32°F & Clear 7 day forecast Saturday, December 20, 2014

Grand Valley State University's Beacon Since 1963, Allendale, MI
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Holi-don’ts: Tis officially the season

Well, it’s officially the most wonderful time of the year. So why aren’t you smiling? Or singing carols while walking through Kirkhof? Why aren’t you just filled to the brim with holiday cheer? Well, for one, you have finals on the horizon. You haven’t bought anyone’s present yet, and you don’t know how you are going to buy gifts and manage to pay your water bill. For all of the supposed holiday spirit- this time of year can be stressful, especially for students. I can help you there. Here’s what not to do this holiday season:

1. If you have friends, don’t buy gifts for them.

You are all in the same boat- broke. Understand this and move on. If you must do friend presents, get your friends together and do a Secret Santa swap. Now you can spend the money you have saved on that electric bill, or a beer with your present-less friends. Hey, as Mastercard’s advertisements have taught us so well, it’s the experiences that are truly priceless.

2) Stop asking for what you want, start asking for what you need.

You aren’t four, and you don’t desperately need Tickle-Me-Elmo (now called LOL Elmo – don’t get me started) anymore. That being said, you don’t need those trendy boots or new iPod, either. What you really need are socks, or perhaps a Meijer gift card for groceries. Ask mom for that, and use the money you would save on those items for your cable bill, or eggnog. Again, Experiences.

3) Don’t put off studying in favor of ABC Family’s 25 days of Christmas Harry Potter marathon.

Harry Potter will always exist as a short, slightly awkward hero, and Voldemort never fails to die at the end of Deathly Hallows. All is right with the world, so complete your homework, feel less stressed, and sit down with your friend for a cup of hot chocolate (it’s a school a night, after all).

4) This last, most important, piece of advice I can give you is a big do:

Make sure to remember what the holidays are really about. Despite having finals, besides buying presents, and ignoring the mad traffic at the mall – the holiday break is about enjoying time off from the daily routine with your family and friends. In preparation for this holiday season, study for your exams – a good grade will make your break that much better. Be smart about buying presents, physical purchases don’t necessarily prove how much you care about someone. Ask your parents, grandparents (and any other kind souls that buy you things) for gifts that will make your life a little easier. (I still say people underestimate socks.)

We let ourselves get caught up in the consumerism of the holidays. This year, while we navigate the holiday season and fight through our finals, let’s try to remember that the holidays (and life in general) are about the experiences you make with friends and family.

ccolleran@lanthorn.com



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