks. What you should do then is force a family member to buy you all ten seasons of “Friends” for Christmas and watch every show on your computer on a DVD. Old fashioned? Yes. Worth it? Hell yeah.
This is also the best time to find a new TV show. Since you’ve got time to not do your homework and actually pay attention to a plotline, you might as well start now. The greatest part is that if you feel like doing it alone, go ahead and do it alone! Nobody really wants to sit down and watch “Gossip Girl” on your weird nocturnal schedule. Plus, even if you did want to watch it with someone, that would also be the greatest idea. In my opinion, that may be the perfect date. So if you’re trying to hook your crush, maybe a Netflix date isn’t a bad proposal.
5. Drunk on Eggnog
While it is flippin’ fantastic to sit at home and do nothing but watch Netflix, you need to also go out. Go find a party. If you’re home, you’ll probably end up going to a party with all your high school friends, which in most cases are never very fun. I don’t even want to see where some of the kids I knew in high school end up. I don’t even want to pretend that I enjoy seeing some of them for a night. However, none of that matters when you’ve got eggnog! And if they don’t provide eggnog, bring your own!
Haha. BYOE – Bring Your Own Eggnog. I like that. We’re going to make that a saying. Go do it! Have fun at your high school reunions with this best friend. Nothing can compare, and when you go home that night (or in the morning), you may be bringing back some great memories.
6. Decorate Your Car
It’s silly, but so much fun! Who cares if everyone stares at you while you’re driving? Isn’t that the point? To have fun? The one step to overcoming your youthful problems, specifically the ones in high school, is to fully accept your weirdness and then show it off.
7. Build a Gingerbread House
Strange thought that occurred to me on one of my very stressful nights that pushed me to the brink of drunk state of mind: I’ve always wanted to build a gingerbread building. But not just any building…something that is quirky and enticing. Not a house: that’s too basic. That’s the G version for your kid sister who has to put gum drops on the roof of the gingerbread man and woman’s house. I mean like a museum or a skyscraper.
My friend built a gingerbread brothel a few years ago. It was pretty funny and I actually enjoyed listening to her tell me about all the parts they added to the house. Not for little kids though. The idea is to get creative. Don’t do something basic – that’s boring. Make this Christmas break fun and use your imagination to create a gingerbread house that doesn’t match the outside of the manufacturing box.
8. Give to Others
Too many people forget the purpose of Christmas and the holidays: to give. Well, technically, the purpose is to praise the birth of Jesus, but let’s not get into that. Personally, I think we should always be giving and volunteering because it’s for the good of the community. All you awesome nerds need to get your lazy asses up and do something for someone else. Whether or not this is a lot of work and you feel tired because it requires you to wake up at 6am, it is so worth it. The feeling you have after you serve another person without expecting anything in return is indescribably.
I don’t know how much more I can harp on that. On Christmas morning, instead of waking up to open your own presents, spend the morning giving to kids at an orphanage or serving breakfast at a soup kitchen. Instead of writing a big check for charity or donating your clothes to Salvation Army, try to have some one-on-one contact with people who may be less fortunate than you. Allow them to be fortunate. Give to them and they will appreciate, not the clothes or the food, but the time you’re devoting to spend with them.
9. Make a Mudman
In half the regions of America, we don’t have snow. Also, considering that global warming is causing winter to be seventy-five degrees and rising, all we may have soon is mud. Despite the somber note I sort of just left us on, don’t just sit in your house and do nothing. Don’t stare out the window at the rain that you’re waiting to freeze into snow so you can go out and have a snowball fight. Why should you have to wait? This is your Christmas break.
Go make a mudman. The key to making a snowman is to have wet snow. In regions that don’t get much snow, when they do get snow, it’s incredibly dry so the snow doesn’t stick together long enough to form the body of a snowman. However, the great part about mud is that all you do is add water to dirt and voila. It’s so easy to make a mudman. So why not go ahead and do it.
10. Bake a Christmas Dessert
Try something new! If you like baking, good for you: go bake a new dessert. Hopefully something complicated, like a Christmas log cake. If you’re feeling really fancy, you can make extra frostings and ganache to decorate the rich layers of cake. If you’re really good, you could probably even make your own Christmas Dessert recipe, which is really exciting for the family. It also gives you something to do while you’re roaming around in your parent’s house with nothing to do.
If you’re lost in the kitchen, try baking still! Find a good recipe online and make something simple, like sugar cookies. You really just have to follow the directions, buy some cookie cutters, and put them in the oven at 350 degrees for 9 minutes. It’s fun! You get to decorate them with crap frosting you buy from Target. Bring some other friends who don’t know how to cook – after all, that’s the best way to go!