14 Holiday Encounters That Beat Opening Presents


"That's what it's all about, isn't it? That's what it's always been about."

When we were kids, few things were more exciting than opening presents. Now, I'm more anxious to pop the champagne and snack on festive cookies.

I'm as broke as any other average college student, so I'm thankful that my family and friends think of me. I also love any opportunity to give back what I can to people who do a lot for me.

However, I'm a strong advocate for spending money on experiences over most material items, so I have no objections to skipping Secret Santa and going out for dinner and drinks instead.

Instead of giving you a spiel about how the spirit of giving should always be present and not revolve around the obligatory commercialism, I'd rather just name some things I found more rewarding than opening a present.

1. Playing a game with family

A few rounds of Cards Against Humanity with your relatives is the only holiday memory you need.

2. Seeing Grandma

Especially if she's of a distinct ethnicity and you're trying to update her on the latest trends and technology. It's always a hoot.

3. Eating

Lasagna, steak, mashed potatoes, bread -- I could go on. Nothing beats a holiday meal (except the holiday food coma... that's pretty powerful).

4. Decorating the house

My mom does such a great job and my dad cries. (No, seriously, he cried).

5. Beating a sibling at Mario Party

If you're the younger one, it's even more rewarding.

6. Leaving the mall

I love seeing the parking lots from hell in the rear view almost as much as I love not going to the mall in the first place.

7. Going to IHOP at 2am

What better way to ring in the New Year than with a stack of red velvet perfection?

8. Reminiscing with an old friend

"Remember when..."

The statement is usually a roller coaster from start to finish.

9. Hanging out with a dog

All dogs are lap dogs. That is all.

10. Watching a relatable movie

A Netflix night with the right people. You'll be quoting it for months.

11. Catching feelings for someone

... Just kidding, that's only fun for like an hour.

12. Drinking Christmas cocktails

Maybe you're toasting to the family reunion or drinking to forget #11. Either way, cheers.

12. Sleeping

You're lying if you say you're well-rested. I repeat, food comas are powerful (and so are fuzzy blankets).

13. Getting in a hot tub

It's like getting in the shower-- you want to, but also don't want to because you'll be cold and have to get dressed afterward. Then, you get in and wish you never had to get out. What a life.

14. Doing something different

We all have a random place in town we say we're going to try out but never do. Book an Escape Room or check out Topgolf!

What's your favorite way to spend the holidays?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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