Skip to content

Exam Stress Busters: Holiday Edition

Hailee Barber (2L)

Back on December 20, 1991, I was born into a world of pre-Christmas glory and arrived home on Christmas Day: a true gift unto my parents. Legend has it that once I arrived home, I promptly proceeded to urinate all over my dad’s favourite La-Z-Boy recliner.  The last part isn’t really relevant…but the point is this: I am by birth, and because I said so, a bona fide Christmas Expert.  Trust me tiny elves—I know how to have some festive fun.  So, since you will soon be in the throes of exam time madness, spending hours holed up in the library with nary a sugar cookie in sight, I will share with you a few of my favourite holiday themed stress busters.  For your own sanity, and for the sake of Christmas spirit, take some time out from studying to sit back, relax, and Deck the Halls.


Tip: All Holiday Stress Relief is best served with a healthy dose of Christmas Cheer, otherwise known as hot chocolate and Baileys (or your preferred festive liqueur).


1. Deck the halls ya’ll.  When you live alone or away from home it can seem a bit unnecessary to decorate.  However, I speak from experience—it’s totally worth it.  Hit up the dollar store for some thrifty décor finds, throw on National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, and get to it.  Exams are stressful, but don’t let that get you down! As Clark Griswold said “We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f******g Kaye!”  So put up those twinkly lights and trim the gosh darn tree.  Before you know it you’ll be filled to the brim with tidings of comfort and joy.


2. Set a crafty holiday goal (if you have roommates get them involved!!).  Back in my Lister days, my floor decided during exams that we would set a daily paper snowflake quota.  It sounds silly, but this was an inexpensive, creative, and relaxing way to decorate our floor a little bit at a time. It gave each of us an excuse to go out into the common area, socialize and relax while we cut out some old school paper snowflakes to hang from the ceiling and windows.   Any crafty goal can achieve the same effect—maybe it’s a wreath for your door or homemade ornaments to give as gifts—anything that you can work on a bit at a time is perfect way to get crafty and relax.

3. Hold a gingerbread house decorating night.  Gingerbread kits can be purchased at most grocery stores and will provide you and your friends with an hour or two of sticky, messy, and delightfully creative festive fun.  After you’ve finished studying for the day put on your favourite holiday music or movie, wear your ugliest Christmas sweater, gather your friends and get your hands on that gingerbread!


4. Bundle up and enjoy a festive evening out at the Alberta Legislature for Celebrate the Season.  This tradition is entirely free and kicks off on December 3 with the ceremonial lighting of the legislature grounds accompanied by a choir performance.  From Dec. 3rd to the 23rd, at noon and 6:30 pm you can enjoy carolers and hot chocolate while taking some time out from studying to get some fresh winter air, stretch your legs, and take in the beautiful lights and decorations at the Legislature grounds.