Tagged: holiday

Life Hacks: How to Survive Thanksgiving at Home

By Shivani Patel, Staff Writer
@shizupates

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is almost here/ PHOTO VIA Flikr user Craig Dugas.

It’s that time of year where Halloween decorations may still be up, but advertisements for Christmas gifts are already coming out. It seems as though some forget that we have this holiday during which we celebrate the American Indians and the Pilgrims coming together.

Honestly, I think we should be giving this holiday a bit more credit. Do we get a whole week off for Halloween? Didn’t think so.

I think we all need this break because let’s face it, some of us are losing steam and getting overwhelmed due to a lack of sleep and massive amounts of stress. Luckily, Thanksgiving is the perfect way to rest up and come back stronger than ever for the last month of your fall semester (where did the time go?). But before you go postal, here are a few things to remember:

1. Realize that you don’t have free reign

This especially applies to those of you going home to your immediate families. College is wonderful in that you can do whatever you want (for the most part) because no one is going to tell you “no.” This is your time to be young, wild and free; but remember that your parents are still your parents. Telling them that staying up till 4 a.m. and waking up at 3 p.m. is normal probably isn’t going to fly with them. Do yourself a favor and tone down the independence – they want their baby back too!

2. Adjust to your audience

For those staying with your distant family or friends, remember that they let you in out of the kindness of their hearts. Don’t take advantage of them by being a complete slob. Instead, offer to do the dishes or help cook. After all, it’s the least you can do because, think about it – they’re saving you from spending who knows how much money on BU’s vacation housing. Plus, you get a home-cooked meal. After dealing with dining hall food for almost a full semester, I’m sure you’ll appreciate that very much.

3. Be thankful

It is, after all, Thanksgiving. Appreciate where you are and what you’ve been given. You’re going to one of the best colleges in the Boston area. Not everyone gets the opportunity to do so. We’re in such a beautiful place with some of the best people I’ve ever met. There are so many things to do and so many people to meet that it’s almost overwhelming, and it’s something we can easily take for granted. Take the break as a breather from BU and  use it to realize all the opportunities you have. If you haven’t done much here, do something! Get pumped, you still have the rest of the semester to do something awesome.

Cheesiness aside, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with great food and loved ones, whether they be your family or your friends.

Black Friday: Ruining Thanksgiving?

By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
@katreenz

A little of what you can come to expect on Black Friday./PHOTO VIA Flickr user tshein

The end of November is approaching and that means one thing: it’s almost time to head home and spend some time with family and friends for Thanksgiving. Or is it?

If you’re hardcore enough to participate in Black Friday year after year, then you may be excited to hear this: according to a recent article by the Huffington Post, some retail stores such as Target and Best Buy are planning on opening even earlier this year for Black Friday.

Target plans on opening at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, an hour earlier than when it opened last year, and Best Buy plans to open even earlier at 6 p.m. The reason for these earlier openings is because of the peculiar way this year’s calendar is set – compared to last year, the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas are six days shorter.

Black Friday has traditionally been the day after Thanksgiving, when hundreds upon thousands of shoppers flock to major retail stores at the crack of dawn in order to snag the best deals and kick off the holiday retail season.

But with the increasing pressure on retailers to open even earlier than usual, some say the tradition is ruining Thanksgiving. These earlier openings mean less time to spend with family on a day meant for filling our bellies with delicious food, watching football and staying as far away as possible from that weird cousin lurking in the corner.

For some die-hard shoppers, the excitement of Black Friday is wearing off.

“Now that there is no longer that stress factor of having to plan out the best time to start lining up at stores, Black Friday isn’t as fun as it used to be. One year, I lined up at 4 a.m. at J.C. Penny with my mom in fifth grade. We even waited in the snow. But now that stores are opening sooner, the adrenaline rush is not really there.” Elly Hu, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences said.

“Black Friday shouldn’t get in the way of Thanksgiving, a holiday meant to share with family,” Hu added.

While it may seem like consumerism is taking over the holiday season, fret not. There is still some good in the world. Some retailers, such as Costco and Nordstrom, are choosing to stay closed on Thanksgiving Day.

Not everyone may feel the need to go shopping on turkey day, but the option is there for those who do. The lines between holidays are blurring, whether we like it or not.

How to score cheap holiday flights

By Amira Francis, Staff Writer
@Mircatfrancis

Cheap holiday flights

Money flies during the holiday season/ IMAGE VIA gizmodo.com

It’s almost Christmas time, and with the comforting allure of cookies and presents beckoning, you’re probably excited to hop on that plane or train and high-tail it out of here. You’ve already purchased your tickets home, right? Well, for those of you who haven’t (and I would be among them, if my parents weren’t such life-savers): you’re not out of luck…yet. There is still some time to redeem your ticket-buying habits and there are still methods you can use to knock down the price. Here’s some advice to ensure that you score the cheapest ride home, and a few tips for buying tickets next holiday season.

Prepare to be uncomfortable: You aren’t going to cut costs by resolving to fly first class, at 1 p.m., from the airport nearest to you. You’re going to have to get ready to tough it out. This means compromising: you’re going to sacrifice some sleep, spend some difficult hours catching the T and transferring to airport shuttles, and devote a good chunk of time scouring the internet for inexpensive flights.

Don’t Count on Sleep: The most inexpensive flights are – guess when! Right smack dab in the awkward hours of the night. Whether you’re waking up at 4 a.m. or staying up until 11 p.m. to catch that dumb plane, you’re going to have to drink your double espresso latte, grit your teeth, and bear it. When you’re searching online, those are the times that you should be looking for.

Dismiss Your Hopes of Buying a Direct Flight: The cheaper flights are the challenging ones. If you could fly straight to your paradise-of-a-home in California, that would be too easy (and expensive). Somewhere along the way, you’re going to have to switch flights and undergo the hassle of sprinting from terminal to terminal in an attempt to catch a close connection.

Compromise on Airport Location: Some of the least expensive flights may be a little ways from your starting point and your ending point. It’s going to take a bit more planning, but it might be cheaper in the long-run if you settle for taking a flight that ends up farther away from your destination. You can then search the web for a train or bus ticket that will take you the extra mile, which leads me to my next point…

Get Ready to Comb the Web: Take your web surfing skills to the next level when looking for a flight. Check all travel and airline sites. Be ready to settle for an airline that you don’t normally take. Look at all options: different dates, different times, different cities – even keep an eye out for buying two one-way tickets instead of a round-trip ticket. When looking for a cheap way home, you can’t afford to be picky. You have to be okay with making this a bit of a research project.

I hope these tips help you hook a ticket home for a refreshing break before second semester. Next holiday season, if you have time, try to book your tickets in advance. That way, you can hopefully get the flights you want for the right price. Safe travels!