Coat of Ice
The ever-increasing Canada Goose sightings and steadily declining quality of HUDS meals can only mean one thing: the end of the semester is near. Before finals, though, we have to make it through reading period — a weeklong purgatory of not-quite-break but not-quite-grind. Instead of bringing a sleeping bag to Lamont for the week, we’ve collected some festive alternatives.

Roast your profs on the Q

Nothing says catharsis like an extended, anonymous rant about the classes that have made you suffer all semester long. Since your final grades are held hostage until you submit feedback, you might as well check this annoying item off your to-do list now. Typing up all your grievances beforehand may just help you focus during your exams, instead of getting distracted by the built up rage you’ve accumulated over the past months—we love fake productivity. And if you spend your newfound free time perfecting a poetic roast, who knows, you may just get featured in the Crimson.

Host A Friendsmas

You’ve heard of Friendsgiving, now get ready for its winter, not necessarily religious cousin, Friendsmas! The lull in between classes and finals is the perfect opportunity to blast Mariah Carey’s "All I Want For Christmas Is You" on repeat to get into the holiday spirit. Grab your friends, decorate your common room with twinkle lights, make cookies in the Student Oasis (it’s under Mem Church; did you know that we can bake there?), and marathon wonderfully terrible Hallmark Christmas movies. If you want to go all-out, even try organizing a Secret Santa or gingerbread house making competition.

Eat Away Your Feelings

With exams approaching, Harvard gives back to its student body what any smart institution would for college kids on the verge of mental breakdowns: free food. Join the Harvard Square Business Association on December 1st in front of the Smith Center from 1 to 2 p.m. for free latkes. Or on the 15th stop by the Smith Center again from 2 to 4 p.m. to awkwardly avoid eye contact with carolers as you take your your cup of free hot chocolate and make a run for it.

Ice Skating in Boston Common

Voted the best outdoor skating rink by USA Today, the ice skating rink at the Frog Pond in Boston Common is a must for any of us looking to be the next Olympic champion figure skater. A mere 20 minutes away on the T (get off at Park Street), it’s an easy half-day trip that’ll have you forget all the studying you have left to do. Don’t stress about having to bring your own skates: the rink’s got you covered, with rentals available for $12.

ZooLights at Stone Zoo

Looking to really escape the bubble? Head 30 minutes north of Boston to the Stone Zoo. Decked out in twinkling lights, the zoo offers you the chance to see bears and other cute animals in a setting straight out of the North Pole. Need even more motivation? The zoo offers a special “Holiday Hot Chocolate with the Reindeer” program, giving you the opportunity to snap a pic with the real-life Rudolph with sipping some pure chocolate goodness. Count us in.

Newbury Street Shopping

If you’ve been saving up all semester and looking to treat yo’ self, Newbury Street is the place to go. You’ll find stores catering to all styles and budgets on a street that’s packed with breathtaking window displays. If you’re looking to splurge, head to Met Back Bay and take part in their Hot Chocolate Experience, featuring four different types of decadent chocolate. Your sweet tooth will thank us later.

Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill is the go-to neighborhood if you want to catch a glimpse of Boston’s ~elite~. But what makes a trip to Beacon Hill appealing — aside from the quick T ride — is the plethora of quaint and Instagram-worthy streets with townhouses decked out for the holidays. Wreaths and elaborate Christmas light displays will undoubtedly be out in full force, making all your high school friends jealous they don’t go to school in a city as cute as you do.