Written and media by Maggie Schoepke.
Now that finals are over and school is out of the way, students and teachers find themselves more freed up than ever before. For most, Christmas vacation starts out with a few well-deserved days of lazing around, but after that initial relaxation period, many find themselves unsure of how to spend their time. In moments like these, it can be tempting to turn to technology, but I would try and resist such urges if I were you. Why? Because the Holidays are a lot more than being on the phone, playing Xbox, or having Netflix marathons. It is about spending time with family, celebrating beliefs and traditions, and making memories that last.
The distraction of technology can take you away from what the Christmas season has to offer, and if we are not careful, it can even leave a damper on the mood. We have all been there before, excited to post a picture of our new holiday attire. We get on social media, our fingers twitching to share, when we notice snaps of others who seem to have it far better off than us. So the comparison game starts. She got the new iPhone. He gets to go to Disneyland. Before we know it, we start looking at our own surroundings with resentment, wishing to be in someone else’s shoes. This promotes a sense of ungratefulness which is not what the Holidays are about. All that being said, I would like to propose a challenge this winter to devote less time to technology and more time to memorable moments. Not sure where to start? This list can help you out:
- Read a book. Believe it or not, books made of paper still exist. They are out there and full of good content, whether it be a work of fact or fiction. Maybe you are looking for some entertainment this holiday season; maybe you are looking to learn a new skill or practice. No matter the case, books for practically every interest exist, and the information they provide is well worth your investment if you give it a chance. Here is a good list if you do not quite know what you are looking for.
Bake. It sounds so simple, but it can be so rewarding. Making a cake, decorating cookies, or preparing Christmas pastries are all fun ways to spend some time off. Not only does one get to put their #wifeskills to the test, but baking is the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with the family, and even inherit some of Great Grandma’s famous recipes.
- Craft. There is no better time than a break from school to tackle the creative projects you have mentally set aside. Sketch, paint, collage—do whatever feeds your imagination. Who know’s, maybe whatever you produce will be good enough to give as a gift or put towards your college portfolio!
- Clean. This one can sound tedious, dreadful, and downright boring. Believe it or not, however, cleaning comes with some great benefits! Among other things, a clean environment has been known to elevate moods and increase productivity. If you are at all like me, your room might look more like storage grounds than anything else. Take this Holiday break to clear the clutter, and donate unused and unwanted items, especially for the very real possibility every college senior has to face—moving out.
- Host a get-together. Last but not least, consider gathering your buddies for the time of their life. Organize a game night, go caroling, or plan a gift-exchange. There are fun ideas out there to spice up each of these events, not the least of which is participating in a White Elephant or Favorite Things Party.
Whether you choose to be productive indoors or end up spending most of your time out and about, remember to take advantage of your break and celebrate the Holidays in both new and exciting ways. While it might be easier to give into the temptation of technology, I ask that you continue to challenge yourself to step away from smartphones and televisions, and start making memories that last!