By Sanah Faroke, Staff Writer
Despite finals week quickly approaching, I cannot help but constantly think about my winter break back home. As a transfer student, this is my first time away from my family, and yes, I may slightly sound like a baby, but okay, fine―I do sound like a baby, but baby it’s cold outside, and I’m so ready to go back to my 80-degree weather and palm trees. Things that I have despised about my former city of Miami have now become characteristics of a place I’ve longed to be apart of again.
I’ll admit, Christmas in Boston is probably more of a classic white Christmas. It’s something I’ve always wanted, but never experienced, and this cold weather really is wonderful. When it does snow, I feel like I’m walking in a winter wonderland, but home is home. Wouldn’t you agree? No matter where home is, that’s where your Christmas is as well. It doesn’t have to be snowing where I’m going, and I don’t have to walk by bare trees, either.
What is getting me through these final weeks of school is the image of walking off the airplane ramp, collecting my luggage and being embraced by home. The Spanish of Miami, the warm wind, the carefree atmosphere, my mothers’ hug. It’s home.
I think going home for the holidays is keeping everyone as sane as possible. Unlike Thanksgiving vacation, not everyone was able to fly home either because of ridiculously expensive flight tickets or living internationally, but for this one time, Boston’s student population will desert this city and fly back to the coop.
So while I’m stuck in my room wearing baggy sweats with my hair disheveled, a textbook in one hand and a jar of peanut butter in the other, my mind drifts back to the homeland. I just keep reminding myself there’s only ten more days till I return home. Wherever home is for you, it will have cheerful, holly feel, filled with chess nuts, candy canes, mistletoe, home cooked meals (yum!) and an ever-present love for your loved ones and love for your hometown. Keep that in mind to keep you going.
By Heather Goldin, Staff Writer
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Kind of hard to believe with the stress of finishing up class and studying for finals. And on top of finals season, there’s the stress of holiday shopping for friends and family. Whether it’s a white elephant gift exchange with friends, a gift for your roomie or shopping for your family at home for when you finally get to see them after the semester ends, the amount of people you get gifts for adds up
along with the price. How are we supposed to afford buying gifts when we spend all of our money on coffee and comfort food? Fear not, there are options.
The closest supermarket:
Think Shaw’s or an equivalent. What is your friend’s favorite candy? Make a study snack pack for your roommate. One year I got a hot chocolate mug that came complete with hot chocolate. Needless to say, I was stoked. Your fellow college students understand what it means to be a broke college student. Try having a gift exchange with a low budget set so one feels obligated to spend a large sum of money. Note: This might not work for bringing home in your suitcase because most food is perishable, obviously.
Good for more than funny costumes and ugly sweater holiday parties, thrift shops of any sort are sure to have the perfect present at a low price. The key to Goodwill is shopping when there are good donations. It can be hit or miss, but when you do find a great gift for your sibling you can be sure no one else will get them the same thing. Check out Goodwill’s website for the location nearest you! Just remember that one man’s trash is a college student’s potential gift idea.
It’s in the name; the dollar store is a college student’s best friend when it comes to the shopping season. Obviously you get what you pay for, so you probably won’t find high quality gifts here. However, think about the dollar store as the finishing touch to your gift. Wrapping paper, bows, the whole nine yards. You might even find a cute key chain or stickers to make your gift even better. Everyone loves stickers.
Handmade the old-fashioned way:
This one is for your dear parents. They of all people should understand the financial situation you are currently in. It is certainly a great gift just to have you home for the holiday season, so why complain? It’s the thought that counts, so give mom and dad a heartfelt card made with love. Put a little humor into it and draw a picture of what you wish you could afford to buy them this holiday season.
‘Tis the season for gift giving and finishing off the semester strong!
Check out what people had to say about about shopping on a budget on Storify.
By Jasmine Ferrell, Staff Writer
Hundreds of movies have been made to celebrate the holidays. Many are timeless classics that are intended to teach young children great lessons on the true meaning of Christmas. Whether a movie focuses on generosity, selflessness or the importance of family, it highlights the best of human nature. But then there is another set of lessons taught from these movies that are often neglected: the literal lessons. These are the lessons that no one ever considers because they are so obvious.
The Santa Clause: This movie contains many lessons that concern the business aspects of life. For one thing, it’s never a good idea to put on someone else’s clothes. It will most likely lead to vigorous weight gain and a new home completely isolated by mountains of snow.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Now, if you didn’t realize this before, this movie teaches you that one should never trust and try to befriend a giant, green hairy man because nothing good will come from it. In fact, he’ll probably steal your favorite holiday… which kind of sucks.
Rudolph: Don’t judge others based on their appearances, especially if they happen to have a very bright nose. More often than not, that person you picked on will become some big hot shot and while they get a whole song dedicated to them, you become the generalized enemy.
Frosty the Snowman: Whenever you see a snowman, talk to it. That day could be that snowman’s last and just like anyone else they probably want some company. So feel free to sing with it, throw a broom at it, and you know, just treat it like your best friend. It’s completely legit. And not weird at all.
The Nightmare Before Christmas: If you’re feeling bored and want to shake things up a bit, try not to rob someone of his or her stuff. Even if it’s a really flashy holiday that is as tempting as Las Vegas. The general populace isn’t going to respond well to change, and it’ll only get worse once they see that you’re a skeleton giving out killer toys.
These lessons should be taken seriously and kept close to your heart, because they are as vital to to a happy life as knowing how to decorate a Christmas tree. Or you know, pretty close to that vital.
By Sanah Faroke, Staff Writer
Each year, around this time, my mailbox begins to fill more than usual. Dozens of letters and cheesy photo cards pile in from many people I haven’t spoken to in months to wish me a happy holiday! But why partake in this yearly tradition of holiday cheer?
Well, for one, I am obsessed with buying holiday stationary. What? You thought grandma was the only one who stalked the aisles of Barnes and Noble to find the perfect stationary? Snail mail isn’t only for the elderly, and it’s not only for the holidays either.
Snail mail has been a tradition I’ve had with friends who moved away or I didn’t get to see as often. Now that I’ve transferred from the tropics of Miami to the wintery Boston, writing letters has become more prominent in my ways of communicating.
In this ever advancing world of technology where everything is becoming so instant, it’s kind of hard to keep hold of reality. Yes, sure, it can be extremely hard to write out a letter to my friend about what is going on in my life, school, love interests and stresses and have to wait weeks for a response when I know I can just text or call her. But that’s the beauty of it. I’m one of those people who want things instantly, but with writing letters, I force myself to regain some patience that many of us have lost with technology.
And while I wait for a response, I manage to do other things instead of being glued to my phone, like I usually am. I’m sure (I hope) I’m not the only one who takes pleasure in sliding a hand over the handwritten scribbles on a page or actually spraying perfume on the pages being sent. I love mailing little things such as nail polish, CDs, photos and even the New England leaves. It’s something I’ve gathered and put together for my friends before I mail it, and a lot goes into what I send. Anyone can send an e-card for Christmas, but you can’t really do much with it or remember someone by it.
Getting the mail becomes so much more fun throughout the year because I have something to look forward to, something tangible and real. It reminds me of home and the loved ones who never stopped loving me while I was away. So yes, snail mail brings me joy―joy during the jolly holidays, joy during a random week in December and joy even during finals week. It’s possible.
By Ryan Galindo, Staff Writer
My obsession with snow began when I was very young. I always thought snow was essential to the Christmas season. Like, it just isn’t Christmas if there isn’t any snow. I remember my earliest Christmas memory. I waited and waited for it to snow. Screw Santa—I just wanted snow. But when Christmas flew by without a single snowflake, I was left disappointed.
Of course, now that I’m older I know better. But that yearning for snow never left, and experiencing four seasons was one of the top reasons why I chose to move to New England. Like I’ve said, Guam is sweltering hot, and I just wanted a change of scene. But deep inside, I wanted to play in the snow.
When I confirmed my enrollment to Boston University, I was so excited partly because I knew that I would get to experience that cold, icy, powdery substance people call snow in a matter of months. I wanted be in a snowball fight, make snow angels and build a snowman.
As you all know—and if you don’t, let me remind you—Nov. 7 marked Boston’s first snowfall of the season. Yes, I have that engraved in my memory because it was the first time I had ever experienced snow.
I was at my job at 100 Bay State Rd. I walked to work that day and it the rain was pouring. It was super freezing. Little did I know that those clouds pelting me with icy water would soon drop snowflakes and give me what I’ve been waiting for so long to try: snow. At 5 p.m., I looked outside the window and saw that everything was covered in white. It was amazing and I was in disbelief. Snow, really? Wow. I couldn’t wait to get off work that day. My body couldn’t contain my excitement.
When I got off of work at 6 p.m., I went out with my friend to take my first step out into the cold. It was a glorious moment, touching snow. It feels so soft. I can still hear the crunching of snow under my shoes. And I can still feel the numbness of my face as the hostile winds pelted snowflakes in my direction.
That night I threw my first snowball and had my first snowball fight. I was so enthused that I forgot to make snow angels and build snowmen. I also slipped on my butt a couple of times. Okay, so maybe it was a lot of times. But it was all good.
And call me crazy, but that evening I walked all the way from 100 Bay State Rd. to my dorm in West Campus. I still can’t believe I did that and neither do my friends:
“You walked all the way there?! And you’re from GUAM?!”
Despite the fun I was having in the snow, the biting cold finally got to me, so I called it a day and went to bed, excited for more snow adventures the next day.
But wow, was I wrong. Everything started to melt the following day. I mean, who would want to play in wet slush? No way am I making snow angels in that. And now, I look outside my window and see that everything is dry. It’s as if the Nor’easter didn’t happen at all.
What a tease. Oh well. I guess I can hold building snowmen and making snow angels until the next snowfall. After all, I did wait several years for my first. What’s a few more weeks?