How to Get in the Holiday Spirit (and Procrastinate for Finals)

Holiday shopping = the best procrastination method ever

by Clara Butler

1. Plan all your holiday shopping!

Curl up with a nice, warm drink from Liz’s and bask in the glow of your computer screen while you scour Amazon and Pinterest for gifts ideas for everyone from your dog to your roommate! And then when you find a really cool gift that you actually think might be better on your own list, forward it to your parents or primary gift-givers. In all seriousness though, websites like Etsy and ModCloth are great for finding gifts in your budget and ones that no one else will think of.

2. Scour the holiday markets

If you prefer IRL shopping, stop by one of the many winter markets going on now at Bryant Park, Union Square, and Columbus Circle. Even though some of the shops are typical NYC booths selling things like lockets or winter hats, there are some great finds and you can support small business owners and NYC residents! There’s also a handy FedEx right on 116th for when you realize that the gifts you bought can’t fit into the one suitcase you are bringing home for break.

3. Find the best hot chocolate in NYC

This is something that could transpire over a number of weeks since it is no easy task. Sure, you
could go on Yelp or Timeout and see what OTHER people think is the best hot chocolate in the city but why not just start at the Hungarian Pastry Shop and work your way downtown? Extra points for cool flavors like peppermint, white chocolate, or other holiday flavors.

4. Do some charity work

It’s no secret that people are more generous during the holidays so take advantage of other people’s kindness to create some of your own! Hold a clothing drive or food drive for a worthy charity or even just volunteer at a soup kitchen, charity run, or blood drive! Getting in the holiday spirit is about much more than just buying gifts and being materialistic, it’s also about helping others, especially those who may not have a home to go to over the holidays or who are just feeling down.

These classic movies are a must this holiday season

5. Hold a holiday movie binge watch

Remember those movies from your childhood like Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer or The Year Without a Santa Claus that constantly played on ABC Family during their 25 Days of Christmas? Watch those and every terrible LifeTime movie you can find while eating candy canes and maybe some latkes too!

6. Go on a holiday scavenger hunt

As someone who oftentimes has a tough time leaving campus (because of lack of ideas and because it requires to much effort), this is a great idea to visit some of NYC’s most prominent landmarks and take some great Christmas tree selfies. Make sure to visit the giant tree at Rockefeller Plaza, 5th Avenue for the holiday windows, and the Plaza Hotel for the world’s largest Menorah (after Dec. 16)! Extra points if you see more than 10 people in Santa costumes or if you see anyone wearing anything Hanukah related.

7. Go to Santa Con!

So many Santas

So, as a recent NYC transplant last year, I was naively riding the subway one day when all of a sudden, about 30 people came on in either Santa or Elf getups. I knew that some kind of event must have been happening because this was a little too bizarre even for New York. I figured out later that it was called Santa Con and according to the website, “Santa Con is a charitable, non-commercial, non-political, nonsensical Santa Claus convention that happens once a year for absolutely no reason”. This year, it’s on December 13th, which means it’s the perfect way to forget finals exist and pretend you live at the North Pole instead of at a stress-filled school.

Clara Butler is a junior at Barnard and the Girl Talk and Opinions editor for The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Images courtesy of TimeInc, DenofGeek, and NYCSantaCon.

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