25 Festive Things To Do This December

Go shopping – for yourself! 
Around the holiday season, our shopping lists can be out of control and money can be tight.  But make it a point to show yourself some love when you’re hitting the stores – by buying a fab dress for New Year’s Eve, for example, or some cozy holiday pajamas.  You don’t even have to splurge – places like Forever 21 have racks full of holiday glitz at insanely low prices, and Old Navy’s comfy PJ pants won’t hurt your wallet much, either. 

Hit the slopes. 
The skiing and snowboarding faithful might do it for months, but hitting the slopes seems even more enjoyable around the holidays.  If you’ve never done it before, go with more experienced friends and give it a shot!  Sure, you might fall a couple times, but you can laugh it off in the lodge later over hot chocolate.  Check out website
College Ski Trips  to help book a ski getaway over winter break.

Send cards to friends and family. 
Everyone loves holiday greetings, so spread the cheer!  Don’t feel like you have to buy cards from the store – make cards out of construction paper and tape them to your friends’ doors.   It’s much cheaper and more personal – and your friends will hang on to them forever!  Or take a cue from HC Contributing Writer Meagan Templeton-Lynch, who has a holiday photo shoot with her girlfriends and makes cards in Photoshop!

Channel your inner Paula Deen. 
Use your time at home to get more comfortable in the kitchen.  Offer to help make traditional holiday dinners – you’ll probably want to know how to make your favorites when you’re on your own.  Pay close attention to cultural cuisine, like University of Michigan sophomore Kylie Kagen: “My dad is Jewish, so to keep part of his cultural background alive during Christmas time, we have a big Jewish meal on Christmas Eve.  I always look forward to cooking that traditional Jewish food with my family.”  Check out recipes from
AllRecipes, Better Homes and Gardens, or the Queen herself for inspiration. 

Go ice skating. 
Whether you’re in Rockefeller Center or just that ice rink where your local hockey team practices (which I’d argue is just as fun – who doesn’t love a man in a mouth guard?), ice-skating around the holidays just feels right.  Grab a big group of friends and laugh the night away, or make it a festive date with that special someone.

Give back to the community. 
The holidays are the best time to remember those who need our help.  Volunteer at the local soup kitchen, give some change to those Salvation Army bell-ringers, or buy some gifts for a family that can’t afford a Christmas.  You’ll be glad you did.  For local volunteer opportunities, check out websites like
Volunteer Match or ask around at your old high school or place of worship.

Be artsy and make holiday crafts. 
Craft stores like Michael’s are downright hopping this time of year, and the holidays give artsy people some new pieces to play with – HC Contributing Writer Rachel Dozier suggests incorporating pinecones, holly, mistletoe, and berries into your art.  University of Michigan sophomore Danielle Ebstein also notes that crafts can make for heartfelt gifts to give to friends or to charity.

Curl up with a blanket and read a good book. 
With all of the required reading that we have to do for school, it can be hard to think of reading as “fun.” But reading a book that interests you – whether it’s a novel, a biography, or a book about a subject you love – can actually be quite relaxing.

Have a dinner party with your friends. 
With all of the family events that come with the holiday season, it can be nice to enjoy a low-key dinner party with your friends.  Make it a potluck, show off that family recipe you mastered, and swap holiday stories with two (or twenty) of your closest friends.

Make ornaments. 
Add your personal style to the Christmas tree by making creative holiday ornaments – there are tons of cute ideas online!  If making them isn’t your thing, consider buying a new ornament every year.  That way, when you have a tree of your own, you’ll have something to remind you of Christmas past


Go to the movies. 
Is it just me, or do the best movies of the year come out around the holidays?  Spend an afternoon at your local movie theater and check out potential blockbusters like
Little Fockers and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Spend time with the people that you love. 
Help your dad put the lights on the garage, go sledding with your younger relatives, or just chat with your mom and look at the Christmas tree lit up in the dark (my favorite holiday tradition – I love you, Mom!).  Spending quality time with your friends and family is really what makes the holiday season so magical, and you’ll make memories that you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.

Have you checked off any of these activities already?  Do you have any holiday traditions that you look forward to every year?  Tell me all about it in the comments section, and have a wonderful holiday season!

Cara Sprunk, HC Managing Editor
Danielle Ebstein, University of Michigan sophomore
Kylie Kagen, University of Michigan sophomore
Meagan Templeton-Lynch, HC Contributing Writer
Rachel Dozier, HC Contributing Writer
Tinya Peng, University of Michigan senior