Holidays

Holidays

How You Can Survive Winter Break If You Are Not Going to Be at Home

tress covered in snowFor many of us, Christmas and the holiday season is a time that we like to be at home with our families and loved ones. However, if you are studying abroad, taking December intersession courses, or simply can’t get home for the holidays, this time of year can be a little disappointing for you.

If you are finding yourself away from home this holiday season, we have a few tips to help you survive Winter Break away from home.

1. Celebrate the holidays in an unique way. There’s no way to recreate the atmosphere and events that take place at your traditional holiday celebrations. So instead of trying, why not create a new celebration? Find some friends who are also spending the Winter Break away from home and think of something fun that you can all do together. Maybe it’s volunteering at a local charity, going ice skating together, or having a marathon of your favorite Christmas movies with plenty of puppy chow and hot chocolate. The more creative and festive you are, the more fun it will be.

2. Call back home when everyone will be there. Arrange a time with your family and friends back home when you can talk to each other. This will give you an opportunity to catch up with everyone from back home and tell them what you have been up to as well. You could also open gifts over the phone while you are talking if you have sent them by mail. If you have Skype, this can be even more fun because you will get to see everyone.

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Avoid Buzzed-Driving This Winter Break

drivingGoing home for the holidays can be a stressful time with your family. Everyone is adjusting to being under the same roof again and tempers can fly. One way to avoid this is by getting out of the house and spending time with your hometown friends, and if you are over 21, you might meet your friends at a bar for drinks. Or you might go to a New Years Eve party, or some other social event where alcohol is involved. We all like to cut loose and have fun around the holidays, so there’s nothing wrong with having a glass or two of your favorite alcoholic beverage (spiked egg-nog anyone?).

However, there is something really wrong with drinking and driving, even if you are just “buzzed.”

Last year, around 10,500 people in the USA died from driving accidents where there was alcohol involved. The holidays have had higher incidences of these accidents than other times of the year for a long time. So, instead of ending 2011 with a DUI or even worse, how about taking some of these safety tips to enjoy your nights out with friends and family without ending the night by driving under the influence.

1. Have a plan for getting home before you go out. It doesn’t matter what your plan is, but make a plan before you go out for the evening. If there is someone in the group who does not want to drink, then make him or her the official designated driver. If everyone wants to drink, then look for alternative options for getting home, such as public transportation or a taxi service. Many college towns have a community sober ride program, so check if your city has something like this as another way to get home safely.

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How to Write a Thoughtful Thank You Card

Christmas is over, which means instead of mailing out Christmas cards and gifts, it’s time to mail out those thank you cards for everything you received. You want to show those who gave you a gift how much you appreciate their thoughtfulness. The most common way to show that appreciation is through a thank you card.

Some people struggle with the best way to express themselves through a card, so there are some tips below to help you out. You don’t have to go broke trying to buy the most elaborate thank you cards. Most people actually appreciate a nice hand written note just taking the time to say thank you.

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What the New TSA Rules Mean for Flying Home for the Holidays

TSA

Image via Life.com

The TSA has introduced tighter security controls in an effort to dangerous substances that are non-metallic. The new security procedures have sparked a raging controversy, but students need not fret about getting to their gate as they prepare to fly home for their semester breaks.

The measures use full-body scans, called advanced imaging technology machines, that use X-ray technology to produce an image of the body. If passengers decline to pass through the scan machines, they will receive a full-body pat-down. Some passengers will also receive the pat-down in addition to the scan, less than three percent according to CNN. Currently about 69 US airports are operating the new full-body scans. However, some airports that have the full-body scans are also still operating standard metal-detectors. Other security restrictions are still in place, like the restriction of liquids.

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Holiday Gift Ideas for Mom on a College Budget

She gave you the gift of life, and even though you might be a poor college student now, she still deserves a gift this holiday season. Sure, a framed copy of your report card for this semester is a good idea, but maybe you should consider changing it up this year.

Here are three more creative gift ideas you can get for your mom this year. And yes, we are keeping the fact that you might not exactly be rolling in the dough in mind. However, there are also some more luxury minded options.

1. Pampered Momma
College Budget: Body Lotions Estimated Cost: $25
Luxury Budget: Spa Gift Card Estimated Cost: at least $50

Most moms love being pampered, whether this means taking a bubble bath at home or getting a massage at the local spa. You can either create an at-home-spa experience for Momma or you can send her somewhere else for her pampering. The at-home spa could consist of body lotions, bubble bath, and a loofah. You can buy a gift card in any amount you want, but most spa packages cost at least $50.

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Holiday Gift Ideas for Dad on a College Budget

He’s the guy who taught you how to ride a bike. Then, when you were ready for a nicer set of wheels, he taught you how to drive a car. He’s provided advice and listened when you needed him.

There’s no way you can give him a gift as wonderful as he deserves, but you can give Dad something better than a burned CD full of music he’ll never listen to. Here are some creative ideas for gifts for Dad this holiday season. (As always, we are keeping in mind that you might not have tons of cash to put towards gifts this year. Hey, you’re a college student, we get it.)

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Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Sister on a College Budget

Maybe she acted as your second mom when you were growing up, or maybe she was the terror who stole your favorite toys and wouldn’t give them back. Maybe she walked with you to school on your first day and told you how to avoid the mean kids in class or maybe she was the mean kid in your class.

Either way, she’s your sister and now that you are both grown up (although that does not necessarily mean you are more mature), it’s time to show some sibling love and get her the best holiday gift you can think of…and can afford on your college student budget.

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Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Brother on a College Budget

Alright, so maybe he wasn’t exactly nice to you when you were both younger. Maybe he pulled your hair or hid your favorite toys. Hopefully he’s matured a little by now and has stopped irritating you just for the pleasure of getting on your nerves. He’s your brother and even though he might not deserve it at times, you should probably get him a gift this holiday season.

Here are some cheap and fun gift ideas you can get your brother this year. And hey, you don’t really have to spend a lot of money.

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Celebrate Even When You Can’t Go Home for the Holidays

December is here and it’s bringing the festivities with it. Commitments at work, lack of funds, a hectic study schedule and winter weather conditions are just a handful of reasons why you might not be traveling home for the holidays. There are still a lot of ways you can celebrate the holidays, even if you’re flying solo.

Piggy-back on someone else’s holiday dinner. A lot of families would be more than happy for you to join them, just be sure you offer to help!

Hosting your own celebration is always an option. You can easily create a small get-together with other students that are stuck on campus. This would be a great time to make new friends and help others feel not-so-lonely. Take a lot of pictures and share them with your friends and family back home because they miss you as much as you miss them.

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Your Thanksgiving Holiday and Travel Guide

Thanksgiving is upon us and so is one of the nation’s biggest travel seasons. We’ve compiled a list of  Thanksgiving and holiday-travel resources here on EDU to get you ready for some holiday fun!

Food and drinks are an integral part of celebrating this November, but they don’t have to wreck your diet if you’re informed on your choices.

Best and Worst Drink Choices at Holiday Parties

Best and Worst Pies to Indulge in This Holiday Season

Five Tips for Not Gaining Weight During the Holidays

Easy and Delicious Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes

Safely Celebrate the Night Before Thanksgiving

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