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I know how hard it is to get into the holiday spirit when you’re dealing with so many things, especially with the stress of finals. To me, it feels less and less like the holidays each year, so here are some things that I do to get into the holiday groove.

Gingerbread House Competition

One of my favorite activities to do! Grab a friend or a group of friends, buy some gingerbread kits and build your houses. I love turning it into a competition, so people give it their all and then post the final results on Instagram stories to let others decide the ultimate decorating champion. 

Secret Santa / White Elephant 

The classic holiday party games. For Secret Santa, each person is randomly assigned another person to give a gift to. Gifts are exchanged and the identity of the gift-givers should remain a secret. For White Elephant, each player brings a gift, then everybody draws a number to determine which order they will go in to select a gift. The first player unwraps a gift and then the next player can choose to either pick a new gift from the pile or steal a previous player’s gift. Anyone who gets their gift stolen can also either choose a new gift or steal from someone else. This keeps going until everyone has had their turn and the stealing ends. Beware: you might make some enemies with White Elephant.

Holiday Movie Marathon

Spend one night binging your favorite holiday movies either solo or with some friends. From Elf to Home Alone to the Grinch, there are so many great movies that will put you in the holiday spirit. You could even bake some Pillsbury holiday cookies and make some hot chocolate to really set the scene.

Make a Holiday Music Playlist

I think we’ve all been hearing the holiday music even before Thanksgiving ended, but it really does help get you in that jolly mood. Make a playlist with the classics like “Jingle Bells” and “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” but also sprinkle in some new stuff like Justin Bieber’s “Mistletoe” or Ariana Grande’s Christmas & Chill EP. I play my holiday playlist every time I drive or just need a little dance break and it really lifts the mood.

Purchase Holiday Candles

Candle day already passed, so I hope you took advantage of the $10 candles at Bath and Body Works because I sure did. During finals week I lit so many holiday scented candles and it gave me a sweet glimpse of what life will be like once the stress subsides. My favorite scents are Merry Mimosa, Frozen Lake and Snowflakes & Citrus.

I know getting out of a funk can be hard, but it’s that time of year where you get to enjoy time with your family and make new memories. I hope these tips will help bring on the holiday cheer.

Farrah Muwalla is a junior at the University of Central Florida, and is majoring in Biomedical Sciences. She is from Viera, Florida and plans to go to dental school. When she isn't studying, Farrah spends her free time working out, watching TikToks, or listening to Harry Styles.
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