How to Survive the Holidays at Home
Proper Planning Prevents Productivity
With maximized relaxation in mind, the key to a boredom-free break is a battle plan and a well-supplied holiday survival kit. Both are highly customizable.
A battle plan must fight for one thing only: the right to be a bum until mid-January.
The survival kit should include lots of DVDs, light reading material, a deck of cards and board games. Mine will also include a selection of adult beverages, possibly some Legos, a guitar and a Wii game or two.
If you don’t have a smartphone, get one. If you do have one, stock up on good, time-consuming apps.
Forget about Angry Birds and Words With Friends. Instead, look for app versions of the computer games you played as a kid. I’m a big fan of the nostalgic games like Oregon Trail, Wolfenstein 3D and Risk.
Wikibot, the Wikipedia app, is another great time killer. And after you get bored of reading about Santa Claus, mistletoe, lemurs and whatever else, you can always share your wisdom with the world by editing Wikipedia posts.
Start an “Occupy” Movement
Occupying places is apparently the cool thing to do now. To keep up with the trend you could paint some percentages and a pithy phrase on a piece of cardboard and post up in the village square, but that doesn’t really sound like taking a break to me — and, come on, it’s cold outside.
Instead, occupy your parents’ kitchen and proclaim the injustice of having eaten frozen pizza, ham sandwiches and Ramen noodles for a semester.
Then, after eating your just desserts, occupy the living room, declaring the injustice of not being given control of the TV remote — and feel proud that you’re taking a stand for democracy.
Reality Wildlife TV
The holidays invariably mean spending time with relatives. Rather than letting them drive you up the wall, imagine you’re in a wildlife TV show — your relatives being the animals, of course.
As you camp out on the couch (the outskirts of the baboons’ colony, let’s say), imagine a narrator describing what your relatives are doing. (I recommend using Steve Irwin or Morgan Freeman’s voice.)
Google “How to Keep from Getting Bored During the Holidays”
Do this with a snack, drink and no motivation to follow through.
My top result for the search is WikiHow.com’s 13 steps on “How to Spend One’s Holidays Without Getting Bored” (check it out in a week or two when you get really bored).
It’s full of festive — albeit syntactically and grammatically incorrect and awkward — nuggets:
“Go for picnics or malls with your friends or call them for a sleepover.”
And “try always to help your parents in their work, and do not make them angry so that they will praise you.”
Yeah, those are the keys to a magical holiday break, all right.
Just remember, whatever you do to keep from getting bored over the holidays, you’re essentially on vacation between your last final and the second or third day of classes in January. During that time you should exert no more effort than you would while relaxing on the beach.
Holiday Survival Kit
Holiday beverage of choice (only if you’re old enough, of course)
Multiple seasons of multiple TV shows on DVD
New apps for your smartphone
A decks of cards
A kazoo, recorder or other small annoying instrument
Duct tape (can be used to tape relatives’ mouths shut or to make duct tape crafts)
A couple of books (nothing weighty—think “Calvin & Hobbes”, “The Far Side or Dilbert”)
Legos (Shut up. Legos are awesome.)
Time-consuming boardgames like Monopoly, Risk or Settler’s of Cattan