Holiday Week: The Best Things to Do During the Holidays

Christmas music blasting, cold air blowing, scarves billowing in the wind, the smell of freshly baked cookies in the oven...you know what that means. It’s the HOLIDAY SEASON! In order to make the most out of this time of year, here are some fun activities to do during the holidays: 

  1. 1. Enjoy the cold and snowy weather

    Even if you aren’t in a cold place when you go home for the holidays (like me, since I am from Los Angeles where it is almost always sunny and 70 degrees), the weather at Notre Dame in the weeks leading to winter break is enough to get you in the winter-y spirit! While this rainy, snowy, gray weather can get old and gloomy, try to make the most of it, especially during and leading up to the holidays. Just think—you actually get to experience some kind of white Christmas while you are here! So go outside, breathe in the chilly air, throw on your heaviest parka and your warmest gloves and enjoy it. Make snow angels, throw snowballs at your friends and then run inside and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa or coffee to warm yourself up.

  2. 2. Get crafty

    Such cold weather can make you want to stay indoors all day, so instead of sitting around, you can get crafty! Get your friends together for some arts and crafts—you can make DIY snowflakes, decorate ornaments or build a gingerbread house. If these options don’t appeal to you, Pinterest has plenty more that you are sure to love!

  3. 3. Host a Secret Santa or White Elephant

    As broke college students, buying gifts during the holidays can be stressful and expensive. So, instead of buying everyone extravagant gifts, plan a Secret Santa or White Elephant with your friends and family! You can all decide on the price limit (when my friends do it, we try not to go past $20) and keep it simple. Remember, it’s the thought that counts, and a little something can go a long way and can even make the holiday season for a friend or family member. So don’t let the pressure of gift-giving ruin your own holiday season! With a Secret Santa or White Elephant, you can prioritize quality time with your loved ones and make the smallest gifts the most special of all.

  4. 4. Get cooking!

    The holidays are the perfect time to start cooking or baking, not only for yourself, but for (and with) your family and friends. It’s a way to get creative, spend more time with those you care about and discover fun, new recipes. Also, nothing beats the sense of accomplishment you feel after making a recipe for your family and friends to enjoy. But even if you aren’t a skilled cook, never fear! For years, I have tried to make ginger cookies during the holidays and we always try to serve them at our family’s annual holiday party. However, every year, without fail, they end up being completely inedible! Even though nobody could enjoy eating them, my family and I have funny memories of my failed attempts at baking, which makes it all worth it. So if a recipe turns out badly, just remember how funny it will be!

  5. 5. Wrap up the year and prepare for a new one

    As I have grown older, this part of the holiday season has grown in importance over the years, especially as a college student. I am much more aware of my goals and what I want my life to look like in the future, but sitting down and actually putting thought into things I want to achieve gives me such a strong sense of direction and structure for the new year to come. So take out a journal and get to writing! It is a great way to take a moment and reflect on the past year and how much you have grown, while also acknowledging the growth you want to have in the new year and some of things you haven’t gotten around to doing yet. It’s also a wonderful way to start thinking about new ways to get out of your comfort zone and make changes in your life. Maybe you can take up a new hobby, or maybe you can start prioritizing exercise and healthy eating more—it’s totally up to you. But no matter what, remember to be kind to yourself. You have done some pretty amazing things in your life thus far, and it is important to acknowledge and appreciate that while also looking ahead.

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