Image Credit: Tara Goldstein for The Campus Trainer
Regardless of which holidays you celebrate, December is one of the best months as it’s the final “hoorah” before the new year.
While the weather may not be as warm, there are so many festive activities to choose from that you may even begin to love the cold and the snow. From cheerful holiday fun to adventurous winter activities, it is impossible to have a boring December.
Holiday shopping may seem overwhelming, but it is a great way to keep yourself busy. Instead of thinking of shopping as a chore that must be checked off your list, make a day of it with friends; head to a local mall or shopping center to start looking for gifts.
Holiday markets are another fun way to shop. Not only are these markets always full of some unique products that would make great gifts, but they have the best holiday food.
There are a few options close to UMD, including the German Christmas Market in Baltimore. Even though it is not exactly a holiday market, the National Harbor in Washington, D.C., is another great option, with gorgeous scenery and a multitude of shopping and dining options.
Another classic December activity is ice skating. You will need to bundle up if the rink is outside, but there are indoor rinks to choose from as well. Next time you are bored on a Friday night, rally up your friends and head over to the closest rink for a night of ice skating fun. There are a few rinks nearby campus, including the indoor Herbert Wells Ice Rink, as well as some in Washington, D.C., that you can easily get to by metro, including the Washington Harbour Ice Rink.
Being out in the snow may seem completely unenjoyable, but there are many fun snow activities. Besides the fact that snow on Christmas is simply magical, snow also means sledding!“I used to love to sled at home after it snowed. I have a hill in my yard and the whole neighborhood would come over. I used to race to get out there first,'' freshman aerospace engineering major Sean Jordon said.
Though it does not snow a lot in Maryland, there are other ways to enjoy snow activities, such as sledding and skiing, by planning a trip to a nearby mountain or ski resort. The closest resorts to UMD are in Pennsylvania and would be a great way to spend your winter break with some family and friends.
One of my favorite things to do in December is to look at holiday lights. There are many nice neighborhoods to drive through with houses decked out in elegant holiday lights near campus. The houses look so pretty and it is an activity that truly gets me in the holiday spirit.
“I love looking at the light display on 34th street in Hamden,” said freshman psychology major Avery Zellweger. “It’s a family tradition to drive through and drink hot chocolate together.”
Getting all cozy after a long, stressful day with a warm cup of hot cocoa in hand is one of the best feelings in the world. While I love the classic Swiss Miss chocolate, making some homemade hot cocoa always makes me smile.
One of my favorite recipes is this Homemade hot cocoa recipe. Adding some fun marshmallows, whipped cream or candy canes makes the experience that much better. Zellweger said they bought some snowflake marshmallows that are not only cute, but delicious on top of some hot cocoa.
These are just a few ways you can make this December and winter season the best one yet. No matter what you are doing, make sure to spend the holidays with friends and family making memories you will never forget. It is the last month before the new year, so do not let it go to waste!