Flourish in spirit during finals season

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Brian Bauer

A Christmas tree stands in the Murphy Gallery at the University YMCA on December 3.

By Ava Traverso, Special sections editor

After returning to campus from Thanksgiving break, it’s exciting to be able to celebrate Christmas with your college friends before going back home for the holiday break. Then, your stomach drops when you remember all the exams, papers and assignments left to turn in over the final two weeks of the semester. All can seem lost when it comes to being able to get into the Christmas spirit, but there are quick changes you can make that can get you in the flow of celebrating and enjoying the season. No matter what your stress or resources are this time around, there are still fun ways to be able to celebrate the holidays while simultaneously buckling down for the end of your classes. 

Indulge in your favorite holiday treats

While it can be difficult to make time to decorate or go gift shopping while you are on campus, getting holiday-themed food and drink is something that can be attained at almost every coffee shop or restaurant near the University. This time of year, festive flavors take center stage with a variety like white chocolate, gingerbread, peppermint and apple cider. Taking a sip or a bite of something seasonal while you study can help you think of the fun to come over break when your finals stress has finally ended. It also can be a perfect time to take advantage of the limited edition flavors only available when winter rolls around.

Watch festive movies or shows

After a long day of attending classes, working or studying at the library, it can be incredibly relaxing to unwind with a funny show or movie when you get home for the night. This self-care ritual can be another way to get into the Christmas spirit, too. Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video can be a perfect place to start when finding a great holiday watch. If you are not feeling a full-length movie, shows can be a great alternative. Popular shows like “The Office,” “Friends,” “Gilmore Girls” and “Parks and Recreation” all have one or more episodes relating to the holiday season. Watching holiday shows or movies can also be a way to celebrate with your friends or significant other without putting in too much effort. No matter what you chose, it’s the perfect lazy way to get in the spirit of the season. 

Make everyday tasks jolly

Take time to transform the monotony of your to-do list to be more festive. When studying, try to play some holiday music or have a festive movie playing in the background. When going out to the bars with friends before finals or to celebrate Reading Day Eve, wear ugly Christmas sweaters and vote on whose is the tackiest. You could also drink festive alcoholic beverages like spiked egg nog or mulled wine (if you are of age, of course). Most of the activities you have to do during your day can have a holiday twist if you get creative. Not only will these methods make you feel merry and bright, but it can also get you more excited to do things you might be dreading, like writing the term paper you procrastinated until now. 

These are only a few suggestions as to how to incorporate the holidays into your everyday life this season. No matter what habits you decide to adopt or leave behind from this list, the holidays are what you make it. As long as you are enjoying the season and taking the time to check in with yourself, there are no set requirements on how to be festive. Just make sure to take the time this year to appreciate the good things in your life, and you cannot go wrong.

Ava is a junior in ACES. 

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