As the year comes to an end and Christmas music seems to be playing on an endless loop, many of us spend the holidays in a perpetual and heavenly state of online shopping bliss and a zombie-like sugar cookie high. Unfortunately, 2016 has recently usurped the crown for the worst year in recent memory, causing even the best of us to pull a Kimye by taking the rest of the year off. If you don’t have a close family, unlimited funds to travel, or enough of the spirit to be festive, you are not alone.
For those of us not feeling the holiday magic but still want to get something out of the holiday season, here is a list of alternative ways to spend the season. Enjoy!
1. Host a movie marathon.
Last year I hosted a macabre Christmas movie marathon where we gleefully watched holiday horror classics like Black Christmas and Holy Night, Deadly Night. It’s a fun way to spend a cozy day inside with friends, escaping all of the holiday cheer.
2. Volunteer at a shelter, nursing home, or soup kitchen.
Believe it or not, shelters and kitchens tend to be overwhelmed with volunteers amidst the Christmas and New Year holidays but if you have time after the celebrations die down, especially during the cold winter months, you should look up spots in your area to spread the love.
3. Pick up some extra cash.
I always try to lock down at least one holiday gig during the Christmas and New Year holidays. From babysitting jobs on Care.com to catering gigs and seasonal positions, the holidays are definitely the most lucrative if you are strapped for cash.
4. Check out programs at your local museum or movie theater.
Not only are museums free from summer tourists this time of year but they often have special extended hours and heaps of free events. Check out Brooklyn Ballet performance at the Brooklyn Museum this December for free, or investigate local opportunities for free holiday fun.
5. Indulge in winter activities.
Who says this season has to revolve around religious traditions alone? Take advantage of this beautiful season by going ice skating with friends, drinking hot chocolate and playing in the snow.
6. Catch up.
If you are lucky enough to have time off from school or work, now is the best time to catch up on old emails, re-connect with peers, or finish that book you have been working on for three months.