USA! USA! USA!Is there something inherently chauvinistic about pointing out how bizarre, strange or singular the holiday celebrations of others seem? Probably.
How odor activates memories and holiday spiritPumpkin pie. Pine. Cinnamon. Peppermint. Roast turkey. Clove-covered oranges. All of these smells most likely elicit fond memories of opening presents by the Christmas tree when you were a kid or gorging yourself on a second helping of Grandma’s pumpkin pie.
A handy guide to what not to buy kids for christmasFor those of you who need to buy gifts for nieces, nephews, significantly younger siblings or the children of friends, the holidays can be a very difficult time for shopping. Even parents can be at a loss. Every child is different, but there are certain toys that no child wants—period. Take our word for it. Here’s some help for steering clear of this year’s least popular kids’ gifts.
Perfectly paired holiday cocktails and cookiesIf you want to be on the “nice list,” it’s a good idea to leave Santa his favorite snack of milk and cookies on Christmas Eve. If you’d rather join the cool kids on the naughty side— where they serve booze—try these delectable pairings of adult holiday beverages and delicious cookies.
how to host a festive cocktail partyFor many students, $30 has a lot of potential.An extra $30 could mean eating real vegetables or represent three happy-hour outings. In extreme cases, the entire fate of a friendship could rest upon an unpaid $30 debt.
Throwing a holiday party on a college-student budgetFall term is almost over and the Black Friday bell has rung, marking the beginning of the Christmas holiday season and shot nerves, broken banks, a glut of generosity and overwhelming gift-giving decisions. What’s left to do but to take the edge off the holiday craziness by throwing a small party?
Hardly the romance you had in mindThe image of a couple in love (or simply in close proximity) kissing under the mistletoe is an iconic one. It’s a revered winter tradition and a highlight of the season for every hopeless romantic during the month of December. As is the case with many of our most-beloved seasonal institutions, mistletoe starts out with the best of intentions but can quickly devolve into the low point of a holiday gathering.
Get involved this holiday season by volunteering for those in needFor many in our community, the holidays are not a festive time of year but a period of deep anxiety and distress. Thankfully, there are many resources for those people in need of a little help this season. But with the higher demand during these frigid winter months, many of the organizations that provide essential services to the disadvantaged become overwhelmed. These organizations rely on the time and effort of volunteers and can always use an extra helping hand.
Ignore the red-aproned ringers this year and show local supportIt’s always tempting to drop a dollar or two into one of the Salvation Army’s red kettles. Frequently located right outside your holiday shopping spots, the easy access provides an instant sensation of altruism that’s hard to beat.
A holiday tradition of give and takeThe term “white elephant” originates from tales of ancient kings in Thailand who were in the habit of giving away the rare animals as presents to those who had become a nuisance to them. The idea was that the gift would be more trouble than it was worth to the recipient, since the cost of its upkeep and maintenance would drastically outweigh the seeming generosity of the gesture.
Spreading holiday cheer by singing on public transitIt all started with a group of dejected fans after a loss by the Portland Trail Blazers. In the winter of 2005, former Portland State student Jenny Wright boarded the westbound MAX after a night class. The Blazers had just lost a game, and she found herself surrounded by sullen fans. Feeling uncomfortable and a bit sullen herself, she started to quietly whistle “Jingle Bells.”In the winter of 2005, former Portland State student Jenny Wright boarded the westbound MAX after a night class. The Blazers had just lost a game, and she found herself surrounded by sullen fans. Feeling uncomfortable and a bit sullen herself, she started to quietly whistle “Jingle Bells.”
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