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Your ultimate guide for things to do over winter break

Julia Barth, Features Editor

With one week of classes left and final exams right around the corner, Canisius students are beginning to look forward to a much-needed break before the spring semester starts. Winter break is a great time to rest and relax, as well as catch up with friends, family and — most importantly! — yourself.

Some people take the time off to pursue some hobbies, work on projects outside of school or even just catch up on the shows, movies and books that they have been meaning to watch for a long time.

Today, I wanted to share some things I’ll be doing over break and some recommendations I have for readers. Looking ahead, I can’t wait to have a month off not only for the holidays, but for some much-needed “me” time.

I’ve really been slacking at some of my hobbies since being back at school, so I am very excited to start those back up again. I’m hopefully going to finish the paint by numbers I’ve been working on since summer. Paint by numbers are a really great activity for people who aren’t very artistic but love the creativity that comes with painting. It’s also perfect for a very meticulous person like me, since painting in the lines is tricky at times.

While I paint, I like to listen to podcasts: these two activities combined are great for relaxation and a reliable way to spend less time on my phone. One of my favorite podcasts is “Anything Goes” with Emma Chamberlain. I’ve always been a fan of her on YouTube, but I’ve found I like her podcast so much more. She talks about anything from light-hearted to serious topics, and she is extremely open and raw while still being very relatable.

Another podcast I enjoy is “Smartless” with Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes. They put their comedian flair on a typical interview-based podcast, and they have landed many noteworthy guests such as Seth Rogan, Tina Fey and LeBron James. Not only is each episode hilarious, but I’ve learned so much about the lives of some of my favorite celebrities through it.

The last hobby that I am excited to pick back up again over break is playing the piano. I was never a piano player and was never put in lessons as a kid, but recently I bought a keyboard and have enjoyed looking up tutorials for my favorite songs on YouTube and learning them through memorization. I find playing an instrument really stimulates my brain and although I get frustrated (extremely frustrated) at times, it's truly satisfying to finally nail a song you’ve been practicing for a while. I bought my keyboard on Amazon for $50.

Now all of that sounds nice, but I know the majority of my time over break will be spent watching shows and movies and reading books. I hope to finish my current watch “Succession” very soon, since I am obsessed with it. It follows the trials and tribulations of a rich family and each of their problems and it gets crazier as it goes on.

Some shows on my watch list include “Gilmore Girls” (no, I’ve never watched it), “Fleabag,” “Dickinson,” “Community” and “Ozark.” I’ve heard great things about all of these shows and I think it’s finally time that I sit down and commit to them.

Some shows that I’ve already watched but I want to recommend anyways include “Anne with an E” and “Peaky Blinders” if you are looking for historical dramas. The former is based on the classic book series “Anne of Green Gables,” a story that takes place during the late 1800s, and the latter follows a crime family in England just after World War I (it is amazing, but also pretty graphic — be warned!).

For a short series that you could watch quickly, I’d recommend “Normal People” and “Only Murders in the Building” which are both limited series on Hulu. I always have recommendations for sitcoms and the ones I’ve loved recently are “Arrested Development” (hence why I listen to “Smartless”) and “Superstore.” Finally, if you want something truly comforting to watch with the family, I’d recommend “Somebody Feed Phil” which is a travel and food show hosted by Phil Rosenthal in which he travels to different cities all over the world and takes viewers to the best restaurants and spots for food.

As for movies, there’s seriously way too many on my list to put in here. I have some classics that I want to get under my belt, but besides that I’ll be watching any rom-com, classical period piece, Hallmark Christmas movie or Marvel creation coming my way (I already have tickets to see the midnight premiere of “Spider-Man: No Way Home with my family!).

And for books, I want to actually start reading the “Anne of Green Gables” series since I loved the show, and as I try to get through the classics I might also read “Sense and Sensibility.” Some books I would recommend that would be perfect for break include “Little Women,” “Pride and Prejudice,” “Vanishing Falls” and — of course — “Twilight” (and no, I will never move on from it).

That was a lot of recommendations in one article, so take what I say with a grain of salt: take the time to do some of your own research and decide what would make you the happiest. I hope you get some much-needed rest and relaxation over the holidays, and hopefully one of these recommendations makes its way to you this break!

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