Looking for something to do over the break?

Short-term hobbies for the holidays

Whether you’re stuck in Portland by your lonesome or just looking for something to combat boredom this holiday season, short-term hobbies are a perfectly sound option.

Short-term hobbies for the holidays

Whether you’re stuck in Portland by your lonesome or just looking for something to combat boredom this holiday season, short-term hobbies are a perfectly sound option.

Pros: Whether you’re making hats, scarves or sweaters, there are few activities more productive than knitting. It’s easy to learn, and materials are readily available.
Cons: Perfectionists beware: There’s nothing more frustrating than realizing you dropped a stitch five rows ago.
Longevity: Six to 60 hours, depending on how well you knit and the size of the project.

Pros: From sugar cookies and bonbons to bread pudding and cheesecake, there’s nothing better than holiday desserts and the satisfaction of sharing your work with appreciative friends, roommates and mooches.
Cons: The many, many pounds inevitably gained by the end of the break.
Longevity: An hour each to bake and three weeks to figure out how much sugar you can consume before getting sick.

Things to do with gingerbread
Pros: Variety. While gingerbread men and houses have become staples of the holidays, gingerbread pudding, muffins, brownies, pancakes and upside-down cake are also viable options.
Cons: Consists of the edible and not-quite-so edible. As toppled as upside-down cake is supposed to look, that shouldn’t be an indicator of taste.
Longevity: An hour to cook and three days of nothing but gingerbread for fruitcake to start looking appetizing.

Holiday movies
Pros: Regardless of your taste in films, there’s a holiday movie for everyone.
Cons: If Christmas isn’t your holiday, good luck finding something else to watch until the 25th.
Longevity: Two hours to watch a movie, two weeks before you’re able to find anything else on TV.

Video games
Pros: Without classes, you can finally play Skyrim and God of War without feeling guilty.
Cons: At some point, you realize that you haven’t seen daylight for three weeks. Unless that was the goal, in which case, mission accomplished.
Longevity: As long as it takes for the “real world” to interfere or sleep becomes necessary.

Pros: The break gives you an opportunity to finally read one of those books sitting on your shelf.
Cons: Reading more books inevitably means buying more books and feeding into the insurmountable task of reading everything you buy.
Longevity: Two to 12 hours, depending on the length of the book and how fast you read.

Pros: Gets the creative juices flowing.
Cons: When those creative juices start to spill all over your carpet.
Longevity: Two to six hours, depending on the scale of the project and whether it’s paint by numbers.

Crossword puzzles
Pros: Obsessive compulsives beware: they are inexpensive, and they are everywhere.
Cons: Your friends and family will inevitably come up with a four-letter word for “stop asking me for a four-letter word for blank.” It will not fit into your crossword puzzle.
Longevity: Depends on your problem solving-skills and knowledge of fun facts (or creative use of Google). Roughly an hour.

Board games
Pros: Often nostalgic and involves interacting with friends and family.
Cons: If there aren’t two or more people involved, you’re out of luck.
Longevity: An hour or two depending on the game and level of competition. It may only last until the board game is flipped over and may not be picked up again until the ensuing resentment wears off.

Winter-friendly sports
Pros: If you live in a mountainous state like Oregon, skiing, snowboarding and sledding are viable options for getting out of the house.
Cons: The probability of injury is greatly increased.
Longevity: Six hours if you’re doing it right.

Pros: If getting off the couch or out of bed isn’t the goal, catching up on sleep is a good idea.
Cons: The only thing that makes time fly by faster than having fun is being unconscious.
Longevity: Only as long as it takes for the rest of the world to wake you, be it two hours or three weeks. •