As I type this, I’m back in Starkville, posted up at my usual coffee shop, at a booth by the window. I’m definitely sad to be back at school, but I had such an amazing three weeks at home for winter break and I wanted to share a little recap! Winter break kind of felt like it was split into two parts: the craziness leading up to Christmas, and then the calm, lazy days after Christmas ended. I honestly can’t decide which half was my favorite! I loved the holiday spirit, buying presents and baking with all the Christmas festivities, but it was so nice to have almost two weeks to chill and enjoy the time at home.
I finished my last exam Wednesday, December 11th, around 9:15 and already had all my bags packed and in my car. I checked out with my RA, plugged my address in my maps, and started the two hour drive home! I can’t tell you how happy I was to come home after a long, hard exam season. I got home a little before lunch and just had a chill day at home. My brothers and I ran some errands, browsed my favorite bookstore, got frozen yogurt, and stocked up on rented movies for the week. We got on a huge Spiderman kick that first week of break: we watched the old Amazing Spidermans with Andrew Garfield, then rewatched the two new ones with Tom Holland. I think we watched a movie every night almost every day of break. It was so nice to relax and watch tv without having to worry about school or homework. This was the first time all semester that I didn’t have anything school related to stress about. Even on fall break or Thanksgiving break, I still had school in the back of my mind because I had tests or exams coming up. This time, I had absolutely nothing due, so it felt amazing to completely take my mind off of schoolwork.
That whole first week was just lots of Christmas prep. I worked almost every day at my old job at a local shoe store on the Square, which I loved. I’m really close with my boss and coworkers, so it was great to spend a few hours every day with them. I did lots of Christmas shopping, watched more movies with the fam, wrapped presents, baked holiday treats for the neighbors, and ran at Whirlpool trails, my favorite route near my house. I really focused on the giving side of Christmas this year instead of thinking about the presents I would get, and it was so fun to try and pick out presents for all my family and friends!
The weekend/days leading up to Christmas got a little busier. My siblings and I went to my grandmother’s house and made muddy buddy mix and chex mix, built a gingerbread house, and spent time with her. I worked almost every day, with lots of Christmas gift wrapping and helping customers find the perfect present. I had lots of lunch dates with my best friend Katelyn at our favorite Oxford restaurant, Living Foods. I hadn’t been there in forever, so I ate there so much over break, haha. One Friday night, I went with my dad to a 10 pm showing of Knives Out, which was so good! It was a mystery movie with lots of twists and turns- highly recommend. The Saturday before Christmas, we went to my other grandparents’ house and did our yearly tradition of baking Christmas cookies. It’s so fun to have the music on, cookie cutters out, and icing ready and all decorate as a family. Monday, the 23rd, my whole family drove to Amory to my dad’s side of the family and did an early Christmas there, complete with my great grandmother’s famous chocolate fudge!
Christmas Eve honestly competed with Christmas Day for my favorite part of the holiday season. I did end up having to work 9-12 that morning, but the shift went by super fast and it was so fun to help people find last minute gifts and wrap for them. When I got home, the whole house smelled amazing with lots of baking and prep for Christmas brunch. Every year we have my grandmothers, uncle, and cousin over for a big Christmas breakfast, and the baking is the best part! We made banana bread, apple cinnamon baked oatmeal, egg and hashbrown casserole, sausage balls, pigs in a blanket, and a huge fruit platter. We pretty much just baked and wrapped gifts all day, until we got ready for the Christmas Eve service that night. I love our church’s Advent service, we sing all the traditional Christmas hymns and read the story of the birth of Jesus. After the service, we picked up a pizza from Domino’s, went home and put our pjs on, and ate pizza and did our annual sibling swap. I have three younger siblings, so we each got each other presents, and then we all gave our parents their gifts. I got earrings from my brother, an agenda from my sister, and a graphic tee from my youngest brother- they did good this year! The final Christmas Eve tradition we have is watching Elf upstairs with all the siblings. Such a fun and festive day 🙂
Christmas day was very relaxed, which I absolutely loved. We walked downstairs around 8 and our parents had laid our gifts out for us in little piles. The boys got a new piano, so we got to listen to them practice and play Christmas songs all morning while we finished up the last minute baking. My grandmothers from my mom and dad’s side got here around 10:30 and it was time for brunch! After we were fully stuffed, we all moved into the living room to exchange gifts. We usually have other family come over later that day, but we actually pushed that to the next day, which I really liked. It made Christmas a lot more relaxed. We had the afternoon free to spend time outside (it was 70 degrees on Christmas!), go for a family run, and watch a movie together that night.
We went to see other family the 26th, which was fun, but after that, Christmas just kind of abruptly ended. It’s always a weird feeling to go from holiday festivities 24/7 to forgetting about it until next year, but it was just such a good Christmas season. The week and a half to follow could be summed up in one word: chill. It was so nice to just relax and be super lazy at home. I got really into reading this week; I always forget how much I love reading. At school I only read school books and didn’t have time for much else, but over break I read Between Shades of Gray, Out of the Easy, The Grace Year, and 10 Blind Dates. I think one afternoon my brother and I sat on the couch and I just read for like three hours straight. We were still on a tv kick this week too: my mom, sister and I saw Little Women in theaters and it was amazing. Another movie I’d highly recommend! It made me want to throw my phone away and spend my days outside, painting and reading with my nonexistent 3 sisters and the neighbor boy next door haha. Go see it if you haven’t! Also during this week my dad roped me into his Survivor obsession. He’s seen every season since the show started in 2000, and my other siblings have seen the most recent seasons with him. I’ve only seen a few episodes, so we decided to go back to an older season that had gotten good reviews and watch it all the way through. It was fun to have a nightly tradition of watching en episode or two all together before bed.
I think the biggest thing I took from break was just how much I love being around my family. I thought college would make us grow apart since we wouldn’t see each other all the time, but I think it made us closer! I love doing random things with my siblings, running errands with my mom, and talking late in the night with my dad. I really missed driving around the streets of my hometown, seeing all my favorite people, and relaxing at home. It was such a good break, and it’s definitely hard to leave ❤️.