The Weekly Ten: It’s Officially the Holiday Season

It’s official.  The holiday season has started.

I’ve spent weeks and weeks bemoaning the fact that Christmas commercials were airing in November. Macy’s has had their holiday decorations up for months. The Starbucks baristas have been wearing Santa hats since the day after Halloween. “It’s not even Thanksgiving yet,” I kept saying. “Why are people already doing their holiday shopping, why are the decorations already up? The holiday season starts after Thanksgiving. That’s the way it goes!!” The early start seriously upset me. And I refused to take part in it. But now, it seems, I have nothing to complain about.

Thanksgiving is over.

We’ve watched the parade. We’ve carved the turkey. We stuffed ourselves with stuffing and cranberry sauce and ate pumpkin pie until we wanted to puke. And then, when the feeling passed, we ate more. The holiday season is upon us. So I better just get in the spirit. Here’s how.

10. Watch a Christmas movie. Everyone has a favorite holiday movie. So what better way to get into the holiday spirit than by watching Tim Allen in The Santa Clause or the Olsen twins in To Grandmother’s House We Go? There’s always the recently made into a musical, Elf, or the kind of creepy but still enjoyable The Polar Express. Everyone has a favorite. Just find yours on YouTube and enjoy.

9. Order a peppermint mocha or a caramel latte. These have been available since the first of November and although I drank my coffee from Starbuck’s Christmas cups I refused to indulge in a peppermint mocha until the day after Thanksgiving. So after I did some cyber shopping, I went out and got one. It was worth the wait.

8. Decorate your dorm room. Don’t wait until you’re back home to decorate for the holidays. Get into the spirit now. Studying for finals and finishing out a semester that should have ended the day before Thanksgiving is depressing enough without prolonging your holiday cheer. So don’t. Hang twinkle lights. Make paper snowflakes. Throw tinsel everywhere. And while you’re decorating…

7. Blast that holiday music. There has to be at least one station in your range that plays annoying, nonstop Christmas music from Thanksgiving until New Years day. Embrace it! Or if you want something a little more specialized, download your favorite artists singing holiday tunes. I’m not going to lie; I’m listening to Kurt and Blaine sing “Baby its Cold Outside” as I type. Glee’s Christmas album is totally worth the $9.99 on iTunes.

6. Drink hot chocolate. Nothing says winter quite like a cup of hot cocoa on a cold, snowy night. Curl up on the couch in your favorite sweats, with a warm blanket and your hot chocolate, topped with whip cream and marshmallows. Mmm. Sounds fabulous.

5. Make a wish list. I know. I know. This is the season for giving, not for getting. But once upon a time your wish list was the most important part of your holiday season. And who’s to say that Santa still can’t use a little help finding you the perfect present. If you hadn’t told him, he never would have known you wanted that Cabbage Patch doll back then, and he won’t know you want those patent leather pumps now. Write a list. Mom and Dad will get it to Santa. They always do.

4. Plan the perfect holiday party. After your brief reunion with your high school BFFs on Thanksgiving Eve you remembered just how much fun you use to have with them. What better way to start off a month of hanging out at home than with the perfect party? Peppermint flavored cocktails and an excuse to eat all the candy canes you want. Do you need another reason? How about an excuse to…

3. Find the perfect party outfit. Every store I step into, every magazine I open, all I see is sparkles. Bright speckled dresses, and black satin, and red silk. My InStyle is constantly reminding me of my need to find the perfect party dress. And frankly, I can no longer resist. I want a pretty dress. And I want one now.

2. Make some break and bake cookies. Around the holidays, baking can sometimes become a mix between an art form and a competitive sport. But if you just want something sugary sweet to indulge in during your movie marathon, try some break and bake cookies. Pillsbusry and Tollhouse make it easy for use college girls, simply break apart the brick of cookie dough decorated with Christmas trees, candy canes, and reindeer, place them on a tray, and put them in the oven. Of if you really can’t wait just break and eat, salmonella be damned.

1. Start shopping. Right now. Right this second. In fact, you should have started shopping already, because everyone else has, and you’re never going to be able to catch up. You have gifts to give. Lots of them. Mom. Dad. Brother. Aunt. Boyfriend. Cousin’s boyfriend. Boyfriend’s cousin. These gifts are not going to buy themselves. And no, you can’t get away with homemade cards and free hug coupons like you use to be able to.

You’ve got to love the holidays, huh?

[Check out Jenn’s other musings-in-the-form-of-a-list here.]

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