7 Ways To Be Extra This Christmas

7 Ways To Be Extra This Christmas

Do a little bit more this year.
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If you love the holidays, this is the time of year to show your Christmas spirit! Go out and do some new things this season, or go above and beyond to make your normal Christmas traditions extraordinary.

1. Go Christmas Caroling.

Christmas caroling is so underrated! When else is it acceptable to run around singing at the top of your lungs? It's time to break out the voice you usually only share in your car or shower. Gather some friends, dress in your Christmas best, and maybe even add an instrument or two to your performance if you are musically inclined.

2. Make homemade hot chocolate.

Hot chocolate is a must have during the holidays. Any good Christmas aficionado should have at least a box or two at home at any point during the winter season. Well to go above and beyond, make your Christmas extra by making your hot chocolate from scratch. There are several do-it-yourself instructional videos out there, including some for making hot chocolate in a crock pot. If that's not good enough, find your most Christmasy mug and dunk the rim in frosting and crushed candy canes. Make sure to drink the hot chocolate any time the temperature drops below 70 degrees!

3. Watch at least one Christmas movie per night.

There are literally hundreds of Christmas movies out there! It's almost impossible to watch all of them during the holiday season. This can at least be partially solved by watching one Christmas movie per night starting on Thanksgiving. Freeform's 25 Day's of Christmas specials can certainly help with some of the classics, but in order to maximize your holiday viewing capacity, you will need to find other sources as well.

4. Christmas music...all the time.

Radio stations begin to play Christmas music starting Thanksgiving Day, and sometimes even earlier. The second the Christmas season starts should be the second that Christmas music begins. No other type of music should exist between Thanksgiving and New Years. Play it in your house, play it in your car, at work, at school? It doesn't matter. Playing Christmas music is a perfect time for you to practice those songs you'll be singing when you go Christmas caroling.

5. Every day is an Ugly Sweater day.

Who says ugly Christmas sweaters are only for holiday parties? Bring out those Christmas sweaters all 25 days of Christmas! Your class or work mates will appreciate your Christmas spirit; plus, those sweaters are always so comfy and cozy. Be even more extra and break out some matching Christmas socks. Not only do they keep your feet toasty warm in the cold weather, they also bring that extra something to your wardrobe that will make you stand out this season.

6. Host a Secret Santa.

Secret Santa is a tradition for gift giving during the holidays. But why stop at just one? Host a Secret Santa for every group you are a part of, at school, at work, at home, etc.

7. Decorate, Decorate, Decorate.

Think National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Just how many strands of lights can your house hold? Have a blow-up Frosty? What about a live nativity on your front lawn? Decorate your car, decorate your room. Christmas cheer should be everywhere!


Step up and make this Christmas something extra magical. Spread Christmas cheer and impress your friends with your spirit of the season.

Cover Image Credit: Toa Heftiba

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15 Things Only Lake People Will Understand

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.
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The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people. Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look. Every year when summer rolls back around, you can't wait to fire up the boat and get back out there. Here is a list of things you can probably identify with as a fellow lake-goer.

1. A bad day at the lake is still better than a good day not at the lake.

It's your place of escape, where you can leave everything else behind and just enjoy the beautiful summer day. No matter what kind of week you had, being able to come and relax without having to worry about anything else is the best therapy there is. After all, there's nothing better than a day of hanging out in the hot sun, telling old funny stories and listening to your favorite music.

2. You know the best beaches and coves to go to.

Whether you want to just hang out and float or go walk around on a beach, you know the best spots. These often have to be based on the people you're with, given that some "party coves" can get a little too crazy for little kids on board. I still have vivid memories from when I was six that scared me when I saw the things drunk girls would do for beads.

3. You have no patience for the guy who can’t back his trailer into the water right.

When there's a long line of trucks waiting to dump their boats in the water, there's always that one clueless guy who can't get it right, and takes 5 attempts and holds up the line. No one likes that guy. One time my dad got so fed up with a guy who was taking too long that he actually got out of the car and asked this guy if he could just do it for him. So he got into the guy's car, threw it in reverse, and got it backed in on the first try. True story.

4. Doing the friendly wave to every boat you pass.

Similar to the "jeep wave," almost everyone waves to other boats passing by. It's just what you do, and is seen as a normal thing by everyone.

5. The cooler is always packed, mostly with beer.

Alcohol seems to be a big part of the lake experience, but other drinks are squeezed into the room remaining in the cooler for the kids, not to mention the wide assortment of chips and other foods in the snack bag.

6. Giving the idiot who goes 30 in a "No Wake

Zone" a piece of your mind.

There's nothing worse than floating in the water, all settled in and minding your business, when some idiot barrels through. Now your anchor is loose, and you're left jostled by the waves when it was nice and perfectly still before. This annoyance is typically answered by someone yelling some choice words to them that are probably accompanied by a middle finger in the air.

7. You have no problem with peeing in the water.

It's the lake, and some social expectations are a little different here, if not lowered quite a bit. When you have to go, you just go, and it's no big deal to anyone because they do it too.

8. You know the frustration of getting your anchor stuck.

The number of anchors you go through as a boat owner is likely a number that can be counted on two hands. Every once in a while, it gets stuck on something on the bottom of the lake, and the only way to fix the problem is to cut the rope, and you have to replace it.

9. Watching in awe at the bigger, better boats that pass by.

If you're the typical lake-goer, you likely might have an average sized boat that you're perfectly happy with. However, that doesn't mean you don't stop and stare at the fast boats that loudly speed by, or at the obnoxiously huge yachts that pass.

10. Knowing any swimsuit that you own with white in it is best left for the pool or the ocean.

You've learned this the hard way, coming back from a day in the water and seeing the flowers on your bathing suit that were once white, are now a nice brownish hue.

11. The momentary fear for your life as you get launched from the tube.

If the driver knows how to give you a good ride, or just wants to specifically throw you off, you know you're done when you're speeding up and heading straight for a big wave. Suddenly you're airborne, knowing you're about to completely wipe out, and you eat pure wake. Then you get back on and do it all again.

12. You're able to go to the restaurants by the water wearing minimal clothing.

One of the many nice things about the life at the lake is that everybody cares about everything a little less. Rolling up to the place wearing only your swimsuit, a cover-up and flip flops, you fit right in. After a long day when you're sunburned, a little buzzed, and hungry, you're served without any hesitation.

13. Having unexpected problems with your boat.

Every once in a while you're hit with technical difficulties, no matter what type of watercraft you have. This is one of the most annoying setbacks when you're looking forward to just having a carefree day on the water, but it's bound to happen. This is just one of the joys that come along with being a boat owner.

14. Having a name for your boat unique to you and your life.

One of the many interesting things that make up the lake culture is the fact that many people name their boats. They can range from basic to funny, but they are unique to each and every owner, and often have interesting and clever meanings behind them.

15. There's no better place you'd rather be in the summer.

Summer is your all-time favorite season, mostly because it's spent at the lake. Whether you're floating in the cool water under the sun, or taking a boat ride as the sun sets, you don't have a care in the world at that moment. The people that don't understand have probably never experienced it, but it's what keeps you coming back every year.


Cover Image Credit: Haley Harvey

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I'm Keeping My Christmas Tree Up All Winter And There's Nothing You Can Do About It

It's the WINTER Season... ;-)

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I think that my tree would not be considered Christmas-y if the ornaments are taken off and the lights are kept on. I think to just looks wintry. I am also keeping up decorations that say "let it snow", and I am keeping up any snowman without holly berries or presents in their hands.

The tree looks wintry in my opinion. It looks pretty with the lights and brings the room together. It gives off a warm ambiance, unlike that of fluorescent lighting.

I've taken all ornaments off except for gold snowflakes and I've left the silver tinsel garland on as well as the lights. It looks wintry to me still. I will probably be taking the whole tree down by the end of this month to prepare for Valentine's Day decorating. (Yes, I pretty much decorate my apartment for every holiday—sue me).

There's nothing like coming downstairs and seeing those lights sparkling.

Or coming inside from a dreary, rainy day outside and seeing them light up the room in a calm, warm, and comforting glow.

Or having a bad day, looking up, and seeing them shine.

It sort of makes me upset when I come downstairs and see that someone has unplugged them, to be honest.

I guess they don't see it as I do.

Pretty, twinkling lights forever!

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