As we all know, winter break is creeping up on us and over the eleven-day break you may either be out of town or going to some place warm. However, those of us who are stuck in our homes wearing ugly sweaters and fuzzy socks soon become lonely and bored with the idea of having no school. It often crosses our minds during winter break that we miss our teachers and walking endlessly through hallways, but you must get those absurd thoughts out of your head and live it up a little in the comfort of your own home by following this day-by-day plan of things to do during your break.
Day 1 – Movie Marathon
Dust off those old movies sitting in your closet and relive the glory days of being a child. Some movies that I highly recommend watching are Princess Diaries, Chicken Run, Elf, Mean Girls, The Incredibles, The Polar Express and Toy Story 3. During the holiday season, ABC Family and the Hallmark channel runs movies throughout winter break. If you do not have these channels then you can always resort to Netflix, which has thousands of enjoyable movies to watch. Don’t forget to pop some popcorn, make hot chocolate and cozy up beside something warm to enjoy your movie marathon.
Day 2 – Make a snowglobe
Not only is making a snow globe a fun activity to do over the break, but it can also serve as a Christmas present to anyone who you have not bought a gift for. To make a snow globe, gather small plastic figurines (like a small plastic dinosaur) that you no longer treasure and clear glass jar; any size is fine as long as it fits your figurine. Some other items that may be needed are glitter and a hot glue gun; these items can be found in the craft corner that you haven’t laid eyes on since you were 10. Once you have gathered these items, you are ready to make your snowglobe.
- Plug in your hot glue gun and when it is hot enough, put a sufficient amount of glue onto your figurine and firmly place it on the inside lid of the jar.
- Fill your jar with the glitter and go to your nearest sink to fill the jar with water about 2 centimeters from the edge.
- Put hot glue on the inside edge of the lid, screw it tightly onto the jar and allow the glue to harden for about 1-2 minutes.
- Gently shake the jar and enjoy the beautiful snow globe scene.
Day 3 – Shop Online
Although your parents may not approve of it, shopping online can get you in the Christmas mood and help you pinpoint what you want for Christmas. Whether it is shopping for new clothes for the new year or just looking for cool items, online shopping is a great way to spend some time buying gifts for yourself and others. It allows you to look at the things you may never have, or the things that have the possibility of ending up on your doorstep. Here is a website that sells very cool gifts under $25 and is a great place to buy inexpensive items for your loved ones this season-http://www.uncommongoods.com/gifts/by-price/gifts-under-25.
Day 4 – Make Potpourri
If you are tired of waking up every morning smelling cookies and soup, then it is essential that you scour your home for flower petals. In order to make potpourri, you will need dried up flower petals, cinnamon, an essential oil (whichever oil of your choosing) and a see-through glass jar or bowl.
- Pluck those petals off of that dying flower and place them in your glass container.
- Drip 4-5 drops of essential oils into the jar and sprinkle in a teaspoon of cinnamon.
- Gently shake the jar for 15 seconds and place in a warm, dry spot for 24 hours.
When you wake up in the morning, you will be satisfied that you now smell your homemade potpourri.
Day 5 – Clean out your closet/Donate clothes
During this time of year, many organizations are collecting gently used clothes and donations of winter jackets making it the perfect time for you to follow up on your parents requests to clean out your closet. To start off, you will need to sort through each clothing item carefully and determine if you want to keep it or donate it. In order to do this, you can ask yourself these questions: When was the last time I wore this? Do I like this? Does this fit me? Why do I have this? Do I want this? After you have deliberated, you may decide to keep all the clothes you have, or if you have found yourself with a trash bag filled with gently used clothes, then you can donate it to your local thrift store, Goodwill, Salvation Army or those bins outside supermarkets that look like trash containers but are really for clothes donations. If you have gently used coats, you can drop those off at Cradles to Crayons, One Warm Coat, The Career Wardrobe and Feel the Warmth. By doing this, you are helping your community and helping yourself.
Day 6 – Make peppermint candy ornaments
Ornaments do not only have to look good, but they can taste good too! To make very easy and yummy peppermint candy ornaments, you will need a bag of peppermint candies, metal cookie cutters, non-stick cooking spray, a baking tray, parchment paper, toothpicks and a roll of ribbon (any color of your choice).
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spray the inside of each cookie cutter with the non-stick cooking spray.
- Place the cookie cutters onto the baking tray and begin to fill it up with one layer of the peppermint candies.
- Once you have filled the desired amount of cookie cutters with the candies, put the baking tray into the oven and let it bake for 3-9 minutes. You must keep an eye on the candies and when they are completely melted together take the baking tray out of the oven.
- Spray a toothpick with a non-stick cooking spray and use the toothpick to poke holes near the top of the candies. Do this for all the candies that you would like to make ornaments and once you are finished, let the them harden.
- When the ornaments harden, carefully push them out of the cookie cutter and string them with the ribbon. Tie a knot to secure the ribbon on the ornament and hang it on your Christmas tree or on your front door.
Day 7 – Add Christmas flare to your windowsill
During this time of year, you can find pine cones lying on the ground all over the place. Instead of kicking them aside, you should pick one up and use it to create a small and cute Christmas tree to place on your windowsill. To make this petite Christmas tree you will need to gather 2-3 pine cones (depending on how many you wish to make), 20-35 small pom-poms (if you do not have pom-poms, then you can pop some popcorn and use that as the “ornaments” of your tree), small-medium sized flower pot (if you do not have this either, then you can use the lid of a mouthwash bottle), and a hot glue gun. (If you would like to add more flare to your tree you can sprinkle glitter onto your tree.)
- Hot glue the pine cone onto the pot and allow it to dry for 1 minute.
- Hot glue the pom poms onto the sides of the pine cone.
- If you are feeling super crafty, then you can fold a star out of yellow construction paper and hot glue it onto the pine cone.
- When you are satisfied with your creation, you can show it off to your friends and family and display it on your windowsill.
Day 8 – Put together a scrapbook of 2015
You do not need to be an expert at scrapbooking to scrapbook. The basic necessities for putting together a scrapbook can be items that are found all over your home. All you will need is construction paper, stickers, a glue stick, a hole puncher, ribbon and some colorful drawing utensils. (Your scrapbook does not need to be solely based on family vacations or moments with your friends, it can be about events that occurred in school that you were a part of like a sport, musical or club.)
- Gather photos from your phone, computer, or tablet that you would like to be in your 2015 scrapbook. When you have collected those images you can print them at home or go out to Walmart, Target, Walgreens, or CVS to develop your photos. (You can place an order for your photographs on any of these places’ websites, I recommend CVS pharmacy because I have developed many photos there and the price for more than 75 photos is less than $10.)
- After you have retrieved your photos you can glue or tape them onto construction paper, and decorate each page as you wish. I recommend placing 1-2 photos on each page and decorate each page with a relatively equal amount of detail.
- Use your hole punch to make 3-5 holes on the left side of your book.
- Choose the ribbon that best fits the design of your scrapbook and loop it through one hole, tie a bow and repeat this step for the remaining holes.
- When you have completed tying all the bows, you can sit on the couch and flip through the pages of your scrapbook.
Winter break may be a time to sit back, relax and sleep, but why waste your break sleeping when you can do all these do-it-yourself activities in the comfort of your own home! I can assure you that after you have completed every single one of these things, you will be satisfied with the use of your time over winter break and all the things that you have made can be proudly displayed for your friends and family to admire.