No, Politics Are Not Worth Ruining Christmas

No, Politics Are Not Worth Ruining Christmas

"Tis the season to be jolly", so it is probably not the greatest idea to talk about your political opinions.

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Now, let me be honest. I love talking about politics. The subject is something I am very passionate about. I have grown up with having political discussions/debates in family dinners all of the time. My immediate family typically agrees on general political issues, and so the discussions are rather fun. I also encourage you to have such discussions, because they are rather important. Not because talking about the issues changes anything, but it forces you to think critically about your stances on such issues. I say these things to show that I am certainly not against having political debates. However, there are proper places and times for such discussions, and I would argue that during a Christmas dinner, with family you barely remember the last time you met, is not the correct place to point fingers on partisan issues.

Understand this, Christmas has far greater importance than what is trending on the news. This is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the savior of the world. Even if you do not celebrate Christmas for that reason, it is still a very important holiday that is meant to unite others together. Celebrating Jesus should be a unifying factor during the Christmas. According to my beliefs, it is the sole reason that Christmas has any true value at all. Even though cliches such as, "Jesus is the reason for the season" are easy to understand and hold true, I think Jesus is truly the only reason for the season. So I would encourage you to keep the focus on unifying things such as the birth of Jesus, family values, or general joyful subjects. Family Christmas should be looked back on as being a positive memory, so don't attempt to spoil it for something of less meaning.

Yes, politics are important. No, they are not worth hating family members over.

Family is very important. It is very concerning that political news can divide families for years because of an unnecessary discussion that led to animosity towards each other. Again, politics is important. But, family is more important. Before engaging in controversial topics think about what you are trying to achieve. Is it a friendly conversation that isn't driven by personal agendas? Though it may be rare, that does occur. On the contrary, is it a pointless personal agenda fueled debate that seeks to put down someone else so that your opinion is validated? I believe this is often the case.

Sadly, many people are attracted to debate tactics that provoke others to anger, because this is equated to winning a debate. Being provocative does not mean you are winning a debate, and it also just leads to putting someone down. It is easy to say something controversial that angers someone and feel like you have said some truly profound thing, but that tactic is rarely beneficial. Please, remember that a Christmas family reunion is not a nationally televised debate, and it is not necessary for you to attempt to offend someone.

Though what you say may be true, their feelings of hurt from your words can equally be true.

Why would I push for avoiding political discussion altogether? Simple, politics today is in a very nasty place. To say the least, politics is a very divisive today, and probably more so than it ever has been before. Individual's political opinions make up an important part of their identity today. Debates that seem harmless at first can easily be perceived as an attack on personal identity. That is why harsh arguments can be started from virtually nothing. Even though you may be harmlessly attempting to learn or change a family member's mind, it can lead to a shouting match nightmare.

I ask you to think about what is more important to you during the Christmas season. Is it remembering and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ? Maybe it is family bonding and catching up with old friends? Perhaps it is a mix of the two. I doubt many of you look forward to having serious political discussions that lead to boosted egos and hurt family members. I love political debates and I think they have their benefits. However, I know that Christmas stands for something far greater than meaningless arguments about tax policies with your cousin. It is not worth exchanging the joy and love of Christmas season for pointless debates. So, in closing, I would like for everyone to seriously consider holding off on politics for Christmas and instead pursue the joy that potentially can be had.


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25 Things Every Millennial Woman Wants Underneath Her Xmas Tree

*hint, hint*
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Believe it or not, Christmas season is upon us! *cue the Christmas music*

OK, maybe it's a little early for that but never too early to start the Christmas wishlist. Here are a few items that may be at the top of your college student's wish list.

1. Starbucks gift cards

The multiple weekly trips to Starbucks are starting to add up. One of the best gifts I could receive this Christmas is money added to my Starbucks account to fuel my ability to get through this next semester.

2. Any gift card really

Let's be real, as a broke college student, the less money I have to actually spend at the grocery store/Chipotle/Panera/anywhere the better. Gift cards are a gift from God because you can get exactly what you what without the stress of having to pay for it!

3. Leggings

Lulu Lemon, Old Navy, TJ Maxx, whatever your preference on leggings, they are essential to everyday life as a college student, yet a very annoying thing to have to purchase on your own so getting them as a gift is definitely a treat.

4. Socks

Lame, I know but so essential. Bring on the fuzzy socks!

5. Candles

If we're being honest these are probably banned in all of our apartments/dorms but we've probably burned at least two all the way down already this semester so we could use a couple new ones. Stress Relief from Bath and Body Works and Volcano are the BEST.

6. Big sweaters

Absolutely essential to get through the winter. Name something comfier than a giant sweater, leggins and fuzzy socks. It's not possible.

7. MONEY

This one is a given. Probably the best gift a college student could receive.

8. New shoes

Whether it's new running shoes, Hunter Boots, going out shoes, you can never have too many and these are always on my wish list.

9. Subscriptions to monthly care packages

So I just recently discovered that this is a thing. You can actually subscribe college students to receive monthly care packages. How amazing is that? There's nothing better than checking your mail during a hard week and discovering a care package with snacks.

10. Snacks

Another lame one I know but seriously snacks are another annoying thing to buy yourself in college so when it comes from someone else, they're even better. You can never have too many and they save us so many times throughout the semester.

11. Mugs

If your college student is anything like me, you already have 18 coffee mugs but each one is important to you and you can NEVER have too many. There's just so many cute ones out there!

12. Cute decorations for the future apartment

Whether the student is currently living in an apartment or will be next year, a cute decoration or two is such an exciting thing to receive and will fuel our eager desire to start designing.

13. Coffee

The key to survival in college, and expensive for us to buy on our own so again, such a great gift to receive this Christmas.

14. S'well water bottle

These are so trendy right now and so necessary for college students to take with them, whether it's to class or to the gym.

15. Makeup

If you know your student well and know their favorites, this is a great gift idea.

16. Books

Okay this one perhaps is risky. Some find this one of the greatest gifts of all time, especially if you happen to get them one on their wish list or it could perhaps be not such a great gift if the student isn't a "reader."

17. Scarves

A great "go to" gift. You can never go wrong with getting a college girl a stylish infinity scarf.

18. Subscription to Spotify

Nothing is more annoying than the $5-$15 that comes out of our bank accounts every month but you could change that by covering that cost for us ;).

19. College Apparel

One of the greatest gifts for a college student is more t-shirts/sweatshirts to represent their school because lets be honest, you can never have too many.

20. Blanket

Nothing beats a soft TJ-Maxx blanket to keep one your bed. This is guaranteed to make your college student happy without breaking the bank.

21. Phone case

If your student is anything like me, they get sick of their phone case pretty quickly and its always exciting to be able to switch things up.

22. Gum

Okay yes, this one is a little weird but gum is essential after your morning coffee and goes pretty quickly so its always nice to have some extra packs laying around when its needed.

23. Nail Polish

Nail polish is one of those things I never buy for myself but is essential and new colors are always an exciting gift to receive.

24. Candy

The ultimate "stocking stuffer."

25. Love

When in doubt (or if you're broke), love is the greatest gift of all!

Cover Image Credit: Instagram//S'Well

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My Favorite Christmas Songs That Instantly Put Me In The Holiday Spirit

We all have fond memories of a holiday song that instantly brings back the sounds and smells from their youth.

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We all have fond memories of a holiday song that instantly brings back the sounds and smells from their youth. I grew up in a small town in northwestern Pennsylvania and experienced the seasonal winter wonderland from Thanksgiving through New Year. There are many fond and special memories that I reflect on all year long.

Besides the traditional baking, decorating, movies, or television shows, I have a special list of holiday songs that put me in the mood when this time of year becomes overwhelming. This is a short playlist, and I've added or replaced a few of the songs over the years, but I always seem to go back to them for comfort.

Growing up in the heart of the snow belt, we always had a white Christmas, and many years a white Thanksgiving too. That is why "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby is on my list. Besides loving the two movies he and the song are featured. "White Christmas" brings to mind the nostalgic imagery whether you grew up around snow or not. Crosby, of course, is a true crooner and his jazzy voice adds a sweet and sad sound to bring out the inner child longing to be back in that time of wonder.

Two of my favorite Beatles recorded holiday songs that, in my opinion, will forever be timeless. "So This Is Christmas" by John Lennon, was recorded in 1972. Lennon's continued protest on war is written in the lyrics and even though it was a different era, we are still hoping the fighting will stop and "Let's hope it's a good one without any fear." Paul McCartney recorded "Wonderful Christmas Time" in 1979 along with his wife Linda. Paul is my favorite Beatle and there is not a song that he sings that I do not like, and this one has Paul written all over it. The upbeat happy rhythm of the song and the verses are simple yet portray holiday cheer. The reviews of this song written by a Beatle are for the most part negative, but in the holiday spirit it's a very big step above "Gramma Got Run Over By A Reindeer." It is truly one of those songs like most Beatle songs, you either love it or you hate it.

In 1984, Wham recorded a song that has been rerecorded by almost every pop artist for their holiday albums, "Last Christmas." Some facts behind this timeless treasure, Wham donate their royalties from this song to the Ethiopian famine. Also, George Michael wrote, performed, produced, and played every instrument on this song. There are not very many holiday love songs and the only version I prefer is this one sung by George Michael.

In 1977 Bing Crosby and David Bowie sang a duet that is by far the best bridge of generational musical genre of all time. "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy" is a song not for singing along, but for reflecting on the beauty of the holiday season. The classic crooner Crosby and the ever-evolving Bowie together has been described as a "surreal event." "Little Drummer Boy" was written in 1941, while the "Peace on Earth" tune and lyrics, written by Ian Fraser, Larry Grossman, and Alan Kohan, were added to the song, especially for Bowie and Crosby's recording.

These last two songs hold a special place in my heart. They are songs my mother sang during the holidays. "That's What I Want for Christmas" by Nancy Wilson is a beautiful melody and Wilson's bluesy voice is relaxing and the romantic lyrics are what I love the most about this song. My mother sang this song to me any time I would ask her what she wanted for Christmas. Last, is the timeless treasure "The Christmas Song." It was written in 1945 and Nat King Cole was the first to record the song in 1946. He was my mother's favorite crooner and she sang this song to us every Christmas and I am lucky enough to have a recording of it. Hearing her voice is one the best Christmas presents I receive every year.

Wishing everyone a very festive and musical holiday season.

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