Let’s face it; you’ve been looking forward to winter break pretty much since the day after Halloween. But now that you’re finally back home, you’re in need of fun activities to keep you occupied while you de-stress from your busy fall semester. You can’t go wrong with snuggling up by the fire with your pet and sipping on cocoa while watching old classics, like Miracle on 34th Street. However, that can get old after a while, so here are some other fun ways to keep you busy while on break!
1. Make your own hot chocolate!
To spice up your movie night, mix together these winter-wonderful cocoa recipes from Domestically Speaking. If you are overwhelmed by all the choices and don’t know which one to make first, I recommend going with vanilla bean, pumpkin spice or peppermint! Those are my favorites and are beyond delicious! Also, pair festively decorated cookies with your cocoa for a delicious treat!
2. Watch classic holiday movies!
Now that you have your hot chocolate ready, it’s time to decide on a movie. Nothing is better than watching holiday classics with the family, bringing back memories of when you were a child. Although there are tons of holiday movies to choose from, my personal favorites are: Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas Story and The Nutcracker Scoob! If you don’t own these movies, check out Netflix or catch them on TV (hello, ABC Family)!
3. Have fun in the snow!
You may be in college and preparing to enter the real world, but no matter how grown up you become, you are never too old for a snowball fight! When snow starts to accumulate, send a group text to your hometown high school friends (or surprise ambush them) and let the warring ensue. If fighting isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy the outdoors by making snowmen and snow angels or hitting the hills to go sledding. Another fun winter pastime is ice-skating. Whether you skate indoors or out, during the day or at night, this is an activity that is fun for everyone!
4. Get crafty and make Christmas gifts.
For many college students, winter break seems to sneak up on you, and you don’t always have the time (or the funds) to purchase gifts before the holidays roll around. My suggestion is to create gifts for your friends and family. Crafting is an inexpensive solution to decide what to get everyone on your list, as well as a productive activity for you to do during your time off. Some gifts I have made in the past that my loved ones enjoyed receiving were holly & cranberry mason jar candles, personalized mugs with individual hot cocoa mixes and Christmas colored nuts & candy in a mason jar. Get creative! You can put almost anything in a mason jar, add decorations and make it a great gift!
5. Exercise in any way you can.
I know that for me it is much easier to stay motivated, go to the gym, and eat healthy while I’m at school than it is when I’m home, especially over the holidays. However, I also know that I need to maintain some fitness regimen while I’m on break if I’m going to consume all those cookies and hot cocoa! For most students, they tend to workout more at school because they have free access to the on-campus fitness facilities, but even without a gym or any equipment at home you can still workout while on break. To stay fit, active, and maintain your shape while at home you can go for a run (make sure to bundle up), walk your pet, eat healthy snacks (hummus, fruit, yogurt, string cheese), drink water, and of course catch up on Zzzz’s!
6. Relax with a home spa treatment.
You don’t need to spend tons of money at a spa when you can receive the same treatment at home! Start by taking a warm bubble bath with one of Lush’s holiday bath bombs like Peeping Santa or Snow Angel. Next, fill the air with a festive scent by lighting one of Bath & Body Works’ many winter-themed candles. While you soak, apply a facemask of your choosing (my personal favorite for the cold months is Biore’s One Minute Self-Warming Face Mask). Maybe you’ll listen to some Adele, sip on a refreshing glass of cucumber water, or even exfoliate your skin—whatever would make you feel pampered. Finally, it’s time for fun holiday nails! Take your favorite winter polish color and get creative!
7. Apply for jobs, internships or volunteer.
Even though you are on winter break and it’s time to have fun and relax, remember not to get too comfortable. Try looking for a part-time job or seasonal work, like gift-wrapping services in the mall or retail work. If nothing is available, see if you can apply and/or interview now for summer internships to stay ahead of the game. It’s also good to remember that Christmas is the season for giving, not receiving. Go volunteer if you find that you have too much free time and don’t know what to do with yourself. Taking an hour or two out of your day to go sit with patients in hospice care, visiting sick kids at the hospital, organizing toy drives, or helping out at your local homeless and animal shelters can really make a difference in someone’s life. Don’t forget to give back to the community you come from.
*P.S., also enjoy this gif of a porcupine eating a gingerbread man while wearing a Santa hat!