I want to read 

Wear red sweaters 

And only listen to The Barenaked  Ladies 


I bought a coat 

That goes down to my ankles 

You’ll laugh when you see it 


I will only let the cold in enough

To numb my toes into ice  

skates  And  put  snowflakes  in your hair


I would swim through snowbanks

To get to the fireside with you 

Just a little quicker


Everything you need for a cozy winter break at home

On a scale of 1-10, how much do you dislike packing? Is it somewhere between 12 – 15? Same here. Packing is definitely one of the most stressful parts of going on a trip. I often find myself forgetting things, stuffing bags to maximum capacity, and regretting deciding to leave items behind. This stress, combined with hours of time to fill with productive procrastination leading up to exams, inspired  me to create a home for the holidays packing guide to share with everyone headed home this break! If you are going on a sunny vacation this December, I’m super jealous and this guide unfortunately won’t help you. This is a Canadian winter staycation guide, my qualifications being that I am the kind of person who always packs a week (or two) in advance and unpacks immediately upon returning home (I know, it’s a lot). 


The first thing to keep in mind when packing for a staycation, is to remember what you have at home. I don’t know about you, but I have about six hoodies left at home and multiple pairs of pajamas. If I wear what I have at home, I have more room for packing other outfits or gifts I’ve already bought for other people. A second important factor to note is that you are probably going to want to bring back more stuff to school than you bring home. Maybe you will get something for Christmas that you want to bring to Kingston, or you’ll find something at home that you meant to bring in September. I recommend packing light, especially for this reason. You can also pack an extra bag inside your bag if you are worried it might be a tight fit in January. 


A final general piece of advice is to think ahead to specific events that you know you will be attending over the break. If you and your friends are planning on hanging out on New Years, plan out the outfit you will wear  to make everyone want to be your New Year’s kiss (in a Covid safe way of course). If you know you will be attending a couple dress-up events, be strategic and think of ways you can wear the same shoes or accessories in different ways on each occasion. 


Ok, time for the “official” guide. First, pack your pajamas, keeping in mind that you will probably be wearing them throughout the day so you’ll want a long, warm pair and then maybe an alternate shorter pair if you get hot at night. Next, pack a sweatsuit / leisure set that you know you’ll feel extra comfy in. In addition to the sweatsuit, pack one festive sweater for any potential holiday parties – or honestly just if the mood strikes. For pants, I would suggest two or three pairs of versatile and weather appropriate bottoms. I’m going to be packing two pairs of jeans that are staples in my closet and one pair of leggings. If you aren’t that bothered by repeating outfits, you can probably get away with only packing two pairs of pants, it’s up to you. 


If you have no fancy events over the break, pack extra sweats and skip to the next paragraph. If you plan on having a fancy dinner with your family, or maybe taking a big family picture, then make sure you pack a nice outfit for the occasion. If you have multiple formal occasions, consider repeating an outfit and shoes and adding different accessories.


In addition to the obvious undies and socks, make sure you pack fuzzy socks and socks that will keep your toes toasty during any skating, skiing, or sledding that may occur over the holidyas. I am personally against ankle socks in the wintertime, leave those behind and grab your Roots socks. For shirts, I recommend packing two to three versatile long sleeves, such as; waffle tees, a layerable graphic tee-shirt, and one emergency going-out top. 


To wrap up, make sure there are a pair of slippers waiting for you wherever you end up this holiday and don’t skip out on the cozy, comfy, cold-weather clothing articles. Be strategic in remembering what you (and possibly your siblings?) already have at home and take the time to plan ahead where possible if you want to pack light. The last things to add to your bag are your toiletries, entertainment, and electronics. I usually put all these things in my purse, or a smaller “carry-on” bag that I can keep with me if I need to take a bus, train, or car trip. I recommend packing your toiletries the morning you leave, adding products to your bag immediately after you use them to ensure you have what you will need. Make sure your chargers, keys, and wallet are pre-packed or left out in an obvious spot so that you don’t forget them. If you are bringing multiple pairs of shoes home, I would suggest wearing your boots because they are heavy to carry and take up a lot of space. 


This home for the holidays packing guide is brought to you by the power of exam procrastination and winter break excitement. You’ve worked hard this semester and deserve a staycation spent lounging around in a sweatsuit, catching up on Netflix and cuddling your pet. Don’t forget your charger, wallet, or underwear this holiday season and make sure you remember a good book – my suggestion is “The Back of the Turtle” by Thomas King, (shoutout to ENGL276!). See you all in the New Year, stay cozy!



Next Post