Enter the Snowflake's lair... Circulation: 186,904,163 Issue: 171 | 31st day of Celebrating, Y6
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A Holiday To... OOH Boy, A Borovan Plushie!

by theonlyjessica


The Advent Calendar - Oh hi everyone, see, I just got this Borovan Plushie at the Advent Calendar today! This is awesome! Huh? I was writing a what? Oh yeah... am I The Only Jessica who gets distracted too often around this time of year? I don't believe it. Can I not stay focused for one minute? Let's hope I can. Can you?

OK, how many times have you been distracted around December forgetting to do the many things you have to do? Let's see, it's the holidays. If your to-do list isn't full, you've probably been in the dark so long you've lost track of time.

We have to: go gift-shopping, prepare that holiday meal for our pets, decorate our Neohomes with all of the pieces of furniture we lugged home from the advent calendar, get our gifts wrapped and under the tree, send our Neofriends their Neomail holiday greetings, send our friends their Neogreetings, spread that contagious holiday cheer (don't tell me you forgot!), and do all this while reaping the rewards of staying up late AND sleeping in long. And Neopian Times Writers like ourselves have to finish writing our Christmas Special entries to The Neopian Times so you can read them with your cup of Borovan when you read this issue.

Now, grab your copy of "A Quick Reference Dictionary", and look up "procrastinate." Better yet, when was the last time you said "I'll go gift-shopping tomorrow?" Just a few days ago? I thought so. That's procrastinating. We all do it. Unless you've got a law-binding schedule that wont allow you to or else the Chia Police will haul you away faster than Adee the Chia hauls away his ice cream.

Do you have that guilty feeling in your gut, knowing that if you don't finish that to-do list soon, there wont be much point after a while? Actually, by the time you read this, there probably isn't much point anymore. But, there's still New Years, and Valentine's Day after that. And you're probably going to do the same thing for those too. Procrastinate your new years party, and procrastinate getting that special Neopet a special something for Valentine's Day. In fact, I must confess, I procrastinated this article for quite a while too.

You're probably thinking that I just said that by the time you read this there wont be much point, so why is this in the holiday special, when I should save it for a future one, where their may be time to help a few lazy procrastinators. But, I intend it for this Winter, this Holiday Season, as my gift to you, so that you may be ready for future holidays.

So now, I have a few tips for you to avoid procrastinating, and I will try to avoid list form, because it seems to be a trend, and I want to be The Only Jessica who isn't following trends. Actually, I wont give you tips at all. I'm going to get you right into the holiday thing.

Firstly, you have to get that mouse of the games button, for I have the foresight to predict it hovering there. Great, now you might want to think about some possible ideas for holiday greetings to send. They could be a simple letter with best wishes for the coming year, or you could write an elaborate sonnet (a type of poem, with very complex, strict rules) for each person on your Neofriends list. If you're good at churning out sonnets like that, by all means do so if they have the quality to be appreciated.

Next, you might want to think about some gifts. Alright, maybe not everyone is very close to you anymore. And maybe you had a fight with someone on your list recently. And maybe you just lost touch with a few people. That's OK, you don't need to send gifts for everyone in Neopia! I recently sent a birthday package to a Neofriend of mine for her birthday, and it took some hard research.

To figure out what sort of thing people on your list would want or use, check out the user lookup. There, you might find hints. I found a short wish list on it, and a note about a gallery too. That led me to her shop, where I found some plushies. It wasn't the largest collection, so she could use a hand I figured. So I typed in "plushie" to the shop wizard, and hit refresh. I did that for a while, till I found items in my price range. Then, I went through my friends shop, to see if she had it already. If she did, looked up the individual item to find the best price. On a side note, this is a good bargain hunting technique as well. I found some items dramatically lower than the others, simply from refreshing and checking some individual items. If you're checking a long wish list or a big shop to see if the person has or wants the item, try the "CTRL + F" command, to get a "search" box, to find any words you're looking for on that particular page.

Keep in mind, this is only one example. If you know that your friend is an avid battler, you might want to consider weapons. Now, admittedly, these are more expensive than plushies for instance, and now it's not a gallery, you're looking for something that's quality. If you don't want to ask what weapons they have, or use, you could always be sneaky and challenge the person. Granted, you might not discover all of the items in their arsenal, but you'd get an idea of what they've covered, and what they're lacking. There's not much you can do if they reject your challenge though, or if either of you loose in a hit.

I'm not going to go through a comprehensive guide to picking the right gift, because that'd be distracting me from my article. You should have an idea of how creative you can be to figuring out gifts.

I want to cover two last big things now, spreading some holiday cheer, and guild activities. I'm not going to tell you to donate to the money tree. Some older Neopians could probably write an entire rebuttal article against that me if I told you too. Something about not actually getting the people that really need it. I'm telling you to go make someone's day. Right now, after you finish reading. Find someone on the Neoboards that needs a hand, say something nice, help someone out with a Faerie Quest, gift out Faerie Paintbrushes to people you've never met. Maybe not that last one, but you get the idea. Set a good example for Dr. Sloth, instead of just saying he should stop trying to take over Neopia and be nice. Adopt a pet if you can afford it and can keep another.

And lastly, about guilds. It's about time we dig ourselves out of the dumps. Not the Meridell Rubbish Dumps, the dumps of despair. If everything is getting boring, now is as good a time as any to brighten some things up. Hold a meeting with your council to come up with some ideas. Give out some presents to people that post, host a holiday trivia, and send out some guild spirit reminders. The sky, and Neopets Terms and Conditions, are the limits. Those with the power to change the layout are encouraged to give it a seasonal style. A little tweak here and there keeps the mind stimulated, and interested. It refreshes people. And a little refreshing could do wonders for the coming year. A fresh start.

Alright, I think I got over my procrastinating this article, because it's finished! Wasn't that a sneaky psychological trick I used on you? I gave you ideas to get you motivated into doing this stuff before you forget, instead of tips! Tips to avoid procrastinating, really, I'm sure you've heard about them all - you know, the ones that tell you to write things down and get them in a daily agenda. I don't really listen to them, so why should I expect you to? This is The Only Jessica that is signing off at this moment, and feel free to send me comments and questions, and I LOVE constructive criticism. I adore it in fact. That's all I want for the holidays from my readers. Hint hint, nudge nudge.

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