Holidaze for the overextended student

I have some good news and some bad news for you this week. The good news is, finals are almost over and winter break is almost upon us. The bad news is, this is the break that coincides every year with the trauma of the Holiday Season. We should all be used to it by now, but somehow it always manages to sneak up out of nowhere. All of a sudden it’s time to spend money you don’t have on presents and time you don’t have on family get-togethers and sanity you don’t have on the whole process. What has always been hyped up to be the happiest time of the year ends up being, for many people, the source of the most anxiety and stress. Now would be a good time to buy some shares in whoever makes Paxil, as I’m sure their stock always skyrockets this time of year. Good way to make some stocking-stuffer money.

Is it really December again already? I could swear that the last time I checked it was August. Now, all of a sudden, when I go outside at 7pm it’s completely dark. What the hell? When did this happen? Why haven’t I moved to California yet? Surviving the season this year is going to take a lot of creative adaptation. Not the kind of adaptation where you grow a thicker coat of fur and hibernate (although this might not be a bad idea either), but societal adaptation that’s just as difficult in its own superficial way.

The first major adjustment that will be necessary is figuring out how to provide presents to everyone without looking like a cheap bastard. Okay, screw that-the second part is probably inevitable, and was probably already accomplished a long time ago. So, how to provide presents for everybody… Well, nothing says classy like a Goodwill gift certificate! Just kidding. Everybody has a pretty good understanding of my financial situation, so I might just give out apology cards this year. Something along the lines of “Sorry I didn’t get you a present.” That’s not too bad, is it? Not as bad as offering to put more money on somebody’s Oregon Trail Card…

The second adjustment is more complicated and involves a healthy ignorance of reality. To avoid the onset of nonstop nausea for the next three weeks, I’m going to have to not watch TV, so as to avoid seeing any “heartwarming” holiday commercials about how visiting the mall will make you feel all warm and squishy inside. I’m also going to have to stay away from the mall itself, to avoid beating one of those Salvation Army Santas unconscious with his own incessantly ringing bell. I should also probably take some anger-management classes.

Maybe the secret to having better holidays is getting out of town. Probably the best Christmas I ever had was my freshman year in high school when I left Oregon altogether and spent three weeks in Alaska with my aunt and uncle who live up there. I learned to snowboard, ski, ice skate and icycle (riding a bicycle on ice-can be a recipe for pain sometimes). Alaska was a lot of fun, despite the fact that it was light about two hours a day. Now that I’ve been old enough to take vacations by myself for quite a few years now, maybe it would be best if I just packed up and left every winter to spend the holidays someplace warm that looks like it’s straight out of the Corona commercials (complete with lots of Corona). The only problem is that I’ll have to carjack some reindeer pulling a sleigh to be able to afford it. They can’t move that fast, can they?