12 Activities For Best Friends During The Holiday Season

12 Activities For Best Friends During The Holiday Season

Get your friends together and try some of these ideas for a fun Winter break!
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During the Holiday season, most of us are on winter break from school. Some of us have part-time jobs or spend a lot of time sleeping and binge watching our favorite shows.

We also want to get into the holiday spirit. Here is a list of some fun ideas to do with your friends to spread some holiday cheer!

1. Cookie Swap!

Invite your best friends over and tell them to bring recipes and ingredients for their favorite holiday sweet! Spend an afternoon in the kitchen baking and listening to Christmas music. When all of the treats are finished, everyone gets to take a few of each back home! (Bonus: Make a gingerbread house while all of your treats are in the oven!)

2. Picture with Santa Claus!

Find cute matching outfits and relive your childhood by taking a classic picture with Santa with your best friends!

3. Ugly Christmas Sweater Party!

Host an ugly Christmas sweater party for all of your friends! Everyone can come dressed in their most festive outfit, even if it's not ugly! My personal favorite is the Santa dress outfits from Mean Girls!

4. Christmas Movie Marathon!

What better way to enjoy a girls night than with some wine, pajamas, and Christmas movies! Spend a night watching all of the Tim Allen Santa Clause movies. Maybe spend another night watching the Home Alone series, because who says you can have more than one girls night? Watch The Grinch, Elf, and Rudolph! Also, it's a perfect opportunity to debate about if The Nightmare before Christmas is a Christmas movie or Halloween movie?

5. Christmas Themed Photo Shoot!

Grab your best girlfriends, find some cute outfits, and some Santa hats and go take some cute pictures! If you live with your friends, maybe take this chance to use the photos and send out a cute holiday card to your friends and family!

6. Christmas Light Sight Seeing!

Make some hot chocolate and hit the road to go look at some local neighborhoods and the decorations they set up! If you live in the Baltimore/Annapolis area, 34th street and Lights on the Bay are perfect places to go! They even have Maryland themed decorations! Make a scavenger hunt out of it and divide into teams to see who can find the most things on the list. How many Santa decorations could you find? How many inflatable snowmen did you see? Bonus points for finding a decoration of The Grinch stealing lights from a house!

7. Secret Santa Gift Exchange!

The rules are simple, although you want to have at least 5-6 friends participating. Set a limit for spending (maybe $25-$30) and pick names out of a hat to determine who is buying for who! Remember it is a secret! Make some rules, like no gift cards! Put some thought into it! When it comes time to exchange gifts, pick a night go out to dinner and celebrate your friendship and the holiday together. (Tip: Before picking names, have your friends write out a short list of things they like or they might need or want. It'll help you out when shopping for them, and also ensure that they are getting something they truly need/want.)

8. White Elephant or Chinese Gift Exchange!

This is a fun game where everyone brings an anonymous gift to the party, and each person will go home with a different gift than the one they brought. This is a fun game to set themes to. Have everyone bring a gag gift, or a DIY present, it's fun to see what everyone comes up with!

9. Ice Skating, sledding, skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and snow adventures!

Ice skating is pretty much available everywhere! Even if you're not good at ice skating, it is fun to go with your friends and laugh at each other and feel silly together! If you live in a place where it snows early, break out your sleds, skis, snowboards, and tubes and make a day trip of it! If you're not brave enough for extreme snow sports, get together and build a snowman or have a snowball fight!

10. Craft Night - DIY Gifts and Ornaments!

Similar to the cookie swap, have the girls over and play some music and make some cute ornaments for your tree. You could also use this and an opportunity to make some cute gifts for your loved ones!

11. Christmas Music Lip Sync Battle!

Assemble a group of friends, pick some judges, dress a little crazy, and pretend to sing some Holiday music!

12. Shopping and Gift Wrapping!

Both shopping for and wrapping presents can be stressful during the holiday season, so why not make a night out of it! Spend a night walking around the mall and then getting together to help each other wrap the gifts! It's nice to have second opinions when trying to buy a gift and also to have some helping hands when you lose the scissors or tape for the 17th time.

Even if you and your friends celebrate different holidays, all of these ideas can be changed and adjusted to fit whichever holiday you celebrate! The point of the holiday season it to spend time with loved ones and to have a great time! So enjoy your holidays and your break from school! Spend time with your friends and family! Eat a lot of really good food, watch some fun movies, and sing a lot of songs! Happy Holidays!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels.com

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Gender Should Not Be The Deciding Factor Of A Friendship

It is possible for a boy and a girl to be JUST FRIENDS!
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In today's society, we refuse to comprehend that a heterosexual relationship can be completely platonic. There is no friendship without the sexual tension, no two people can spend their time together unless they are attracted to one another. If one has a significant other but is also hanging out with someone else, they are cheating, not just hanging out with a friend.

Unfortunately, I have fallen victim in the past to believe the myth that two people of opposite attractions cannot have any type of relationship unless it is sexual.

But I am here to kill this myth and shed some light on why it is simply incorrect.

There are about a billion ways people can meet today. Past, classes, randomly on the street, at the gym, church, work, out, etc. The nice thing about meeting people, especially in a specific social situation or activity is that you most likely have something in common with them.

Believe it or not, you can have something in common with someone and enjoy that person enough to do that activity with them without it meaning anything else besides enjoying that person's company.

Another thing that needs to be made clear besides the sharing of a common hobby or view is the idea that while someone is in a relationship, they are allowed to have friends of the opposite gender and no, that does not mean they are cheating.

Gender has no effect on someone's personality and personality is what brings friend together.

Saying you are not allowed to have friends if they are the opposite gender or sex as you is just cruel.

Assuming that two people are together just because of what they look like is just one of society's huge problems. We make so many assumptions just from a single look and make judgments from those assumptions when many times, there is no basis to go off of. This causes so many problems in relationships and friendships alike that are simply unnecessary. Problems including the start of rumors and lies which are all too common these days and have a tendency to ruin relationships.

There is no truth without cold hard fact but many times if someone has doubt in themselves or has any doubt at all in their mind, the slightest tip-off can get them going and commonly, people take this doubt the wrong way which tears people apart.

Maybe we want someone to blame.

Maybe you’ve had the same best friend for years and all of a sudden someone else comes along and takes some of their attention, perhaps you are in a committed relationship with someone and they make a new friend who you see as a threat.

In either of these cases, would the situation always be worse if that new person was of the opposite gender/sex/attraction? More likely than not the answer is yes. Why? Because we are challenged.

We are shoved in between a rock and a hard place trying to figure out why we are so threatened all of a sudden and the answer is very simple really.

Everyone that is not us, is able to bring something else to the table that we may not and vice versa. When this new person comes along it is almost always a million times worse if they are a hinder to you. You suddenly become angry, jealous and petty over the smallest things you would never care about had this new friend been the same gender as your significant other or best friend etc. We feel so threatened, so unconfident that someone else is able to step in and take what we have that we often end up making things worse for ourselves.

So, my dear audience, take it from someone that learned the hard way, people can have a relationship with someone of the opposite sex/gender without it being sexual.

We can have friends in this world that aren't exactly like us and there is nothing wrong with that, we should not be punished and you should not punish others for who they enjoy the company of. Calm down and see what's really going on if there is truly a worry about infidelity or the loss of friendship. Think about the trust that you have in whatever relations you have currently and remember that being jealous and saying things you don’t mean is never worth losing someone you care about.

Cover Image Credit: Shayna Rosenberg

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I Let Myself Become A Bully When I Gave Into Peer Pressure, And It’s Something I’ll Never Forget

I did something terrible that I'll never let myself forget, but I've learned and grown from it.
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There are certain moments in each person’s life that they’ll never forget, moments that replay in their minds for weeks or months and stick with them for years. Moments that shape the person into who they’ll become, whether that be for better or for worse. No matter how much we regret and want to take these moments back, we can’t. But we can learn from them.

For me, this moment happened in the third grade. It probably isn’t an event that anyone else who was involved in remembers, but I do. In third grade, I ended up in a class without any of my friends, and like anyone else would, I tried to find another group of people I could stay with for the year. I tried to integrate myself into a group of girls I was already slightly acquainted with, and although I never truly felt like I was part of their clique no matter how hard I tried, at least I had people to talk to in class. I wasn’t alone.

When Julie first transferred into our class, I wanted to be her friend. Everyone did. She was pretty, smart, funny and one of the nicest people in the grade. We even talked a few times when I was trying to get to know her. I guess that’s why “my” group of friends started to hate her.

It wasn’t that everyone in the group hated her — it was only one girl, Kira. Everyone else, including me, just followed her like she was some sort of leader, though I’m not too sure why. I guess she hated that everyone else loved Julie so much instead of her.

When you’re in third grade, there isn’t much you can do against a person you dislike, but people always seem to find a way to bully. Kira decided to start a “I hate Julie” club as her form of bullying and expected the rest of the group to join her. She told us we could join if we wanted to, but the look in her eyes made me feel like she didn't mean it. When everyone else agreed tried to convince me, I really felt like I had no choice.

I’m not sure why I didn’t stop them or tell them that what they were doing was wrong. I don’t know why I didn’t tell the teacher but signed my name on their paper instead. Maybe I still wanted to be part of their group, or maybe I didn’t want a “I hate Rida” club starting either.

Julie eventually found out what we were doing when she overheard Kira talking to a few other girls about it and saw the "I hate Julie" sheet signed by Kira, me and the rest of the group. I don't think she hated us after that, but she didn't talk to me again after. She stuck with the rest of the class and avoided our group whenever she could. I felt terrible.

The guilt ate at me every time I saw her, but I was too embarrassed and ashamed to apologize to her until several weeks later.

I’ll never let myself forget what I did. In middle school, years after Julie told me she forgave me and we started talking again, I promised myself I wouldn’t forget the look of hurt and sadness on her face or the disappointment on my teacher’s when she saw my name on the list. A pang of guilt still hits me every time I think about it, just as strong as it was on that day.

This is one of the worst things I’ve ever done. Although I can never take back or fix, I can learn from it. Because that day, I learned that I should never hurt another, that I should stand strong for what I believe in and that I should never give in to peer pressure. I didn’t realize that was what it was at the time, but when you feel like you have to do something because another student says to, that’s peer pressure.

After this, I’ve gone through middle and high school acting cautious of the people I chose to befriend and the things I chose to do.

I now know what peer pressure looks like and that it’s better to be strong and turn away from it, but that’s not the case for many other kids. Peer pressure is strongest in middle and high school, and there are still kids struggling against it. For those who have never had an experience like mine, learn from it. Understand that it’s never worth it, and that you’ll never be happier than when you do the things that you know are right instead of obeying others.

And for those who have been through something similar, I hope you find the faults in your ways and try to right them. Use your wrongdoings as a reminder to keep making the right choices, but don’t punish yourself with them.

I don’t think what I did makes me a horrible person. I think I’m human — I make mistakes, but I learn from them and try to fix myself. And I try to tell others in the hope that they can learn from it without having to go through what I did.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash / Bruno Cervera

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