Easter Recipes

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By Collier Curran

Though not everyone celebrates Easter, I am always excited when the holiday approaches. Usually taking place in those tedious weeks between midterms and finals, Easter offers a one-day reprieve from ruminating about papers and exams. Also, since I love all things food, Easter provides an opportunity to repeat that big meal usually reserved for Thanksgiving and winter holidays.

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Giving Thanks: A Reflection on Thanksgiving for Three

 

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By Collier Curran

Even as my desk is piled high with papers and textbooks and my laptop has seventeen tabs open, my mind wanders to thoughts of mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and family. As the semester–and midterm season–trudges on, my excitement for Thanksgiving only builds; I open my eyes every morning and immediately grab for my phone to check the number of days left until the 23rd. In this age of only seeing family and hometown friends every few months, I can’t help but reflect on how my relationship to this holiday, and to my home, has changed.Read More »

Beat Midterms Stress: Easy Study Treats!

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By Collier Curran

I will admit, the title of this article can be slightly misleading. All college students–especially upperclassmen–know that the stress of midterms never truly fades until reading week, when it is replaced by equally suffocating finals stress. However, activities like cooking and baking can provide a temporary reprieve from hours in the library, with the added bonus of a delicious snack to boost morale. I have found three tasty and indulgent dorm-friendly recipes for when you need a sugary, buttery pick-me-up.Read More »

How to Get in the Holiday Spirit (and Procrastinate for Finals)

Holiday shopping = the best procrastination method ever

by Clara Butler

1. Plan all your holiday shopping!

Curl up with a nice, warm drink from Liz’s and bask in the glow of your computer screen while you scour Amazon and Pinterest for gifts ideas for everyone from your dog to your roommate! And then when you find a really cool gift that you actually think might be better on your own list, forward it to your parents or primary gift-givers. In all seriousness though, websites like Etsy and ModCloth are great for finding gifts in your budget and ones that no one else will think of.

2. Scour the holiday markets

If you prefer IRL shopping, stop by one of the many winter markets going on now at Bryant Park, Union Square, and Columbus Circle. Even though some of the shops are typical NYC booths selling things like lockets or winter hats, there are some great finds and you can support small business owners and NYC residents! There’s also a handy FedEx right on 116th for when you realize that the gifts you bought can’t fit into the one suitcase you are bringing home for break.

3. Find the best hot chocolate in NYC

This is something that could transpire over a number of weeks since it is no easy task. Sure, you
could go on Yelp or Timeout and see what OTHER people think is the best hot chocolate in the city but why not just start at the Hungarian Pastry Shop and work your way downtown? Extra points for cool flavors like peppermint, white chocolate, or other holiday flavors.

4. Do some charity work

It’s no secret that people are more generous during the holidays so take advantage of other people’s kindness to create some of your own! Hold a clothing drive or food drive for a worthy charity or even just volunteer at a soup kitchen, charity run, or blood drive! Getting in the holiday spirit is about much more than just buying gifts and being materialistic, it’s also about helping others, especially those who may not have a home to go to over the holidays or who are just feeling down.

These classic movies are a must this holiday season

5. Hold a holiday movie binge watch

Remember those movies from your childhood like Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer or The Year Without a Santa Claus that constantly played on ABC Family during their 25 Days of Christmas? Watch those and every terrible LifeTime movie you can find while eating candy canes and maybe some latkes too!

6. Go on a holiday scavenger hunt

As someone who oftentimes has a tough time leaving campus (because of lack of ideas and because it requires to much effort), this is a great idea to visit some of NYC’s most prominent landmarks and take some great Christmas tree selfies. Make sure to visit the giant tree at Rockefeller Plaza, 5th Avenue for the holiday windows, and the Plaza Hotel for the world’s largest Menorah (after Dec. 16)! Extra points if you see more than 10 people in Santa costumes or if you see anyone wearing anything Hanukah related.

7. Go to Santa Con!

So many Santas

So, as a recent NYC transplant last year, I was naively riding the subway one day when all of a sudden, about 30 people came on in either Santa or Elf getups. I knew that some kind of event must have been happening because this was a little too bizarre even for New York. I figured out later that it was called Santa Con and according to the website, “Santa Con is a charitable, non-commercial, non-political, nonsensical Santa Claus convention that happens once a year for absolutely no reason”. This year, it’s on December 13th, which means it’s the perfect way to forget finals exist and pretend you live at the North Pole instead of at a stress-filled school.

Clara Butler is a junior at Barnard and the Girl Talk and Opinions editor for The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Images courtesy of TimeInc, DenofGeek, and NYCSantaCon.

Got Holiday Markets? Three Holiday Markets to Visit in NYC this Winter

by Jessica Gregory

Winter Village at Bryant Park is ridiculously pretty!

We’re almost to exam season, and we’re almost to the point of heading our separate ways for winter break. Between your studying and packing, however, take an afternoon or evening to visit one of New York City’s amazing holiday markets. You can eat (obviously the best part), buy gifts from a wide range of vendors, or just walk around in the midst of a bright holiday mood. For your convenience, I’ve compiled a list of the ones I think are most worth your time.

Union Square Holiday Market
Open: now through December 24th
Location: 14th to 17th Streets and Broadway to Park Avenue South
Bonus: It’s very large.

I think the best part about this holiday market is the ambiance. The white and red striped stalls are packed closely together, creating a cozy and festive atmosphere.

Winter Village at Bryant Park
Open: now through January 5th
Location: Between 40th and 42nd Streets and Sixth Avenue
Bonus: Ice skating rink open through March 1st.

Though this village is on the fringe of Times Square, it’s not quite as crazy. Visit the Village, see the Christmas tree, and go ice-skating!

Columbus Circle Holiday Market
Open: now through December 24th
Location: 59th Street and Central Park West
Bonus: Central Park.

The same striped stalls as Union Square, with the bonus of Central Park and Columbus Circle as a backdrop. Take a walk through the park then shop, or shop then walk through the park. Your choice!

There are many more holiday markets to try out! Consult Time Out New York‘s guide to all the holiday markets in the city to learn more.

Jessica Gregory is a sophomore at Barnard College and a staff writer for The Nine Ways of Knowing

Image courtesy of thestylishcity.com

Think Twice Before Shopping This Thanksgiving Weekend

by Laura K. Garrison

Every Thanksgiving, people across the country sit down with family and friends and give thanks for all the wonderful things in their lives and dig into a bountiful meal satisfied with what they have. And everyone lives happily ever after. The end.

Just kidding. This is America after all.

This Friday, millions of Americans will descend on shopping malls at ridiculously early hours on the hunt for door-buster deals that only happen one day a year. That day happens to be Black Friday, the day immediately after a holiday in which we are supposed to reflect on all the things we are thankful for in our lives.

I’ve never shopped on Black Friday, and while I once saw the novelty of it, I never will participate in what has clearly become an arms race for retailers. This year, countless stores across the country will start their sales on Thanksgiving Day, including large chains like Sears, Macy’s, Target, Kmart, JC Penney, Sports Authority, Old Navy, Toys ‘R’ Us, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. While this may seem like a great idea to the shopaholic in all of us, those stores need to be manned with people, people who have families who want to share Thanksgiving with their loved ones.

As someone who has family members who work in retail, every year around the holidays we must take into consideration everyone’s work schedules to decide when and where we should hold Thanksgiving dinner. For the past couple of years, my family has had trouble coming together on Thanksgiving, partially because someone needs to wake up early to get to work the next morning. Not only is this sad, it’s really not necessary. There is plenty of time to shop before the holidays, and Black Friday sales aren’t even that impressive. The most popular shopping day of the year is actually the Saturday before Christmas, and sales only get better the closer we get to December 25th.

There’s something particularly distressing about stores opening on Thanksgiving Day, some as early as 7am (thank you Big Lots!). Thanksgiving is one of the few holidays that are almost universally celebrated in the United States, and everyone can think of something exciting about Turkey Day. Seeing family! Watching the parade! Eating a huge dinner! Watching football! Store openings are now preventing some individuals from enjoying these activities with their loved ones, or at the very least cutting down on the time they can spend with their family. When we sit down at the table, we should anticipate watching TV or taking a nap after dinner, not running to the mall.

Black Friday, in reality, isn’t any better. Even if a store waits until early Friday morning to open their doors, chances are their staff will have arrived even earlier and had to adjust their holiday plans in some way to accommodate their hours. While they may receive overtime pay, I’m still not convinced this is fair compensation for missed time with family, only so that we can buy a huge flat-screen television at a fraction of the cost.

We’ve all seen the footage on TV of Black Friday shoppers rushing into stores, bound and determined to grab whatever they can before someone else does. Every year, we hear about injuries and, during the worst years, deaths related to Black Friday shopping. It’s the same phenomenon we’ve witnessed as college students around free food (cough cough Big Sub): people lose all control and lack all reason when the opportunity to gain is present, with disturbing results. No material good at an absurdly low price is worth the casualties. Especially when many of the goods may actually be of substandard quality.

This year, I hope you and your loved ones have a thoroughly enjoyable Thanksgiving filled with good food and quality family time. The only way to show retailers that everyone deserves a Thanksgiving holiday is if we choose to stay home and enjoy the company of our loved ones while we can. There will be other sales after Black Friday, I promise. Go shopping then.

Laura K. Garrison is a senior at Barnard and Senior Editor for The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Image courtesy of someecards.