So school’s out and the holidays are in, and you just can’t wait to do what you like doing the most at this time of the year, which is nothing. Yes, we all want to reward ourselves for all the hard work (read: cramming) we’ve put in the whole year, but before we go on bloating ourselves, we have to remember that the holidays are only fleeting, and lest we start our year grunting over a pair of pants that has suddenly shrank two sizes, we need to realize that we can still rock the season without having to overeat, oversleep, and overspend! The bum in you would just be as happy to follow these fail-safe ways to spend this Christmas season:
Organize your files. You now have practically unlimited hours to scour the internet for anything that will catch your fancy. You can now 9Gag all night and still get away with it because you don’t have school the next day! Ain’t the holidays great! But while you’re waiting for that series you’ve been rearing to watch to finish downloading, why not try to take a look as well at your Documents and see if all your files are in the right folders? Put together the same files for the same courses, and segregate your photos into each and every event they were taken, complete with dates and descriptions! Pry open the Downloads folder and stock what’s inside into images, movies, and music accordingly. Not only will you find it easier to navigate through your files next year, you’ll also be surprised to discover that you do have a wallpaper, kept hidden from all the clutter in your desktop all this time.
Ring your high school friends. So you’ve been away at college trying to earn as much uno’s as you can—or DRP’s, or INC’s, which, those who have gotten them will agree, take just as much pain and effort to get —and you’ve lost all ties with your high school chums. The holidays is the perfect time to reconnect with them! Reunions are a great time to introduce—and flaunt—your new girlfriend, and share the latest gossips about your exes! You will be surprised at just how inexhaustible the topics will be once you’ve gotten down together to talk. Whether it’s an all-nighter movie marathon you’re having, or a simple meet-up on a laidback afternoon at the mall, the most important thing is that you update each other with what’s happening in your lives.
Read a book. Seriously, you ought to finish at least one book a year! And without too much schoolwork for the holidays, you can now afford to read for leisure! Ask a bookworm friend for recommendations, or just drop by any Booksale outlet and pick anything you’ll find interesting. What makes it so hard for beginning readers to sustain the habit is that they force themselves to pick a reading time and make the process a whole lot more tedious. Read only when you’re both hands are absolutely free. It is important that you understand and absorb what you’re reading, otherwise you are not reading at all. Reading is also one of the very few guaranteed ways to make yourself smarter, so read, read, read!
Help around the house. It’s the home front that takes center stage in all the holiday action. Don’t you just love it when your house is abuzz with all the pre-Christmas preps? And you’re actually doing the activities as a family! The last thing you’ll want to do is stay locked up in your room with your computer. You never get to spend as much time together the rest of the year, so bask in this rare opportunity to be together and make it count! Volunteer to run errands to the grocery for your mom, or help your dad do year-end repairs around the house. There’s time for all that teenage angst later in the coming year, but for now, hold your peace and be good. It’s also your last chance to suck up to your folks to improve your Christmas gift haul!
Exercise. The annual holiday pigging-out season actually commences a week before the actual Christmas break, when school orgs left and right begin holding their Christmas parties. And many people really just equate “Christmas” with “food”. There’s really nothing wrong with indulging your taste buds, but we have to remember that our body doesn’t go on a “holiday mode” ready to hyper-efficiently break down just about everything we’ll shove down our throats. The disruption in our food consumption patterns actually does more harm than good, and this is manifested in the spike of heart attacks during the Christmas season. But it’s also next to impossible to refrain ourselves from joining the great Christmas boodle fight! We need to exercise to help our metabolism keep up with our food intake. Jogging and biking are perhaps the most basic forms of exercise we can do. If you’re in the provinces already, the wide, scenic country roads should be more than enough to entice you to keep you going. You can just randomly dance and jump around to your favorite happy tunes! You can also go to Youtube for simple exercises you can perform within the comforts of your own room. Get sweating, help offset all those thousand-calorie binges, and do your heart a big favor.
Shun the malls. If you’re spending the holidays right here in the metropolis, then you can go and explore the city! But skip the malls, please! We regularly go to the mall the whole year round, and now is the time for a breather from the air-conditioned, consumerism-reeking confines of the shopping mall! There are dozens of other attractions to see in our beloved capital, and visiting them will actually be the greatest value-for-money expenses you’ll ever make! Your five hundred bucks will go a long way touring the city. Don’t mind the pollution, it’s actually part of its Third World charm! Take the trains to any of the popular destinations like Luneta and Intramuros. Go to Binondo and Divisoria and practice (or develop if you haven’t any) your haggling skills. You can also get in touch with our roots and tour several of our museums—entrance fees range from free to about three hundred bucks if you are a student. Take a camera–and it’s okay if it’s not a DSLR–and preserve your trip for posterity!