By Sophie Isbister, Life & Style Editor
A lot can go wrong over the holidays. It could be boredom or overwork, loneliness or too much family, or any of the myriad other things that can dampen the joy of your well-deserved break from academia. Here’s a handy list of dos and don’ts to make your holiday spectacular!
1. Don’t find yourself being trampled at Metrotown on December 24 with the rest of the last-minute shoppers.
2. Do try to get your shopping done early by utilizing resources like online shopping (Etsy for that personal touch, and Amazon for everyone else) or the numerous craft fairs this time of year.
3. Don’t bother with your neighbour’s Christmas lights. Chances are they just have a basic string of reds and greens adorning their porch, and not much else.
4. Do hit up the Festival of Lights at VanDusen Gardens in Vancouver for a beautiful, botanical tour of epic proportions. Come for the one million (!!!) lights and stay for the Scandinavian Gnome performances.
5. Don’t skate on the sidewalk! Make sure during icy or snowy conditions that someone (your landlord, a hunky neighbour) is shovelling and salting the sidewalk in front of your place. If you go home for the holidays, offer to do this tedious chore for your family.
6. Do skate at Robson Square. Seriously, nothing is more romantic than the free, open-air ice rink below Robson Square in downtown Vancouver. I mean sure, it’s crowded and small, but they have apple cider, and the city lights will make you feel like you’re at Rockefeller Centre in NYC.
7. Don’t gift piles of random crap that nobody wants. If you give someone a package of generic bath salts and body washes that you got at Shoppers Drug Mart on December 24, they’re just going to give it away or turf it once an appropriate amount of time has passed (approximately six months, FYI).
8. Do give an experience! Buy a pair of concert tickets to share with a friend, or a couple zipline passes, or, if you don’t think you’ll see them on the actual day of Christmas, treat them to a holiday event and spend some quality time together.
9. Don’t even think about skipping the Vancouver Christmas Market this year. Why would you even consider missing out on over 50 vendors selling everything from traditional European holiday foods to hand-crafted gifts and ornaments?
10. Do bring your family and friends to the Vancouver Christmas Market at Queen Elizabeth Plaza downtown, from now until Christmas Eve. There’s so much to see and enjoy—whatever your religious denomination, the seasonal sights and sounds will ensure that this event becomes a holiday tradition for you and your family.