An artistic guide to staying occupied

Do's and don'ts on how to spend your break

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When Thanksgiving break comes around, students hope for a time of relaxation and a well-deserved freedom from the pressure of academics. One of the benefits of a break is getting back to doing what you enjoyed over the summer. Breaks seldom feel like they’re long enough, so here’s a guide to maximize the fun in your vacation and experience what the art world has to offer.

DO get in touch with your intellectual side:

You might have an assignment or two to finish over the break, but a good way to keep a balance between schoolwork and leisure is keeping those brain muscles active with a good book.

Many books are being released as films this year, like Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1 and J.R.R Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

It’s a gratifying feeling to finish a book, but even more gratifying to have a significant understanding of the book before seeing the film. Choosing a book you want to read should make it feel more entertaining, especially when you can tell your friends with confidence: “I’ve read the book, and the book was better!”

DON’T listen to the same old holiday albums:

When the holiday season comes around, Christmas music and carols can be heard almost everywhere you go: at the mall, on radio stations and maybe in your own home. Some of the “regulars” mainly played range from Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” But who says you can’t “experiment” for the holidays?

For those who like punk rock listen to Bad Religion’s Christmas Songs, filled with eight Christmas classics that will leave you considering a punk-rock-themed holiday party. If country music is your thing, then listen to the cast of A&E’s Duck Dynasty’s country-Christmas album Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas. The album features 14 tracks of covers and originals that might leave you wondering what you just listened to in the best way possible.

DO go back in time:

People like to gather around during the holiday season and watch their favorite movies. Being back home on break generates a feeling of nostalgia, things like your childhood bedroom and family stories of when you were younger make going home seem like a getaway back in time. You could even watch some Christmas movie classics like, The Nightmare Before Christmas.

This film, from famed director Tim Burton, follows his typically morbid but charming take on the Christmas season, Jack Skellington from Halloweentown ventures into Christmastown.

DON’T stay home:

If Buffalo is home for you, then don’t let the snow stop you from enjoying your break. The city has many things to offer, as long as you know where to find them. On Nov. 27 from 7 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the College Street Gallery is hosting an open-mic night. It’s open to all writers, poets and musicians and it’s free. Maybe singing Christmas carols is your expertise; it would make for a fun way to spend your holiday break.

You could also view the theater production of A Christmas Carol, presented by the Raiders of Niagara and directed by Christine Coniglio. The production will be ongoing at the Episcopal Church of Advent in Kenmore during the week of Nov. 23 on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.

email: arts@ubspectrum.com