I think it’s safe to say the second half of 2014 was long. Though Winter, Spring and Summer seemed to zip by everything slowed down in August and has been dragging us along ever since. With the rise of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement, the awful NFL season thus far (ALL MY TEAMS ARE CAUSING ME GRIEF) and the constant—though sometimes painful—progression of the first semester of my PhD program, I am weary and am looking forward to the solace of this upcoming holiday season.
I’m sure plenty of people don’t stan for Christmas like my family and I do, but there’s something about having time set aside just to spend with the folks you love, get really inebriated and exchange presents and other sorts of niceties that get me going. It may be rough to adjust to this time of tidings and good cheer amongst all the craziness of being [insert non-white, straight male descriptive here] in America but here are a few things you can do to help you enjoy the holiday season.
Outside of TGIT shows and a select few others I didn’t have much time these past couple of months to keep up with many TV programs. So of course my first act of freedom once I’d handed in my final papers, and hit the Nae-Nae on out my classroom, was to grab my favorite snack and watch all the back-logged shows on my DVR. I mean there’s no way I can be a proper Whovian if I haven’t caught up on the most recent season of Doctor Who right?
2. Get Into Some Literature
There are several books that are considered Black feminist canon meaning that one must read them at some point in their activist journey in order to further heighten their climb to ultimate wokeness. Being a full-time grad student doesn’t leave time for leisurely reading so holiday breaks are a perfect time to catch up on some of the awesome books on my ‘to-read’ list.
I mean, Assata Shakur’s Autobiography isn’t going to read itself and what better way to head back to work in the New Year than even more woke and activated than you were before? What better way to celebrate the birth of Christ (or Hanukkah or Kwanza) than a pleasant reading of The Autobiography of Malcolm X? Clearly, there is no better way.
3. Kick Back and Relax
Moms is smoking the ham and the presents are piling up under the tree. Why shouldn’t you sleep until 1 PM? I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t. Take this time to get back all the sleep you lost staying up until 4 in the morning during the semester.
Unplug from social media if you need to. Enjoy not having to report to school/work in the morning and embrace the freedom. Why fight folks in Macy’s for after Christmas savings when you can be sipping on a glass of hot cocoa (with a splash of Bailey’s if you’re feeling fancy) by the fireplace….or near your space heater, whatever applies. That being said, you could also use this time to…
If you want to spend all that hard earned money, or stipend for the grad students, on some thigh-high boots and new subs for your ride, DO IT. You have worked too damn hard, gone through too damn much and been through too much strife this year to not treat yourself at the close of 2014.
Want that new lip color from MAC? Buy it. Want to pamper yourself with a massage? Get it. Want to ride around the block with the top down while simultaneously digging the scene with a gansta lean? Lean on sister. Folks call this time ‘a break’ for a reason. You should detach yourself from work and most of the stressors of your everyday life and bask in having nothing to do but eat pie and unwrap gifts on gifts on gifts.
Hopefully these tips will help you make the most of the upcoming holiday season. We’ve been through a lot this year, and it can be hard to focus on ourselves when so many larger things are happening in the world but we won’t be of much use to the movement or the revolution if we’re worn down and exhausted.
It’s okay to unplug. It’s okay to say ‘not today’ when folks are asking you to do something for the fight for justice. The person who invented the phrase “no days off” was a liar…or died at an early age from overwork, who knows. Either way take this holiday season as a gift and make the most of it. I surely will.
If anyone needs me I’ll be guarding the eggnog and shaking wrapped presents to figure out which ones belong to me. And you should be too.