‘Tis the season to be jolly!

As winter break approaches and finals wrap up, there’s nothing more exciting than planning the countless things you can do during the holidays. As a kid, I remember making long, exhaustive lists of what I’d ‘save’ for the break and charting elaborate daily schedules that I mostly never stuck to. Nonetheless, it was always so exciting.

This year though, while many people are traveling or visiting family, I find myself in Toronto alone with nothing specific planned. Since I live far away from home, it’s really going to be just me living by myself. If you’re in the same boat, it’s okay to feel a little anxious about the long break — the lack of sunlight, biting cold and early sunsets can give anyone the winter blues even when surrounded by loved ones.

To keep myself entertained and banish boredom, I did a little digging to list out some fun and realistic things you (and I) can do.

Hanging out with friends

hanging out with friends during winter break

VIA Harry Nguyen

School’s over, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop hanging out with your friends. During the winter break, I make it a point to meet up with friends and make new memories surrounded by the Christmas excitement. We get together for a warm and cozy hot-pot party and play Secret Santa with small little gifts.

With the city decked up with the Christmas spirit, elaborately decorated yards to enjoy and festive cheer in the air, we just stroll and take in these beautiful sights, warming our frosty fingers with a mug of hot chocolate and delightfully sugary pretzels. Spending quality time with friends boosts happiness, and there’s no better time to do it than the holiday season!

Visiting holiday spots in Toronto

Christmas lights in Toronto.

VIA BlogTo

Toronto boasts hundreds of stunning holiday displays within reasonable commuting distance. From the splendour of Distillery District‘s winter village to the magnificence of the Cavalcade of Lights, let the winter enchantment cast a magical spell and elevate your seasonal experience.

Dinosaur exhibit at a museum.

VIA Canadian Encyclopedia

If you’re not a fan of the outdoors, there are many indoor attractions to get festive. You can book a tour to see the lights and decorations at the beautiful Casa Loma (so worth it.) Alternatively, feel free to check out museums like the Royal Ontario Museum or Art Gallery of Ontario to take in some unique exhibits.

Social-media worthy clicks

A woman in a white fashionable sweather.

VIA Vogue

Winter in Toronto is the best time to take those impeccable photos for social media. With the blanket of snow, shimmering lights and vibrant colours, its hard not to take stunning photos.

You don’t have to be an Instagram influencer in order to get them. As fashion designer Lale Boz says, the more photos you take and share, the easier it becomes to understand your own niche and styling. I mean, is there anything more satisfying than spending a lovely day outside dressed up, getting some snazzy pictures and sharing it on your socials with friends?

If you’re worried about your photography skills, check out our tips on how to take better pictures with your phone.

Binge-watching movies

A woman under a blanket viewing her laptop.

VIA iStockPhotos

There’s no more appropriate time to binge-watch a bunch of movies than a chilly winter day by yourself. It’s my favourite party for one — toasty warm blanket, snacks within arm’s reach, a warm mug of hot chocolate and a bowl full of chocolates, heaven. Sometimes, that’s all we really need.

Whatever you do this winter break, we hope you have a joyful and merry Christmas, whether you’re alone or spending it beside companions!

Photo by Ashwini Chaudhary(Monty) on Unsplash

First winter in Canada? Check out our tips to handle the Canadian winter like a pro.

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