Home for the Holidays? Try These Once You’ve Caught up on Sleep

Cross-country skiing in my hometown. Photo my own. 

Ah, home for the holidays. It’s amazing to be back where you grew up, enjoying the season with your family. But after you’ve caught up on sleep and had some real food for a change, don’t start getting bored. Although you may be used to living on your own, here are several ways you can lean into being home for the holidays.

  • Invite friends from high school over for holiday baking. It’s been too long! Catch up with friends who may be attending university across the country. Reminisce and make new memories by decorating sugar cookies and listening to Bieber’s Christmas album (just kidding…or am I?)
  • Visit neighborhood furry friends. You know your neighbor’s super friendly golden retriever who always greets you when you’re out on a run? Take a wintery stroll through the neighborhood and say hi. It would make Romeo’s day.
  • Call your grandma. It’s a nice thing to do, and she misses you!
  • Get active. Your papers and exams are over, you don’t have an excuse! Hit the gym, walk your dog, go ice-skating, or try out the ski slopes. Exercise is a proven way to dissipate stress (it signals to your brain that you’ve physically “escaped” the stressful danger), and winter break is a great time to stretch out all the sore muscles from carrying a heavy backpack all semester.
  • Have fun with your siblings like you used to. Snowball fight? Harry Potter movie marathon? Dishing all your drama from the past few months over tea? If your sibling is also home for the holidays, spend time together. There’ll come a time when they (or you) won’t come back for Christmas.
  • Go to community events. Christmas carolling downtown? Holiday light-ups? Arts and crafts fairs? Take advantage of your free time to get in the holiday spirit. Hot cocoa optional, but highly recommended.
  • Try a new business. Has something new opened up since you were last in town? Take a stroll through that new thrift shop, kitchen supply store, or newly constructed library.
  • Give back. Remember the food drives you always contributed to in high school? Now is the perfect time to call up your local food bank and see if they need volunteers to wrap gifts, pack food baskets, or pick up supplies. Connecting with your community will help you with any lingering feelings of stress from the semester.
  • Watch TV with your parents. I know, I know! If you’re lucky enough to have parents that you get along with, spend time with them. Catching up on Saturday Night Live with your folks and laughing at all the raunchy jokes together now that you’re a “real grown-up” is one of the simple pleasures of life.
  • Turn off your phone For a day, two days, a week? The sky is the limit! Release yourself from the obligatory group chat or course union Facebook page and waste your time in other ways.
  • Actually go to family parties. Parties thrown by family friends may seem not as fun as parties on campus, but let me tell you, they are awesome. The food is way better, the conversation is engaging, and you might even come home with a present from a “white elephant” gift exchange. Catch up with the people who have rooted for you throughout your life, and engage with them as a young adult, not just an angsty teen.
  • Take a look at your finances. This one is scary, I know! Write up a budget if you haven’t already and take the time while you have it to think about your future. Check your bank account, student loans, and MSP for any outstanding bills. Update any cards or licenses that are about to expire. Your future self will thank you!
  • Binge your favorite show. Preferably all day, in your pajamas, while the snow outside gently falls. (Putting it on your Insta stories, entirely optional.)
  • Go to your favorite green space. Whether it be a provincial park, mountain, or beach, get out in nature and just breathe the crisp winter air. Mmmm. Tastes like peppermint mochas and freedom!

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1 Response

  1. CB says:

    “Call your grandma” – best advice ever!! 🙂