8 Gifts I Received This Holiday That Didn't Cost A Penny

8 Gifts I Received This Holiday That Didn't Cost A Penny

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1. Company of friends and family

Sometimes the best gift is to be surrounded by others, soaking in every moment you have with your loved ones. It doesn't cost a thing to be in the same room as all of your relatives and spend time with them.

2. A full belly

Sure food supplies cost money but a full course meal that took a whole day to be made is priceless. And it's even better when it's shared at a table with the people that you love.

3. Photographs to look back on

As the years go on, and gifts get repeated, you will forget about the socks your great aunt bought you when you were 12; however, you might remeber their bright color in years to come, because of a simple photo that captured the face you made when you unwrapped them. Photographs will always be a priceless joy.

4. Guidance on my future

Relatives are always curious what is going on in your life. Sure it's easy to lie and say, "I'm doing good" when in reality you have no clue what you're doing with your life. For me I like to be completly honest about where I'm at in life, because chances are an aunt, uncle or cousin has been there too at a point, and they are able to give the best advice.


5. Priceless entertainment

Television and Netflix and all that stuff may consume your free time; however, a big family get together can be more entertaining than an episode of "Shameless." Talking about embarrassing things that have happened to you has always been a hilarious conversation at my family get-togethers and always make the night just a little more interesting.

6. Stories to tell my friends

Along with entertainment there's always that one weird uncle who drinks a little more spiked eggnog than nessecary, with this comes great stories to not only put on Snapchat, but to tell your friends and to share at Christmas's in the future.

7. A realization of my priorities

Family has always been an important part of my life; however, at times it's hard to always put them first when school is rough and other things get in the way. Being at home or at your families home with them can truely make you realize what's most important is what's right in front of you. These are the people who care about you the most and who you should show that care back to no matter how hard life gets.

8. Memories I'll never forget

Each year holds its own special story of how what went down and each year holds its own memories. Hold onto these. These are the things you will share with each other the next holiday or moments you share with your future children and grandchildren. Memories are the best gift you may ever receive because you can think of them whenever, without having to worry about where you put them and you can't lose them, and most importantly they are the only gift than can be shared with as many people as you want.

Cover Image Credit: rush country foundation

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The Thank You My Dad Deserves

While our moms are always the heroes, our dads deserve some credit, too.
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Dear Dad,

You’ve gone a really long time without being thanked. I'm not talking about thanks for things like opening the Gatorade bottle I couldn't or checking my tires when my car’s maintenance light is flashing, but rather the thanks I owe you for shaping me into the person I am today.

Thank you for teaching me what I deserve and for not letting me settle for anything less.

While the whole world was telling me I wasn’t good enough, you were there to tell me I was. Whether this was with boys, a friend, or anything else, you always built my confidence to a place I couldn’t build it to on my own. You showed me what my great qualities were and helped me feel unique. But most of all, you never let me settle for anything less than what I deserved, even when I wanted to. Without you, I wouldn’t be nearly as ambitious, outgoing or strong.

Thank you for giving me someone to make proud.

It’s hard to work hard when it’s just for myself, but so easy when it’s for you. All through school, nothing made me happier than getting a good grade back because I knew I got to come home and tell you. With everything I do, you give me a purpose.

SEE ALSO: 20 Things You Say When Calling Your Dad On The Phone

Thank you for showing me what selflessness looks like.

You are the prime example of what putting your family first looks like. If me wanting something means that you can’t get what you want, you’ll always sacrifice. From wearing the same t-shirts you’ve had since I was in elementary school so I could buy the new clothes I wanted, to not going out with your friends so you could come to my shows, you never made a decision without your family at the forefront of your mind. If there is one quality you have that I look up to you for the most, it’s your ability to completely put your needs aside and focus entirely on the wants of others.

Thank you for being the voice in the back of my head that shows me wrong from right.

Even though many of your dad-isms like “always wear a seatbelt” easily get old, whenever I’m in a situation and can’t decide if what I’m doing is right or wrong, I always can hear you in the back of my head pointing me in the right direction. While I may not boost your ego often enough by telling you you’re always right, you are.

Thank you for being real with me when nobody else will.

Being your child hasn’t always been full of happiness and encouragement, but that’s what makes you such an integral part of my life. Rather than sugarcoating things and always telling me I was the perfect child, you called me out when I was wrong. But what separates you from other dads is that instead of just knocking me down, you helped me improve. You helped me figure out my faults and stood by me every step of the way as I worked to fix them.

Most of all, thank you for showing me what a great man looks like.

I know that marriage may seem very far down the road, but I just want you to know that whoever the guy I marry is, I know he’ll be right because I have an amazing guy to compare him to. I know you’re not perfect (nobody is), but you’ve raised me in a such a way that I couldn’t imagine my kids being raised any differently. Finding a guy with your heart, drive, and generosity will be tough, but I know it will be worth it.


Dad, you’re more than just my parent, but my best friend. You’re there for me like nobody else is and I couldn’t imagine being where I am now without you.

Love you forever,

Your little girl

Cover Image Credit: Caity Callan

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16 Meaningful Things You Should Tell The People You Love More Often

The best way to make sure you don't lose the people you care about is to make sure they know how much you care about them.

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One way — the best way in my opinion — to make sure you don't lose the people you care about is to make sure they know how much you care about them. Everybody needs reassurance at times. It's human nature, and nothing feels better than hearing from somebody you love that they appreciate you and love you too.

There are plenty of ways to say "I love you" without saying those three words. Think about the last time you said any of these things to the people you love.

"I see all that you do for me, and I appreciate it." 

If you love somebody, you never keep score. But you should always thank them and make sure they know that what they do for you doesn't go unnoticed.

"Tell me about your day." 

If someone is important to you, you're probably the first person they want to tell things to. Asking this simple question — and making sure to listen to the response — makes them feel closer to you and like you're a part of their life.

This one can be especially crucial for people in long-distance friendships or relationships.

"I'm proud of you." 

"I miss you." 

These three little words can change someone's entire day.

"I'm lucky to have you." 

"Do you need to talk about anything?"

Sometimes, it's hard for people to openly start talking about things that are bothering them or things that they're struggling with. If someone you love seems off, asking this question can be a good opportunity to make them feel like they can talk to you about whatever is on their mind.

"What can I do to improve our relationship?"

This is something relationship counselors preach about, and it applies to relationships of any kind. It's so important, and your relationships will only benefit from this conversation!

"Is there anything I can do to make your day better?"

"I wish you were here."

"I don't want to lose you."

"You look really good today."

This one is super easy and not as deep, but it still makes someone feel really good — especially when they aren't expecting it.

"When can I see you next?" 

This is so underrated! It feels so good to know someone is looking forward to seeing you again. We stan effort!

"You make me so happy."

"You're doing amazing."

"I hope you have a good day."

This is super easy to text or tell someone in the morning. It lets them know you're thinking about them and sets up everyone to be in a good mood for the day!

"I'm sorry I don't say these things more often."

These are all such small sentences that hold so much meaning. Believe me when I say hearing these things from the right person at the right time can change everything for somebody.

It takes seconds to say/text these things, so there really is no excuse for not doing it.

Before you think, "Well, they never say this stuff to me either," stop and think about the last time you said one of these things to someone. Sometimes, it takes you to start. Your relationship is worth more than your pride.

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