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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5 Reasons Why Your Siblings Are Your Lifeline During the Holidays

The holiday season can get stressful but no worries because your siblings will be by your side to help you get though it.
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The holidays are a time when you get together with the whole family. No matter if you're related or not when you get a good amount of people together for any amount of time there is bound to be a fight and personality clashes. In the holiday season, stress levels are high which makes for an, even more, trickier situation and sometimes you just need someone who knows what you are going through and can relate. My twin brother is the one who keeps me sane during my time at home at the holidays and I am sure your sibling is too and here's how...

1. They are the ones who know to save you a seat at the Christmas dinner table.


So that you don't have to sit by anyone you might not want to sit by.

2. They can always save you when your family members keep asking your significant other (or lack of) and you just can't take it anymore.


3. They can be you're best friend when you're back home and off your normal college schedule.


4. They can help you shop for family Christmas gifts so that you don't have to do it all on your own.


5. They are there to annoy you because at the end of the day they are your sibling and that's their job.


It is the best time of the year and being with family is great but when the season greetings become too much to handle on your own you can always count on your siblings to help you get through it or at least where you don't have to suffer through it on your own. So, give your siblings an extra hug this holiday season and be grateful you don't have to go through this crazy world alone.

Cover Image Credit: Emma Grace Mayfield

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10 Perks Of Staying At School Instead Of Going Home For Break

Sometimes, college is just more fun.
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Caution- I'm about to present a viewpoint that many college kids will detest and disagree with.

Alright, here it is... I don't like going on breaks from school.

*Gasps arise from audience, desks are flipped, people storm out of rooms, someone has a heart attack*

Yes, yes, I know it's not a popular opinion to have, especially considering how much we all want to be done with our schooling for life and just move into our careers already. I get it- breaks provide a way for students to relieve stress for awhile and relax from the constant pressures of taking exams and writing papers. Now, please don't get me wrong, I value taking a rest just as much as the next average college Joe does.

HOWEVER, there are some aspects of being at school that I believe every student needs deep down that we just don't receive when we come back home and do nothing for three weeks. **Disclaimer, this viewpoint does not apply to those of you that actually did something productive with your lives over break. Props to you, an inspiration to us all.** Nevertheless, for those of us who spent our winter vacations as couch potatoes, eating our body weight in cookies every day, here are ten, very valid reasons why being at school can be better than being at home.

1. You, guaranteed, won't get bored.

Hmm, spend the whole day lying on the couch watching Hallmark movie specials and slowly slipping into insanity or go out with your friends and do something fun around campus? Tough one...

2. You will actually have friends.

Chances are, if you go out of state to college, your friends all live in different parts of the country... making you alone and sad over every break. No thanks.

3. Your time is your own.

During the holidays, there are so many family responsibilities and things that have been planned for you, there's not a lot of time to spend doing what you'd like to do. At college, you can take a 5-hour nap, go out with your friends, or stay in the dorm and have a personal spa night. No one can stop you!

4. You'll have a somewhat-decent sleep schedule.

Going on break is the worst because you grow acclimated to waking up at certain times for class or work, which is all put on hold when you go home for a month. You get used to sleeping in until 3 PM and staying up watching Netflix until 5 AM. It's a brutal awakening whenever you do go back.

5. Back up, you'll actually have a schedule and a routine in the first place.

Those of us who value routine and keeping ourselves busy go absolutely insane over breaks. At school, we have our whole days planned out and a set routine that keeps us active. At home, we have uh... none of that.

6. You won't have to deal with crazy family drama.

If you have a big family and lots of people visiting for the holidays, you know how stressful everyone gets and the tension that builds over those weeks. Wouldn't it be nice if instead of hiding in your room to get away from Aunt Mildred's questions about why you don't have a job or a boyfriend yet, you didn't have to worry about any of that?

7. You'll have constant activities and events to look forward to.

I mean, yeah, Christmas is cool and New Year's can be fun, but those are the only highlights of winter vacation. In between, you're doing a lot of lying around and staring at the ceiling or your phone screen. Staying at school means you will always have events to look forward to, whether it's games, socials, parties, or even just hangouts with your friends.

8. You won't eat everything in the fridge.

The holidays have a tendency to add a few pounds onto all of us, especially if you indulge in Christmas cookies more than the average person (@me). Frequent trips to the kitchen can be avoided if you just stayed at school and kept up with the gym routine.

9. You only have to do chores for yourself.

When college kids come home, many of us are automatically brought into the weekly chores schedule... meaning folding laundry for 5 people, instead of one. Wouldn't it be great to just have to worry about cleaning up your own messes?

10. You have your own space.

Over the holidays, many of us are under obligation to spend time with the family or room with relatives to ensure everyone fits. There's not a lot of personal space or time. Staying at school means getting to go back to your dorm whenever you want and being able to plop onto bed and do nothing for hours if you so desire. It's absolutely beautiful.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash.com

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