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How You Can Enjoy The Upcoming Holiday Season

As Halloween passes, I could not be more excited to get ready for literally anything that has to do with the holidays. Even though the holidays could also come with stress and anxiety, I want to share several things that could be done to help make it a bit more enjoyable and stress-free.

Make a pre-holiday basket with friends

Buying yourself seasonal items can help make the season more enjoyable, especially if you live in regions where it doesn’t snow. Your basket can include self care goodies that you may not already have at home, and make sure to add in some seasonal items, such as fuzzy socks or hot cocoa packets, to help you feel more excited about the colder season. Some other holiday items that could be added to your basket are comfy pajamas from Old Navy, a pine cone scented Yankee candle, and a winter candy apple scented body lotion from Bath & Body Works. Christmas movies are a common addition to the baskets as well, which can be watched with family and friends. Some of my favorite holiday movies include:

  • Elf (2003)
  • Disney’s The Santa Clause (1994)
  • Christmas with the Kranks (2004)
  • The Grinch (2002)
  • Netflix’s The Princess Switch (2018)
  • Naughty or Nice (2012)
  • Christmas in Handcuffs (2007)

Go to your local ice skating rink!

If you ever want to do a winter activity alone or with some friends and family, I recommend ice skating. Ice skating is a fun winter activity that many people try for the first time, and end up loving after their first session. My family and I have gone ice skating every winter, and it has always been an enjoyable and hilarious experience. I do recommend, however, that if it is your first time, make sure to prepare yourself to fall several times before getting the hang of it. I suggest you wear black jeans or comfortable pants, because collapsing on melting ice can leave you feeling a little cold.

Make a holiday “Want List” 

On this list, you could include anything from books to electronic that you have been eyeing on all year long. It could be a specific clothing items that you’ve seen on Instagram or Target, a makeup product that you have been wanting to try, or even some new pieces of jewelry. The point is, it’s up to your imagination (and your parent’s budget).

Go around your town to see Christmas lights 

Not all activities have to involve a lot of planning and spending money. Driving around your town to see the Christmas lights and decorations can be a very simple (and free!) way to spend time with friends and family. My dad has always enjoyed taking my family out for a scenic drive, and it has now become an annual stress-free tradition. 

Some more suggestions to help you get into the holiday mood:

  • Have a gingerbread or cookie decorating competition with your family and friends
  • Put on a cute winter outfit and do a photoshoot
  • Plan a trip up to the mountains, and see some snow!
  • Decorate your dorm with decorations such as a Christmas tree with ornaments, hanging lights and a garland
  • Listen and dance to a Christmas album by Mariah Carey or Justin Bieber

I know that we just started November and have yet to get through the Fall quarter, but if you are as excited as I am, I hope these activities give you a chance to enjoy the festive season — whether alone or with family and friends. It is important to remember that whichever you choose to do, even if it’s simply watching a holiday movie, you should appreciate the time you are spending with yourself and your loved ones. Make sure to be present and intentional so that you could have the absolute best holiday!

Cindy Gonzalez

UC Irvine '25

Cindy is a first year at the University of California Irvine pursuing a major in English. When she is not studying, she likes to watch 2000's tv shows, get glammed up, explore OC, or watch the sunset with some good food.
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