(forty three) or the best holiday elf

Last night I finished all of my work early, so I did as any college student would do when they have free time on their hands- I braved the cold and went into town to do a bit of holiday shopping!

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Let me begin this tale by a little preface- I am not nearly as festive as some of my other friends. I don’t have a mini Christmas tree, I don’t illegally burn candles in my room for Hanukkah, and I do not leave out a sick of butter for Pai Natal in the hopes that he won’t steal one of my toes. But I do sing Christmas songs to myself, with a particular preference for the ones that my parents used to play for me when I was little, and I do like getting gifts for people I care about, because that’s what capitalism has taught me and I can’t not comply.

Before I set off on my adventure, I double checked my list of things to buy. My friends and I are doing a secret snowflake, so I wanted to make sure that person X got something that she would like and would enjoy. Checked on my list. My hall voted and decided to allocate some of the hall budget to buying Filomena, our housekeeper, a gift. Checked on my list. I needed to get a few more things for Pam, and some other things for other loved ones in my life. Check, check, check. And I needed to get wrapping paper- yes, that’s right- this year I was going to splurge for wrapping paper instead of using recycled bags that I’ve used for every other year. Because this year, I’m a college senior, and college seniors buy wrapping paper because that’s one of the first steps into real adulthood.

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After compiling my extensive list (rats!!! I needed to also buy tape for the hall- thank GOD for lists or I would have forgotten!!) I put on Christmas Music 100 Hits by Spotify, and proceeded to walk briskly into town. After listening to what felt like the entire Bing Crosby Merry Christmas album, I finally made it to my first stop. Knowing that some of my friends read this blog, I can’t say what I bought or where I went otherwise they’ll figure things out, so I’m going to tell you about Filomena’s gift! Filomena is such a lovely lady- she cleans Rhoads North, but she does so much more than that. She checks in on students who she thinks are struggling, she strikes up conversations with you, she gives you advice or tough love, and she always has a hug just when you need it. Filomena is such a lovely person, and whenever I see her I always smile and run to her to see how she’s doing. Filomena really loves plants and planting. Once, she brought me two cucumbers from her garden. It was really cute, but two cucumbers is a lot for a college student who doesn’t own a knife, so I shared it with Colm, who ate his cucumber like an apple. I followed suit soon afterwards once I realized that a spoon was 100% unhelpful. ANYWAY what I’m trying to get to here is that Filomena loves plants and has an amazing green thumb. Some of my first years thought it would be really nice if we could get her a plant for the holidays, so I got her an amaryllis bulb, a pot, and soil. I also bought her ferrero rocher because everyone likes ferrero rocher and if they say that they don’t it’s because they have a nut allergy and physically can not eat it.

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Two stops later, and I found the perfect gift for another friend. I love Burt’s Bees products and I found this gift box of a selection of them and in my mind I thought “This is perfect for her” and before I could think of anything else, I threw it into my cart because I knew that she deserved a nice Burt’s Bees gift set, just like all of my friends deserve porsche 2016 boxsters but I can’t afford those so whatever I get them will have to do and I hope they like it.

After my shopping, with all of my parcels in tow, I realized that I had missed dinner. Luckily, I was in Bryn Mawr town, so I thought that I would treat myself to a nice sandwich from Cosi. Mind you, Cosi isn’t necessarily a super fancy meal, but it’s affordable and I really like their food. I rarely go, but when I do I always get the turkey avocado sandwich because it is delicious. I trek all the way to the restaurant, thinking about this sandwich the entire time. As I get closer and closer, I’m reminded of how much I love Cosi and why that specific sandwich is so good, and overall it’s so nice and I am so excited to get this sandwich- so naturally, when I get there the restaurant is closed. Not closed for the night, like closed closed, as in goodbye.

Walking back to my room, I decided that I needed some cheering up, and turned my Spotify Christmas songs back on. As I’m accelerating my pace to get back to home quicker, I notice that most of the “Christmas” music is actually assortments of songs from The Jackson 5 which was confusing because they do sing holiday songs, but they were playing everything but those?? As much as I love “Can You Feel It” I was really trying to feel holly-jolly. The walk home was not as festive as this holiday elf would have wanted, but I couldn’t change the songs because my hands were full of delicate items.

When I finally got back to my room, I broke out my adult purchase (wrapping paper) and began to tackle the gifts.

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Only when I started wrapping did I realize that 1) I can’t wrap a nice present to save my life and 2) all of my gifts, ALL OF THEM, were weird shapes. Most of my gifts look like little lumps, but again, the lumps have heart and soul in them, so I’m just hoping my lumpy gifts make my friends smile. In addition, I couldn’t remember if Pam likes to unwrap presents so I took a risk and wrapped all of her things individually. This included the food items and the gifts that were already wrapped by a company. So, Pam if you are reading this and don’t like unwrapping a bunch of things- too bad you’re stuck with it because it took 4 hours and I’m not unwrapping all of them.

By about eleven at night, the deed was done. Most of my gifts were wrapped (I only have one more package coming in the mail!!!) With my holiday music turned off, and my wrapping paper stored preciously under my bed, I finished up the night by watching last year’s SNL holiday episode. The best holiday elf, aka me, succeeded once again and is ready for the winter holidays of 2016.

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