Look past finals to enjoy holidays
December 13, 2010 —
The holiday season is, quite simply, wonderful. People are happy, places usually smell like cookies, peppermint and cinnamon and there are marshmallow Santa Clauses. If that isnít enough to make you shiver, we have other things to look forward to, like the end of a semester, family, sledding, hot chocolate, sprinkles and presents. Holy smokes! Just writing about this makes me excited.
I love Christmas. I love everything leading up to Christmas. But I hate post-Christmas. Every year on Dec. 26, I take the time to somberly reminisce about my favorite things from the previous day. I try to cure my Dec. 26 blues by thinking ahead to the joys and festivities of New Yearís Eve, but I know that on Jan. 1 everything is terminado. Then I have to deal with the Jan. 1 blues and I have to admit I donít handle it well. In an attempt to cure my blues, I usually eat leftover cookies until I feel sick, then lie on the floor until I feel better and eat more cookies to repeat the process.
During the holidays, we often fantasize about keeping the general cheery spirit all year long. However, we all know that the holidays will pass and that extra cheer in the air will soon fade. This is why I think it is important to enjoy the season while it lasts. But between finals and worrying about purchasing gifts, many of us find ourselves waiting until the last minute to relish in the holiday splendor.
Appreciating this delightful time of year is relatively easy. These are the steps I take to assure that I make the most of the holiday season.
The first step is to eat more cookies and other seasonal treats. Though I accept that cookies are an all-year snack, there is something about the climate during this time of year that improves the taste of just about any cookie tenfold. This excludes no bake cookies, which are reserved for summer camping and even then they arenít that good.
With a belly full of sweet treats, a smile will inevitably form. This is an important ingredient in making the holidays so nice. If you are concerned that eating too many cookies will be detrimental to your figure, a forced smile will also suffice. Know though that this forced smile will not feel good and a cheek cramp is a very real possibility. The forced smile is like replacing sugar with Splenda; Splenda is made from sugar so it tastes like sugar, but it comes with the threat of cancer.
That smile will not last long if you begin to stress about trips to the stores to purchase gifts. Wondering who to buy for and what to get them is the worst part about the holidays. Luckily, this problem is fixable. If you are not sure who to buy for, just tell the person in question that you are not getting them a gift. Then they will know not to get you a gift either, thus eliminating the awkward possibility that they give you a gift and you have nothing to give back. If you are not sure what to get someone, just utilize an IOU. There is this rush to get the perfect gift before the holiday, but an IOU says, ďI care so much about you I didnít want to settle on something that wasnít perfect. I will get back to you with the perfect gift.Ē
Gifts settled, you will be able to move onto more important things such as decorating. Living in a dorm or small apartment really limits the decoration choices, but donít fret. The only decoration you need is a little bigger than a sheet of paper and wonít dig a deep hole in your pocket: an Advent calendar. They have a festive picture, a countdown and chocolate treats inside. These lovely holiday decorations are meant to encompass everything a holiday decoration should have. If you are skeptical about the Advent calendar, you can always just go with a nice holiday-themed sweater. These take up even less room than Advent calendars and prove to be more functional because you can use them to stay warm.
The final step I take to ensure Iím fully enjoying the season is that I limit my stress. I keep in mind that regardless of what happens this week for finals, I will be home next week. I will be eating cookies, snowboarding, making jokes with my brother and sister, dancing with my mom, cooking with my dad, staring at my beautiful Christmas tree, watching movies with my friends, sledding in the dark and hanging out with my Grandma T. No matter how many exams or papers that need to be finished by the end of this week, next week will bring with it everything that makes the holidays so special for me.
For most of us, this past weekend was filled with study sessions, papers, coffee and little sleep. The amount of stress felt probably did not allow for any gum drop thoughts or candy cane dreams. So this week, I urge everyone to put down the books and, if only for a second, enjoy the season.