How To Do Christmas In College

How To Do Christmas In College

It is the thought that counts, right?
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Have you gotten tunnel vision yet? Finals season is fast approaching, the days have grown obscenely short, and now -- given that you celebrate at least one of the many holidays available -- you have to buy thoughtful presents for your friends and family. What to do?! We're all broke and we're all busy, but there are some ways to circumvent the more expensive norms seen around the holiday season while still retaining that sincere, "It's A Wonderful Life" sentimentality.

Give the present of your presence.

It could be with your roommate, your group chat, your pset partner or even a friend! Organize a watch party for a classic Christmas movie or something a little less reverent; as long as you're all together (with drinks and a bag of caramel corn), everyone should leave in high spirits. Suggestions: "Miracle on 34th Street", "The Nightmare Before Christmas", "Happy Feet", "Love Actually", "Elf", "The Polar Express", "The Santa Clause 2"...

Knock it off.

Don't be afraid to sacrifice brand for wallet and go for knockoffs, like Mossimo over Uggs or Redbubble over the official NBC merch, and hopefully the person you're shopping for is able to appreciate the sentiment over the prestige of a brand name. There are also extensions like Honey, Amazon Assistant, and Swagbucks that can help you get the lowest possible price when shopping online. If you don't want to lug everyone's presents home with you, have them shipped directly to your house, where a trusted sibling can cram them under your bed.

Not-so-Secret Santa

Go ahead, be a little extra and organize a Secret Santa or holiday gift swap between friends or family; this website takes care of everything but the actual shopping. This way you only end up buying one gift but you celebrate the Christmas spirit with a group (hashtag holiday hack). Within family or friend groups, send each other Amazon wishlists to save the time it would take to find something you think they might like.


Substitute materiality with sentimentality

Whatever you do, don't skimp on the card! A well-written, thoughtful card can perfectly complement a small gift or something homemade. Invest in simple but pleasant stationary, and maybe even use candle wax as a fancy way to seal it shut! Check out this manifesto on wax seals if you want to learn more about how to use one.



Get baked...

On sugar! Baked goods are always a surefire way to win over the hearts of friends and casual enemies alike. Allergies aside, it's the one time you can get everyone the same thing without it being tacky, and it shows that you put at least half an hour of work into making something for them, so you can't go wrong!

Rice Krispies Holiday Treats
Rice Krispies Christmas Trees
Christmas Candy Cupcakes
Fig Cookies
Funfetti Shortbread Bites
Peppermint Bark
Hot Chocolate Mix
Don't forget our vegan and gluten-free friends, too!

Let's wrap this up.

Short on wrapping paper and would rather die than step foot into a Papyrus? Find your school's newspaper, pick the most interesting pages, and give your gifts a unique look! If you're getting creative, cut a page into strips and staple them into a ribbon. For gifts that are a little less wrappable, neatly shred your newspaper to fill up a brown paper bag that you got from the school bookstore.

BONUS: Give to charity instead!

If you have a small amount of money set aside but can't bring yourself to choose who to spend it on, give it to someone who, although a stranger you'll likely never meet, will need it more than anyone in your immediate circle. There are tons and tons of charities and nonprofits that need your help, but, whatever you do, please don't support the Salvation Army.

Best of luck!

Cover Image Credit: The Green House

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52 Instagram Captions Perfect For Your Next Beach Vacation

Perfect for those beach daze.
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Summer is officially in full swing. We are all looking forward to the adventures that await us. A lot of us have been dreaming about the day when we finally get to kick our feet up and relax by the ocean. If you find yourself getting ready for a trip to the beach then read these quotes to help get your in the mood for your vacation. Whether you are looking for an Instagram caption or are just trying to settle a bad case of wanderlust, here are 52 quotes on summer:

1. "Hello summer."

2. "I'm happiest when I'm floating in the ocean."

3. "May you always have a shell in your pocket, and sand in your toes."

4. "Life is better with palm trees."

5. "Sandy toes. Sun-kissed nose."

6. "Balmy nights, pink sunsets, and salty air."

7. "Talk to the sand."

8. "Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink the wild air." -Emerson

9. "Everyone should believe in something. I believe I should go to the beach."

10. "Spontaneity is the best kind of adventure."

11. "The ocean is calling and I must go."

12. "Here comes the sun."

13. "If it requires a bikini, my answer is yes."

14. "I'm just a beachy kinda girl."

15. "As free as the ocean..."

16. "As endless as the ocean, as timeless as the tides..."

17. "Life's a beach. Enjoy the waves."

18. "A pineapple a day keeps the worries away."

19. "Let the currents guide your heart."

20. "Happiness comes in waves."

21. "Let's go somewhere where the stars kiss the ocean."

22. "My favorite color is sunset."

23. "I lost my heart to the sea."

24. "Sun, sand, and surf."

25. "Salt in the air. Sand in my hair."

26. "Smell the sea, and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly." -Van Morrison

27. "High tides and good vibes."

28. "Mermaid kisses and starfish wishes."

29. "Stop and smell the ocean."

30. "I'm happy anywhere I can see the ocean."

31. "Tropical state of mind."

32. "Forever chasing the sun."

33. "Girls just wanna have sun."

34. "Some of the best memories are made in flip flops." -Kellie Elmore

35. "Good times and tan lines."

36. "Palm trees, ocean breeze, salty air, sun-kissed hair, endless summer, take me there."

37. "The ocean is calling."

38. "Love you to the beach and back."

39. "Paradise found."

40. "Seas the day."

41. "Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air..." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

42. "Eat. Beach. Sleep. Repeat."

43. "I never met a sunset I didn't like."

44. "Beach daze always."

45. "Catch me by the sea."

46. "Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair." -Zac Brown Band

47. "Stay salty."

48. "Done adulating- let's be mermaids."

49. "Find me under the palm trees."

50. "Sea you soon."

51. "Hello sunshine."

52. "Don't mind me... I'm just chasing the sun."

Cover Image Credit: Jakob Owens // Unsplash

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Putting Away Christmas

It sometimes feels like the end, but it's not.
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It's probably the worst time of the year for those of us who love Christmastime. At least in the days immediately following December 25th, it's still socially acceptable to listen to your favorite Christmas carols, keep your Christmas lights plugged in, and enjoy your tree and decorations.

But, sometime after New Years, the day inevitably comes when the celebration of the Christmas season must give way to the next one. Whether you throw your tree out promptly on January 1st, wait for the official changing of the Christian liturgical season at Epiphany (January 6th), or just take everything down when you have time, there's a definite sadness that accompanies the un-decorating process.

First, there's the sheer amount of work involved in taking everything down and packing it away for next year. It takes time and effort to locate every tiny ornament hidden in the boughs of your Christmas tree, tenderly wrap each fragile figurine in a Nativity set, and untangle the many strands of lights that illuminated your yard all December. We spend hours putting everything away, not to mention vacuuming tree needles and glitter off of the rug.

Once everything is safely stored in the basement or garage, of course, it's guaranteed that we'll find one last decoration that we completely forgot about, meaning that we have to somehow make space for it in one of the already-overstuffed boxes of ornaments and tinsel and lights. It can all be pretty overwhelming.

Christmas teardown is also a reminder of just how much stuff we accumulate, and just how little of it we really need or care about. Now is probably a good time to get rid of some of it so that we'll have less to store, put up, and take down next year, but often in our mourning for the ending of the Christmas season, we find it difficult to part with almost anything. We make mental pacts with ourselves not to buy any more decorations next year, but then immediately break our resolutions when we see the cute little nutcracker ornaments on a great sale a week after Christmas, or when all the new decor begins to appear in stores the following October.

And of course, there's the essential fact that putting away Christmas decorations means the ending of one of the most beautiful, festive, and happy times of the entire year. The decorations in the stores and around town gradually disappear, the number of family gatherings and parties on our calendars begins to dwindle, school and work resume as vacations end. Everyone and everything just seems a bit less jolly as the bleak wintry weather of January sets in.

But even in the face of a long winter devoid of Christmas cheer, there's still hope. There's hope for exciting holidays ahead, like sweet, romantic Valentine's Day or joyous Easter Sunday. There's hope for changes in weather, like potential snowfall and the eventual coming of spring, when the earth will finally come back to life in flowers and birds and trees and EVERYTHING. And for those who celebrate the coming of Christ at Christmas, there's the promise that Immanuel, the presence of God With Us, doesn't go away even when we've put away our manger scenes and stopped listening to O Holy Night.

Before we know it, Christmas will be just around the corner once again, and we'll get to enjoy our favorite holiday traditions and celebrations sooner than we think. Even though lovers of Christmas will never not struggle when Christmastime comes to an end, we can take comfort in the fact that the cycle of the seasons continues, bringing so many other things to enjoy until Christmas comes again.

Cover Image Credit: Olivia Corso

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