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As a non-devout Hindu New Englander, Christmas has quickly become my favorite secular holiday of the year. From projecting green and red snowflakes on my childhood rooftop to decorating dozens of cookies for my best friends, I have always found a few ways to embrace the holiday spirit and waste away my winter break. If you fear the residual boredom of returning to your childhood bedroom or are racking your brain to find ways to deck the halls from your dorm room, here are a couple of ways to embrace the holiday cheer wherever you're parked this winter season.

Curate that Christmas Playlist

The minute Mariah Carey releases her iconic “It’s timeeee” on Nov. 1, an army of holiday songs and Christmas lyrics are summoned into every aspect of music-listening. I have great news for you: there’s a sappy song for every holiday occasion and style. From Spotify shuffles of Michael Buble’s mellow hits to the cultural phenomenon of Justin Bieber’s “Drummer Boy,” there is a Christmas jingle to fit everyone’s fancy. For me, the holiday season is an excuse to defrost one of my favorite George Michael masterpieces —“Last Christmas” — second only to cult classic “Careless Whisper.” Open Spotify (or if you’re ~not like other girls~, open Apple Music) and shuffle around the wintery songs of your childhood! You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many of them you already know.

Ugly Sweaters and Fuzz Socks

Let’s be real for a second: the best part of the cold weather is normalizing eating, sleeping, and breathing in the most heinous, yet incredibly comfortable, articles of clothing to exist. It’s time to pull out that crusty sweater from middle school, with a fading vinyl sticker of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and melt into the fleece-lined inside. I also encourage you to explore the extensive collection of fuzzy red, green, and white long socks available on Amazon as we speak.

Gift Yourself… You Deserve It

The end of giving thanks makes way for my favorite era, the season of gifting. But let me give you some important advice: The only way to ensure that something is done right is to do it yourself. If you want that lipstick, don’t leave it up to your dad — sorry “Santa” — to differentiate cranberry and mauve. Plus, after months of midterms and two weeks straight of relentless exams and research, you could use a little something-something to celebrate. Is there a better time to empty your Amazon cart?

Embrace the Hallmark Cliche

Any book and movie lover knows that no human experience spurs more creativity for romance writers than the holiday season… relax, I’m kidding. Choose from the strangely enormous selection of rich girls getting humbled by cowboys in their dandy holiday hometowns or get whisked away by an undercover prince from a vaguely Eurasian country seeking a haircut. Live out your holiday romance pipe dreams vicariously through Netflix while nursing a cup of hot cocoa.

Winter is for Baking

There’s got to be at least half a dozen TV shows dedicated to yule log cakes, snowflake sugar cookies, and gingerbread men. Knead all of your residual frustrations about lazy TFs, unnecessarily long finals, and Harvard ops, into that loaf of Pumpernickel bread. If you consider yourself a drink sommelier, perfect that ratio between Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa and steaming milk to achieve that dhall-level finesse of the ultimate holiday drink. Regardless of what you choose to mix up, take this break as an opportunity to reset your mind and fill up your stomach.

There you have it, five ways to embrace (or waste) the month you have off from the mindless machine of the Harvard bubble. Whether you choose to escape into hallmark cliche-land or finally try that ultra-complicated swiss roll recipe, I wish you the best of luck as you make this holiday season your own.