Growing up means giving up your free time to slave away at a 9-5 in hopes that someday all this hard work pays off. Yeah, success would be nice…but so would drinking some mojitos on the beach. Winter fun used to mean sledding, building snowmen, and drinking copious amounts of hot chocolate. But ain’t nobody got time for that. Whether you’re still in school or sold your soul for a paycheck, your winter wonderland is limited to a few hours in the evening and weekends. If you’re a busy bee with limited funds, add some of these activities to your winter bucket list.
1. Skip the local Polar Plunge and dive headfirst into some blankets and your DVR.
It may be for charity but you need to donate some free time to yourself after all of those extra hours you’ve been putting in at the office lately. There are plenty of ways to be philanthropic this holiday season, not to mention many of them involve staying warm and keeping your clothes on.
2. Watch a classic Christmas movie without falling asleep halfway through or having your childhood ruined.
Last year I was cuddled up on the couch with my boyfriend watching the Grinch, as one does to get into the holiday spirit. Shout out to all of my Negative Nancys! I’m having a great time, reliving my childhood and marveling how far animation has come when out of nowhere, my boyfriend drops a truth bomb. The scene when the Grinch goes down the chimney? My boyfriend dives into a narrative about how many children died back in the day because they got stuck in people’s chimneys. I thought chimney sweeps just shoved brooms up there to clean them. But no, they had to crawl their little bodies into a terrifying tunnel of brinks. Safe to say the only Grinch I’ll indulge in this holiday season is my personality.
3. Bake an entire batch of Christmas cookies without eating the majority of the dough or give up halfway while frosting them.
As a wise Tom Haverford once said, “Treat yo’ self.” Does this apply to cookie dough? Absolutely? What about salmonella? Who cares? If you make it through baking a whole batch of cookies without missing half a pan, give yourself a pat on the back. Your Pilates instructor will be proud. But your little cousins will be disappointed in you if you throw in the towel midst decorating them. Nothing says “happy holidays” quite like a haphazardly frosted Rudolf.
4. Go Black Friday Shopping without getting into a physical altercation over [insert consumer good here].
The internet may be home to my profession and the reason why I have a college degree, but those achievements can’t hold a candle to the miracle of online shopping. Black Friday Shopping has morphed into getting a great deal throughout November. But every time Thanksgiving rolls around, I still get excited about the deals I’ll score miss on Friday. Truth be told, you’re paying premium for lower quality things. Seriously, never buy electronics on Black Friday. And wait a while before going to the store. You may get chills waiting at midnight for your favorite store to open (dude, it’s cold waiting outside) but you can get similar deals while sitting on your couch. If you’re dying to go to a physical store, wait until midday when all of those crazy shoppers are at home napping.
5. Enjoy a glass (or bottle) of wine while decorating your home for the holidays.
Joy to the world, a moment to yourself. At least all of that retail therapy in the holiday aisle at Target is paying off. Not in the mood for some holiday cheer? Nothing brings out the holiday spirit like some spirits. Here are some delicious cocktail recipes to mix things up.
6. Have an impromptu snowball fight instead of cleaning off your car after a storm.
Not having a car on campus was one of the smartest decisions I ever made in college. Sure, trying to bum a ride to the store so you could feed yourself was a bit of a struggle, but it was worth it. Cleaning off your car is the worst. It’s cold, you’re usually in a hurry, and there’s no convenient place to put the snow without burying you or your neighbor back in. If you’re with some friends, grab some mittens and go. That bad feeling from that less-than-perfect presentation you gave yesterday will dissipate with a little hand-to-hand combat.
7. Light some candles and enjoy that book you’ve been meaning to read while taking a bubble bath.
Remember that book you were dying to read last year? It collected a beautiful layer of dust on your bookshelf while you were rewatching Gossip Girl for the third time. Whether it’s a classic or teen dystopian thriller, give yourself a mental break by ditching technology. Sure, you can get a ton of free ebooks on your iPad with the Overdrive app, but a paperback fares much better than a $400 computer in water. And this is also the perfect time to use up some of those fancy soaps your aunt gave you before you find new ones under the tree.
8. Stick to your New Year’s Resolution for longer than your middle school relationships.
Change is hard, but so is dealing with the consequences of bad habits. Whether you’re trying to live a healthier lifestyle, be more financially responsible, or kiss clutter goodbye…you got this. Take each day at a time like you did in pre-algebra. Eventually you’ll forget all about your struggles and conquer your bad habits. Trust me, decreasing your sugar intake is a whole lot easier than getting better at math.
9. Get the gang together and celebrate surviving another year of adulthood.
I’m not a doctor but I recommend a 24 hour champagne diet. Drake did it and look how great his twenties turned out. Meeting up with your girl gang has been hard since you graduated and don’t live down the hall from each other. Even if you can’t agree on New Year’s plans, schedule a girls’ night for Saturday (because you’ll be too tired Friday and you have to account for a hangover on Sunday #adulting.)
- What’s on your winter bucket list this year?
- How many of these winter activities have you crossed off your list this year?
- What holiday traditions have you started with your friends?
** All images via giphy.com