101 Ways to Enjoy Christmas Break

1. Listen to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You,” even if you have to play it on the jukebox at your local watering hole. Definitely not a true story…

2. Make a gingerbread house.

3. Read The Polar Express.

4. Go shopping for Christmas presents. Buy a little something for yourself.

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5. Bake some snicker doodles.

6. Watch my all-time favorite Christmas movie, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

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7. Wear one of those stupid ties with the Santa Clauses on it.

8. Find the perfect Christmas tree.

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9. Decorate said Christmas tree.

10. Send hand-written Christmas cards.

11. Wear an overwhelming amount of tartan.

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12. Make some peppermint bark.

13. Go see The Nutcracker Ballet live.

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15. Drink some warm apple cider. Fireball optional.

15. Sit on Santa’s lap.

16. Have a snowball fight.

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17. Turn off your television and have a real conversation with someone.

18. Bake a cranberry swirl cheesecake.

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19. Write and send your Christmas wish list.

20. Decorate you home with Christmas lights.

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21. Bake shortbread.

22. Make snow angels.

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23. Hang a wreath on your front door.

24. Watch Frozen. Bonus points if it’s the sing-along version.

25. Attend an ugly sweater party. Because that theme isn’t overdone or anything.

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26. Make Christmas tree ornaments.

27. Listen to Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song.”

28. Roast chestnuts on an open fire.

29. Give away unwanted coats, socks, etc. to the less fortunate.

30. Catch snowflakes on your tongue.

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31. Drink egg nog. Whether or not you spike it with bourbon, make sure you don’t buy any of that low-calorie nonsense.

32. Watch Love Actually. Tissues recommended.

33. Take a stroll down Main Street all decked out in holiday décor.

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34. Bake a fruitcake. Realize how disgusting it is. Throw it away. Wonder why that is a Christmas tradition in the first place.

35. Reminisce on Christmases of the past.

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36. Wrap Christmas presents for your loved ones.

37. Cozy up by a fire.

38. Eat a whole box of candy canes.

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39. Go see a nativity play.

40. Listen to Bing Crosby’s “Mele Kalikimaka” and dream about a holiday on the islands.

41. If you live in New York City, take in all the wonder of Christmas in NYC. If you don’t, just dream about it.

42. If you can, go see the Rockettes live in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Otherwise, watch it online.

43. Watch Home Alone.

44. Watch Home Alone 2. We all know the second one was better, anyway. I mean, how jealous of Kevin McCallister were you during this scene…

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45. Bake some gingerbread men.

46. Give presents to your neighbors, your mailman, your paper boy, the security guard in your office building, and so on. Tis’ the season.

47. Go sledding.

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48. Go to your hometown’s Christmas parade.

49. Bake an apple pie.

50. Wish “Merry Christmas” to everyone.

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51. Play card games and board games with your family, like this Christmas trivia game.

52. Watch A Christmas Story.

53. Catch up with old friends over a drink.

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54. Decorate your home with fresh garland, Christmas decorations, and scented candles.

55. Watch the cartoon version of Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas on ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas.

56. Drink some hot cocoa.

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57. Attend a white elephant gift exchange party. If you don’t know of any, host one for your friends!

58. Watch Elf.

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59. Drink some Bailey’s Irish Cream.

60. Hang some mistletoe. You never know what could happen…

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61. Dress up your pets in silly holiday attire. Laugh. Snapchat it. Laugh some more.

62. Find a container of these cookies. Eat three before realizing they’re kind of gross. Wonder where they came from. Repeat.

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63. Watch Jingle All the Way. Wonder how Arnold Schwarzenegger ever became a governor.

64. Bake these yummy oatmeal butterscotch cookies from my friend’s blog, Fit Foodie Life.

65. Go ice skating.

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66. Keep an advent calendar countdown unit Christmas.

67. Donate to Toys for Tots or adopt an angel through the Salvation Army’s annual Christmas tree program.

68. Listen to Bobby Helm’s “Jingle Bell Rock.” Do the dance from Mean Girls. Or don’t. Whatever flies your sleigh.

69. Watch the cartoon movie Frosty the Snowman.

70. Build your own snowman.

71. Take embarrassing holiday photos with your family.

72. Pop lots of corn to make popcorn balls and popcorn garland. Try not to snack on the popcorn along the way. Fail miserably.

73. Watch The Santa Clause.

74. Drink a holiday-inspired Starbucks drink from one of their infamous red cups.

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75. Warm up some mulling spices to give your home a cheerful aroma.

76. Find out where Santa Claus is right now!

77. Bake a pecan pie.

78. Watch the black-and-white version of Miracle on 34th Street.

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79. Wear an ugly Christmas sweater. Have no shame in doing so.

80. Hang your stockings by the fireplace.

81. Go Christmas caroling.

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82. Make fudge from scratch.

83. Eat peppermint ice cream. Realize how terrible it is. Switch back to candy canes.

84. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen.

85. Stock up on holiday-inspired beers.

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86. Watch Die Hard, if that’s your thing. I’ve never seen it, but apparently it has some Christmas-y elements?

87. Go skiing or snowboarding.

88. Listen to Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”

89. Bake and decorate sugar cookies.

90. Pretend you’re a kid again and leave milk and cookies out for Santa Claus. Believe.

91. Read The Night Before Christmas.

92. Attend a Christmas Eve service.

93. Watch Disney’s Christmas Day Parade on tv.

94. Spend quality time with your family. After all, Christmas is all about togetherness.

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95. Watch It’s a Wonderful Life.

96. Drink some mulled wine.

97. Savor a lovely Christmas dinner with your family.

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98. Score some amazing deals by shopping the day after Christmas.

99. Start planning out your new year’s resolutions.

100. Ring in the new year with good friends, a sparkly dress, a midnight kiss, and lots of champagne.

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101. Relax and enjoy having no homework!

What are your favorite ways to spend Christmas break? Show or tell me on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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I’m Thankful For…

Last year, I decided that Thanksgiving is actually one of my favorite holidays. Compared to Christmas or Valentine’s Day, which each come with unrealistic expectations perpetuated by Hollywood blockbusters, Thanksgiving has relatively low expectations. Still, everyone in the nation is given anywhere from four to ten days off of work or school to relax over this All-American holiday weekend.

For college students, the day before Thanksgiving, commonly referred to as “Blackout Wednesday,” is all about reconnecting with high school friends at hometown bars we used to only dream about getting into.

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And let’s not forgot that the day after Thanksgiving is the official start of the Christmas season.

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But today, Thanksgiving day, is all about a few things: food, football, and family. Oh yeah, and giving thanks.

Being it my last year in college, I am thankful for the wonderful time I have spent at my amazing university, which I have come to love so dearly. I am thankful for this brief moment in time that I will one day view in hindsight as my college years. I am thankful for the here and now. I am thankful for the opportunity to actually be in college, furthering my education in pursuit of a career. I am thankful for all the doors that college has opened for me. I am thankful for everything I’ve gotten to do in college, and for getting to experience it all one last time.

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I am thankful for the friends I’ve made, the incredibly wise professors who have supported me, and for all the things I’ve learned from each of them. I’m thankful for those things I’ve learned outside of the classroom, which have helped me mature into the woman I am today. I’m thankful for each of the little ups, downs, twists, and turns that college has thrown at me because they taught me that I was strong enough to survive them.

Mostly, I am thankful for my parents, and all that they have given me. I am thankful for them providing me the means necessary to receive a higher education. I am thankful that they have always believed in my dreams, and that their dream is for me to be happy. I am thankful for the times they pushed me to keep going when I didn’t believe I could. I am thankful that they’ve always known I could. I am thankful for them answering my late-night phone calls, for helping me through my mental breakdowns, for proofreading my essays, and for helping move me in and out of my dorm room, sorority house, and very first apartment. I am thankful for the occasional Sunday morning money transfer. I am thankful that I can tell my parents anything, that I’ve always known that I am loved, and that my parents are proud of me, no matter what.

I am thankful that, for now, home is only a four-hour drive away, and that my agenda for the rest of the day consists only of cheering on the Niners and helping Momma Collins in the kitchen. Do you think she’ll like this turkey recipe I found?

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What are you thankful for this year? Tell me on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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An Ode to the Tumbler Cup

 

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Oh tumbler cup, my tumbler cup. You truly are the one.

With Starbucks logos, chevron patterns, and Lilly prints, so fun.

With my monogram in the middle, or my sorority letters down the side,

You help me to express myself, rather than to hide.

In pink or in lavender, in mint or maroon,

With sequins or with glitter — for you, I nearly swoon.

Made for hot beverages or cold; with you it does not matter.

Though, if I had to make a choice, I’d probably choose the latter.

For iced coffee, juice, and tea — the options never end!

And let us not forget, my dear: our chilled, fermented friend.

For all the reasons to love tumblers, wine’s the greatest of them all.

For they conceal wine in the winter, spring, summer, and the fall.

For lounging around the house, or for taking on the run,

No others will suspect you’re carrying 24 ounces of fun.

I always have you with me, my tumbler cup of “juice.”

There really is no limit to your endless amount of use.

Oh tumbler cup, my tumbler cup. You take away my stress.

You’re the reason I can relax, sip, and say, “Cheers, betch!”

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