Christmas Break in a Nutshell

Welcome back everyone! I hope everybody had a safe and relaxing break and were able to spend time with family and friends. I don’t know about you but I had a lot going on these past few weeks. Here’s a breakdown of what was going on with me back at home:

Friends

Like most college students, we don’t have much opportunity to hang out with friends from home during the year, so I spent a majority of my time with my closest friends from California. We did a ton of stuff such as having a pizza night at my friend Melissa’s house, where her dad made homemade pizza in a cabana outside near her pool. We all went to a place called Creamistry that just opened up around town. Basically it’s an ice cream place that makes their ice cream by using liquid nitrogen—obviously something we wanted to see in person, but unfortunately it wasn’t as good as we had all hoped it to be.

We also had some Jacuzzi nights in which we talked about nonsense, but being together and in some warm water made it a definite highlight. Also, a huge perk of being from California is that you get to go to the beach at anytime of the year, including the day after Christmas, which is exactly what we all did. Fortunately, Melissa’s mom lives right on the beach so we had a guaranteed parking spot, which is awesome! I find it hilarious that people back at school are telling me about all the snow and I cannot relate because I’m playing Frisbee at the beach. That is something I definitely miss about home and being in a warm climate. In addition, another warm activity that Melissa and I took part in was going fro a hike in a region called Peter’s Canyon. This is always a blast because there’s a specific bench that overlooks the entire canyon that we sit on and just talk about literally anything. It’s so nice to just be able to talk with my best friend without all of the commotion of our other friends because then the two of us and can just catch up.

Finally, the last thing we were able to do as a group was hang out at Melissa’s and play poker and Catchphrase and enjoy being together again. Since some of us won’t be back home for summer, this was the last time we were all together until next Christmas break. Although it’s a huge bummer, I’m super thankful for Facebook and Skype because we all stay in contact no matter what.

Melissa and I at Huntington Beach
Melissa and I at Huntington Beach
Me, Shannon, and Melissa at Creamistry
Me, Shannon, and Melissa at Creamistry

Breaking Bad

You know how there was a huge buzz about Breaking Bad and how everybody was watching it? Well, I jumped on that bandwagon this break along with everyone else. My parents were the ones that started watching it in my family and once my uncle got all of the seasons for my dad for Christmas, we were hooked. Even though I was skeptical about the series, it turned out to be very good and it was also great because it was the “thing” to do every night as a family. I don’t know about everybody else’s families, but mine can rarely agree on a movie to watch or a series to watch together, so finding Breaking Bad was fun because we actually all looked forward to seeing it.

Christmas

Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year, not for presents and stuff like that but because it is the only holiday that all of my friends and family are home. For instance, it has been a year since my brother was home because he no longer has summer breaks, so it’s definitely great when we are all home together. As for the actual holiday, Christmas is fun because of the small traditions my family and I have. For example, Christmas Eve we go to church and then have a nice meal together and just relax. Then on Christmas morning, we all wake up and open stocking-stuffer presents, get cleaned up and eat breakfast and then work on opening the presents under the tree.

We manage to make the act of opening gifts a whole-morning ordeal, which I enjoy a lot. As far as presents go, I hit the jackpot this year. I got a lot of winter clothing and an awesome new pair of snowshoes that I really love and are doing a darn good job keeping me dry in the snow right now. Also, I got the usual pair of socks that most every person gets on Christmas, but they are a necessity and I secretly love getting them. After the chaos of presents is over, my family and I usually just hang out for the rest of the day and watch any movies we received, started books that we got or eat cookies. It’s a blast! Once evening hits, we have a family dinner again and then watch a movie of some sorts and then call it a night. It’s always a bummer when the day ends because all of the excitement has ended, but nothing lasts forever, which is a perk and just gets you excited for when it happens again.

New Year’s

Celebrating New Year’s is always really exciting. For some people, it’s an excuse to get drunk and make poor decisions while others such as myself choose to just have a good time with friends. This year I went with three of my closest friends down to Huntington Beach at my friend’s apartment and we literally just played board games, drank some fruity smoothies, went in the Jacuzzi, listened to music, walked around the beach and watched the ball drop in New York. It wasn’t necessarily the most exciting evening, but it really doesn’t matter what you do as long as you’re with some awesome people and just enjoy the last moments of the previous year. I hear stories from other friends that their New Year’s was crazy because of too much drinking and whatnot and frankly, I have no interest in being part of that, so having a chill night with my best friends is always my go-to thing to do.

Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach

Brother Time

My brother and I have been close our entire lives, so obviously it’s difficult when we are separated due to school. However, it has gotten more difficult the past two years because he is in medical school in Chicago and no longer has spring and summer breaks to go home. Therefore, I get to see him when I occasionally go to Chicago or when we both travel home for Christmas. Therefore, when we do get to see each other, we do a ton of stuff. For instance, we always manage to play at least one or two rounds of ping pong as well as make the effort to play Frisbee outside in our neighborhood. We’ve been doing these two things for years, so it’s a tradition that we make it happen at least once while we are home.

In addition, another thing we always do is play tennis. Both of us played in high school and in intramurals in college, so it’s fun to see who has improved or gone downhill since our last match. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m usually the victor. In addition, Brian and I tend to get a smoothie at Jamba Juice or make something together such as cookies or soft pretzels. This Christmas, we just got a smoothie because my mom was hogging the kitchen making Christmas cookies and awesome dinners, but I’m not complaining. Finally, the last huge thing we always do is just talk and watch movies. Since we got Breaking Bad, we seriously just watched a ton of that, which I’m completely fine with. I’m super bummed that I won’t get to see him until next Thanksgiving unless I happen to be in Chicago, I always love looking back at pictures to give me those memories of the stuff we always manage to do and the time we get to hang with each other, away from the stress of school and life.

Well, that just about wraps up everything that’s been happening for me this winter season. I hope everybody enjoyed their breaks and are ready for a new year. Talk to you all later!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @hopeleslie15.

Published by Leslie Kempers

Hey Everyone! My name is Leslie Kempers and I am from Santa Ana, California. I am a Senior this year and am majoring in Exercise Science so after my time here at Hope, I will be pursuing a career in physical therapy! I have previously been involved with Nykerk and CASA and am excited to see what this year has in store for me. This place has become my second home and I have cherished every moment here at Hope College. Go Dutchmen!!!

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