How to Have the Ultimate Winter Weekend with Friends

On the Sunday that marked our last day of Thanksgiving break, I woke up at 3:00 AM to fly from my home in Florida back to campus. Upon arrival back to Mount Holyoke, I took a much needed nap. I woke up to a beautiful blizzard of snowflakes outside my window. With the ambiance of my twinkling string lights and mini golden Christmas tree, I couldn’t wait to reunite with my friends and do some festive activities! The following is a list of things to do when it’s cold outside and you want to get in the holiday spirit on campus…


Play in the snow

Once the blizzard came to an end, Mount Holyoke’s campus truly turned into a winter wonderland. Everyone sort of became their 10-year-old self again, making snow angels and running around the green in its white, fluffy state. There’s something so magical about walking around all bundled up, admiring the Christmas lights on our campus gates, and the abundance of snowmen and snow-animals (shoutout to whoever made the sea monster in sunglasses!). My friends and I did some snow frolicking of our own, playing Ariana Grande’s Christmas album as we had a mini snowball fight. 


Go ice skating

This past weekend, Mount Holyoke’s outing club invited anybody who wanted to go ice-skating to join. We took the PVTA to UMASS for open skate from 4:00-5:15 on Saturday. It was such a nice break from studying and the perfect way to get active! Afterwards we refueled with Antonio’s Pizza and Glazed Donuts in Amherst!



Get together with some friends in your dorm kitchen, blast some Christmas music, and decorate gingerbread houses or do some holiday baking. You can’t go wrong with cookies or cupcakes, but if you want something extra special, consider the following (gluten free!!) recipes:

Iced Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies - “Chewy rolled oats, plump dried cranberries, and a hint of cinnamon = Oatmeal Cranberry cookie perfection. Simple, whole grain ingredients never tasted so good. For an added touch of sweetness, drizzle [this] easy to make, 2-ingredient confectioners glaze on top.”

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes - “These Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes are a delicious, bite-sized dessert perfect for the holidays. Start with your fave Cookie Dough (we used Oatmeal Cranberry here), fill with [this] simple ingredient pumpkin filling, and top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

Caramel Stuffed Snickerdoodles - “[These] Caramel Stuffed Snickerdoodles are super soft with an ooey, gooey caramel surprise in the middle. The pairing of cinnamon spice makes these an incredibly delicious and easy to create fall dessert for all to enjoy.”


Watch Netflix Christmas movies & TV episodes


Image result for tumblr watching christmas movies

Make some hot cocoa and popcorn and watch a Christmas movie in the common room with your friends! Watch a classic like: A Christmas Story, Elf, Home Alone, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Love, Actually. Or if you’re in the mood for a cheesy Netflix original, consider A Christmas Prince, Christmas Inheritance, The Knight Before Christmas, or Let It Snow. 

If you have less time on your hands, watch a holiday episode of your favorite TV show. For Modern Family fans, watch season 1, episode 10, "Undeck the Halls,” season 3, episode 10, “Express Christmas,” or season 7, episode 9, “White Christmas.” If you’re in the mood for a New York Christmas, watch Gossip Girl’s season 1, episode 11, “Roman Holiday.” If you’re looking for that cozy New England white Christmas feeling, grab a cup of coffee and binge watch all of the Gilmore Girls holiday episodes: Season 1, episode 10: “Forgiveness and Stuff,” Season 2, episode 10: “The Bracebridge Dinner,” Season 3, episode 10: “That’ll Do Pig,” Season 4, episode 11: “In the Clamor and Clangor,” Season 5, episode 11: “Women of Questionable Morals,” and Season 7, episode 11: “Santa’s Secret Stuff.”


Camp out in a coffee shop

There have been many days in this liminal period between Thanksgiving and Christmas where I spent 4-8 hours in a coffee shop studying. I definitely had some Hallmark Christmas movie vibes going on, getting distracted every so often by the falling snow outside the window. Since we have to study, why not make it festive? Thirsty Mind is right across the street from Mount Holyoke, which makes it the perfect off campus study spot. Curl up in one of the antique chairs by the fireplace, order a warm hot chocolate with mountains of whipped cream, and write that ethnography you’ve been dreading. 

As the end of the semester comes to a close, staying productive can be more challenging than the work in front of you. Hopefully these options provide some festive study breaks that help you finish your Fall semester on a good note! 




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