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Deck the Halls with Five Festive Fetes

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, collegiettes™! The SAC has its 12-foot Christmas tree up, the brunt of finals are upon us, and the weather gods have graced us with below 90 degree temperatures. Yep, it must be December. While most people focus on finals at this time, I, being my optimistic and final-free self have decided to focus on post-final festivities! What do you do when you have been at home for a week and you’re already bored? Let’s not mention the 11pm curfew… You throw a party! Before you OMG and X out of this article, let me note that the words “ugly sweater” are not included. I know, I know. Been there, done that, bought that ugly sweater. Here are five festive fetes that will make you feel like you’re walking in a winter wonderland!

Hot Chocolate Sampling


Sipping on sumptuous hot chocolate is a wintertime favorite, so why not make a party out of it? Melody Major, a chemical engineering sophomore, suggested the idea of a hot chocolate sampling party! Invite your friends to try steaming mugs of different hot chocolate flavors, and choose their favorite! The possibilities are endless!  Add marshmallows or a Hershey’s kiss for a surprise at the bottom, or cinnamon for a spicy twist! Gone are the visions of sugar plums dancing in your head; you’re focusing on all the syrups you can add like vanilla, peppermint, raspberry, caramel, or hazelnut!

Crafts
Am I the only one who misses doing craft activities at parties? Sure, add me to your loser list, but do you really want to end up on the naughty list and get coal in your stocking? You can use these crafts as gifts for family and friends without spending a lot of cash, which is always a plus for savvy spenders. Decorate a glass ornament for a personal, homemade gift! You could fill the inside by pouring different colored paint for an artsy Jackson Pollack look, or fill it with small seashells, pearls, or beads. You could even decorate the outside with stickers or glitter! Making personalized stockings for your family might require a bit more ambition, but go ahead and grab the puff paint, sequins, and a needle and thread! A sappy, happy mom with a cute, heartfelt present? Check. Having fun and not breaking the bank? Ooh yes, you made a list and you checked it twice.

Caroling

I believe Nat King Cole said it best, “Joyous voices sweet and clear/ Sing the sad of heart to cheer”. Or maybe Buddy the Elf said it better, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear”. I think the basic message is that the holidays are all about singing and spreading cheer. So instead of spreading cheer to just your Jester community bathroom-mates, take it out to the neighborhood, just like Monica Rodriguez, a Public Relations sophomore, does!

“Every Christmas a group of friends and I, with a combination of instruments and our beautiful voices, put together a great show of caroling to take to retirement homes and each other’s houses. The last day we end up at my house for a big holiday pot-luck party. This year will be our sixth year doing it and we keep growing!”

I’m seriously impressed and inspired by Monica’s tradition, so excuse me while I head over to the Yule Log to warm up the pipes with Mr. Cole.

Around the world

Happy Christma-hana-kwanza-kah!”  While yes, this expression became popular from that commercial a couple of years ago, I actually tried celebrating all of the December holidays nine years ago. Chanuka, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, and St. Lucia’s Day.  Needless to say, my 5th grade self couldn’t really pull it off, but I’m thinking my sophomore-in-college self can. So let’s throw an “Around the World” party! Have fun participating in favorite traditions from different religions! Play spin the dreidel, read the story of Jesus’ birth, light a kinara, and make buenelos. Of course, there is an endless list of traditions that come with each culture so do some research, then most importantly, get out there and start celebrating!

White Christmas

Oh how Bing Crosby speaks to the soul! We’re dreaming of a White Christmas, but we wake up to the sun shining. How absolutely magnificent would it be to experience a White Christmas? Actually have Jack Frost nipping at your nose? Or maybe just scarf and boot weather instead of flip flops and sunglasses? Since Texas probably won’t provide the delicate dusting of white powder outside, bring the snow inside!  Cut out paper snowflakes, have a “snowball fight” with rolled up white socks, and my personal favorite, create your own mini-Frosty the Snowman by constructing three scoops of vanilla ice cream and adding toppings to make his face and accessories! May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white.
 
If you weren’t a holiday enthusiast before, I hope I have convinced you that it really is the most wonderful time of the year! With so many parties to celebrate, who has time to be bored? You can’t beat home sweet home for the holidays!
 
Photo sources:
Jacqueline Jules — How to Play Dreidel
Pier 1 Imports – Multi-color Sequin Ornament
Elf storyboard
The Kwanzaa Kinara
Mexian Sweet Cruller

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