5 Reasons Why Italian Christmas Eve Is Better Than Actual Christmas Day

5 Reasons Why Italian Christmas Eve Is Better Than Actual Christmas Day

Italians do it better! Food, dessert – enough said.
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Christmas Eve is a major holiday to Italians. Some celebrate the Feast of Seven fishes, but we all have a celebration with food, family, presents and, of course, yelling. These factors make an Italian Christmas Eve better than Christmas itself!

1. Anticipation




After all, it is the night before Christmas. Your mind is racing with all of the possible presents “Santa” will bring you. I think that the anticipation for Christmas is better than actual Christmas Day because Christmas day arrives, and then it's gone in the blink of an eye.

2. Yelling


Spending time with your family sounds nice, until it actually happens. Italians have their own way of speaking. They are notoriously hot-headed and loud. Almost every conversation turns into an argument. Someone always starts a fight and a screaming match ensues – even though they are usually over something small. Thankfully, all the fighting halts as soon as the dishes hit the table because we will all be too busy chewing and savoring our delicious meal.

3. Food



Everybody knows that Italians love to eat. Therefore, the preparation for dinner is an all day affair. The whole family is involved. Your eyes will be bigger than your mouth when you see the appetizers, pasta and seafood. It is guaranteed your spread will include shrimp cocktail, clams oreganato and fried calamari. You’ll be stuffed beyond belief. But save some room because before you know it, it's dessert time!




4. Dessert



Just like with dinner, the table is full of desserts. There is homemade struffoli (or "honey balls" as my family calls them), cakes, cannolis and other Italian cookies. FYI struffoli is like crack. You can't stop with one, you have to keep eating until the whole plate is gone. I hope you're wearing your stretchy pants.




5. Presents


Hopefully, your family is feeling generous. You pray for money or gift cards, which is always more useful than an ugly Christmas sweater from your Nona. The upside to receiving less than perfect gifts is Christmas is tomorrow! Hopefully "Santa" brought you everything on your wishlist.


When the night is over, chances are you are full, sleepy and ready for your relatives to leave until the next holiday. Finally, you can go to sleep and wake up ready for Christmas morning!

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Time for Spring Cleaning

Top Tips for De-Cluttering Your Basement
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Spring has sprung, and with it comes a fresh start for you and your home. Cabin fever and the winter blues may have gotten you down, but with warm weather upon us, a home pick-me-up is just what you need to enter the season right. Decorations, spring clothing, and other odds and ends may have piled up in your basement, but fortunately the idea of organizing your clutter does not need to be overwhelming! A few simple tips can help get the job done and leave you refreshed, accomplished, and ready to take on the sunshine.

Set the Stage for Your Junk

You will want a clear space to begin organizing. Don’t think too hard! Just push some stuff aside so you have an empty area on your floor. This will make organizing your garage easier when you only have to focus on one small space. Methodically bring items over to categorize and determine what will go where. Know what is junk and what is not. If you’ll be having a lot of things that you’ll be throwing out, it might be best to get a skip bin before following through with the rest of these points.

Deal with Large Items First

Bulky items get in the way and they will make maneuvering around your garage that more difficult, so focus on those first. Recycle, toss, or give away big items you have not used for a year and put the rest aside so once there is more room, they can find a proper home.

Categorize Your Belongings

Follow this system, and watch your garage get organized. Dedicate a box to each of the following: Keep in garage, keep in another room, donate, sell, throw out, and recycle. Follow this categorization for every single item, no matter how sentimental it once was.

Be Creative with Storage

Use a sliding system on your ceiling for containers. Make wall racks for bikes or tools. Use bungee cords to keep toys and loose items close to the walls. Design shelving around the perimeter of the garage to keep the floor clear of clutter. Use your imagination!

Declutter in Increments

Do not attempt to declutter your garage in a single day or you are sure to burn out and abandon the project completely. Set a Pomodoro timer and work in half hour increments or dedicate two hours on the weekends. Slow and steady progress will ensure that the project will get done.

Implementing these simple rules will make a seemingly impossible task easy to conquer. Furthermore, the care and easygoing approach to decluttering your basement will prevent burnout, ensuring that you get that task done. Good luck and happy organizing!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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5 Ways To 'Go Green' This Earth Day At U Of I

Getting involved for Earth Day is simple!
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Earth Day is rapidly approaching! Here are a few fun, hands-on ways you can get involved in the C-U community:

1. Plant Sale (Thursday, April 19)

Bring a little life into your home space – literally! This green ornament will bring a splash of color and some clean air to any room! Succulents will be sold for $3.50 on the Quad between 10:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. Check into the Facebook event here.

2. Eco-Trivia Night (Thursday, April 19)

Grab your friends, and head over to Murphy’s to test your environmental knowledge, help fundraise money and earn prizes while learning more about the various ways we can help the planet that gives us so much! View the Facebook event here.

3. Clothing Sale and Swap (Friday, April 20)

Do you have clothes collecting dust in the back of your closet? Then trade them in for pieces of someone else’s style between 2:00 P.M. and 5:30 P.M. at the University YMCA! RSVP to the Facebook event here.

4. "Plogging" (Saturday, April 21)

“Plogging…?” What’s that? Simply put, it’s collecting littered plastic while on a group run/walk. This is a great opportunity to clean part of our community and enjoy the spring air! Registration is free, and supplies will be provided to participants. Visit the Facebook event here for further details.

5. Tree Planting (Friday, April 27)

I know this opportunity comes well after Earth Day, but I had to include it! Plus, it’s important to be green all year round. Use your green thumb to help plant a tree on the Quad, and be part of a gesture that will be noticed by many, many years of Illini! Get updates about the event by following the Facebook event here.

If you can’t participate in any of these events, don’t worry! There are other ways you can practice being green. This week, try drinking using the faucet, walking to class, taking the stairs, doing a load of laundry in cold water and, of course, recycle!

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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