My Holiday Checklist

My Holiday Checklist

Staying organized during this hectic season is key.

The holiday season is upon us, and if you are any kind of merry celebrator, then you probably have a list or set of requirements in your head that for the majority, needs to be fulfilled in order for you to have some semblance of peace, joy, and happiness during this festive season. Budgets may be pressing, the food too tempting, and your patience trying, but rest assured, with a bout of courage and a continuous practice of saying, "no," you should be fine. However, if you find your checklist remaining unchecked, then also keep in mind that spontaneity makes way for wonderful possibilities. Sometimes, having things go unplanned can bring about better results. So keep your head up, and stay merry!

1. Make my first New Year's Resolution

...and why would I do that so early on in the game, you might ask. Well considering my marvelous, nonexistent aptitude of refraining from devouring every scrumptious dish set on the table - that number on the scale before the Thanksgiving feast will become my weight goal for next year. Doubtlessly, I will be packing on a new pound or ten and that will be okay. It's okay to enjoy the food, because sometimes, some dishes only get served once a year. Therefore, it's okay to gain a few as long as I lose them in time before the next holiday season hits.

2. Check my list & check it twice

Because budgets are a pain and I have to make sure everyone is on that list and no one is left unaccounted for. A sad Aunt Sally is the last thing I would ever want as she might hold it against me, making for a very unwanted - and awkward, family gathering.

3. Get through my book stack (or piles)

If you are like me, you probably have an accumulating pile of books since the semester had begun. With school work and life stealing the spare time I would normally have for reading, I found myself simply adding to, but not depleting, the stack of books shelved into the various caches of my bedroom. Thanksgiving and Christmas break will create just that perfect opportunity to become a literate recluse.

4. Be nice

Not saying that I'm not nice, but sometimes, I find it always good to remember to be more tolerant during the holiday season. I'm not the only one going through the seasonal stress of gift giving/searching and party preparations. The holiday season is the perfect time to practice being more patient with others. Learning to be the first one to apologize or just letting the other person get the gift instead, helps to simply just create a better atmosphere for everyone to enjoy the holidays. (It might even get you some extra presents from Santa too, who knows.) However, if the temper doesn't stop rising - remember, walking away from the situation before it escalates will always do.

5. Avoid family feuds at all costs

No, not the game - but if it helps to diffuse the tension, then by all means - I won't rule out the option of playing it! While this goes with the idea of being nice, I believe that by remembering to respect everyone's opinions, for example - about the recent election, then I can spare everyone from picking up arms, (or culinary), and shouting for their opinion to be heard and accepted. Also, if I'm not the one instigating the argument, then it is also good to make an attempt to keep one from happening. Someone thinks that Trump shouldn't have won the electoral college votes? Well, just casually bring up those Joe Biden memes to detract from that hot subject.

6. Make a schedule/ Plan ahead

So, Martha has her Christmas party on Tuesday and Jim is having one on Thursday. The Secret Santa exchange at work is occurring on Wednesday night, and the team is having a holiday dinner Friday right before the Christmas auction at - !

By calling or sending a text ahead of time to confirm dates and writing it all out on a planner or two - plus adding it onto your cell phone's calendar - makes for a more organized holiday season. Missing out a party or gathering can take a hit to your reputation, and knowing myself, I would rather feel stressed over all the social events rather than forget one was even going to happen on a certain day.

7. Binge watch all the shows I've missed

It is inevitable, but sometimes I will find myself lagging behind a television series or four and am forced to evacuate the dorm room because the subject has been switched to the latest 'Walking Dead' death. So better to catch up now before it gets too far in the game.

8. Get the tree

Sometimes, getting the Christmas tree from the attic or the farm can be a hassle, but it is a necessary duty which has to be fulfilled before December hits the family. Being the one to fetch it creates an inner turmoil, but eventually, I have to push myself to climb that creaking ladder or drive to that frigid farm to fetch the centerpiece of the house. The bright side is, once it lands itself on the living room floor, the holiday music starts blasting and the house becomes enveloped in a festive, colorful mess.

9. Clean

Not entirely sure if this is just exclusive to my family, but once November hits, my mother makes it an obligation to go into a cleaning frenzy before Thanksgiving week drops on our doorstep. For this reason, I find myself having to rise up earlier than usual during break and help out my mom in the fight against everything that is dirty and messy. (Which, in her opinion, includes my room).

10. Enjoy your family and friends

...and remember to breathe. Sometimes, the holiday season is the only time I can see some of my friends and family, so it's important for me to have the time to be able to reach out and enjoy their presence. The holidays has become such a materialized season, so it's important to have the ability to step back from the chaos to reflect and enjoy the people and moments. Enjoy the time you have with your loved ones and never lose sight of the real treasures of this season.

Cover Image Credit: Albert Lam

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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What To Do With Your College Belongings Over The Summer

What will you do?


As the end of the semester dwindles to its final couple of weeks your probably starting to think about how to store your belongings until August move-in.

1. Haul it all back home

The most obvious and annoying way to deal with your belonging. If you are like me freshman year you have to wait for your parents to drive down to back up the car once again where you will realize everything you brought down will not fit back in the car. Or you are packing up your own car with maybe your roommates' help? Maybe four trips to the car could turn into two.

2. Storage Units

If you haven't noticed, McFarland is full of different storage unit facilities, which are waiting for May when all the students will be looking for a place for their belonging. This is a great option as long as you have a good budget for the monthly fee and early cancellation if they don't just have a summer contract you can sign for.

3. Local Relatives or Family Friend

Maybe you will be one of the lucky ones for an out of state student and have someone you are close to and will allow you to take over their garage or attic for the summer so you don't have to pay the fees that come with storage units or being cramped in a car for several hours.

4. Dorm Room Movers


This has been my go-to service since sophomore year when I was packing all my belongings up as I was moving out of my first apartment and to another in August. To begin you pay a fee which will provide you with five cardboard boxes and some packing tape to get you started which you can load up and then on the date you decide on movers from their company will come to you and pick up all your belonging and come August they will bring it back to your place of living. Or if it's your last year they will ship it home from you. The best part is all you have to after they pick up your belonging is pay per the box according to the size of it and that's all. No more worry.

Hope this helps you see all your decisions and make the best one for you and your budget

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