Top 10 Best Movies to Watch During the Holiday Season

Top 10 Best Movies to Watch During the Holiday Season

Some staple holiday classics

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One of my favorite things to do during the holiday season is to watch movies while I decorate the Christmas tree, or bake holiday cookies. Here are some of my favorites!

Elf 

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One of the most quotable movies of the 21st century, Elf is a must-see around Christmas. I don't think a holiday season has passed without me watching it at least twice.

Love Actually 

One of the greatest romantic comedies of all time, Love Actually is my personal favorite movie, no matter the season. It involves nine intertwined stories, all of which examine different levels of human existence, and it is all centered around the holiday season. The clip above is from one of the sweetest scenes in the movie.

Scrooge 

Although there have been many different versions of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," made, Scrooge, staring Albert Finney and made in 1970, is, in my opinion, the best one. The clip above is my favorite song from the musical, "Thank You Very Much."

A Christmas Story 

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A Christmas Story is a classic Christmas movie. It is one of my favorites to watch with my family while we decorate our Christmas tree.

White Christmas

White Christmas

Although it was released in 1954, White Christmas remains to be an iconic Christmas movie because of its amazing soundtrack and wholesome plot line.

Four Christmases 

Four Christmases is a great movie to watch if you are looking for a comedy. Due to flight cancellations, Brad and Kate have to forgo their usual tropical Christmas vacation, and instead visit all of their crazy families in one day. The clip above is one of my favorite scenes, where Kate and Brad get roped into playing Joseph and Mary in the nativity scene.

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To The Boy I Thought I Would Spend Forever With, I've Found A New Forever

Hey, I know I told you this wouldn't happen. But it did, and I'm sorry it's going to hurt you, but I can't keep it a secret anymore.

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Hey, I know I told you this wouldn't happen. But it did, and I'm sorry it's going to hurt you, but I can't keep it a secret anymore.

I've found someone new, and he is incredible. We don't have the type of relationship you and I had. It's so completely different. You and I dated for marriage (well, we see how that turned out). He and I aren't ready for a serious commitment, and it's so refreshing. It is so refreshing to have a fun and open relationship with an amazing guy—a guy who doesn't belittle me and doesn't put me down every time I do something wrong, a guy I can have fun with and talk about anything with.

I'll admit, sometimes it's hard. It's hard to be with someone new. Because, after all, you and I dated for three years, and it's hard to adapt to life without the person you shared your life with for three years.

I trusted him right off the bat, isn't that funny? How I couldn't trust you for the three years we dated but I knew this guy for not even a week and I just knew I could trust him?

I'm not comparing you to him because it's unfair to both of you. Because you are both two completely different people. But while I've been with him, I've just been thinking about how crazy different everything is.

I love seeing him. Whether it's just in our class and he sends me texts to try and make me laugh, or for two seconds in the commons, or for an entire night—I just always have so much fun with him. He makes me laugh so much differently. I mean, he heard my real laugh like five days after I met him. Not just my little giggle I give because you and I both know I laugh at everything, but he heard my loud and obnoxiously embarrassing cackle. (And he thought it was cute!)

We don't hold hands when we walk together. We don't talk all the time when we are with each other. We don't text constantly throughout the day. We don't go out to parties together on the weekends.

We share two completely different lives but we do it together, still, somehow.

I'm not dating him for marriage, but I sure am falling for him. Not like, falling in love type of falling. But just like, "Wow, this boy is incredible and shows me that every day."

I am sorry. I'm sorry you weren't my soulmate and that you aren't the person I'm going to end up with. It actually breaks my heart some days when I realize I won't be growing old with you. But I couldn't fathom being with someone that didn't love me for who I am. Even when I changed, you were still supposed to love me and you couldn't do that. I'm sorry I couldn't trust you. I'm sorry you thought I was crazy and annoying. But I found this guy, on a random Tuesday in my last class of the day, because he complimented my Filas, and I am so incredibly blessed that I did. Because, even though it's not for a future, he's giving me the best damn semester this year.

I'm happy. And I want you to be happy too. But it's going to have to be without each other.

Thank you for some of the best three years of my life, but I found someone new, and he's freaking amazing.

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Everything You Need To Know About The Government Shutdown

The longest government shutdown in history will impact every American.

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In the early morning hours of December 22, the longest government shutdown in United States history began. At this writing, the government has been shut down for 24 days -- and counting.

The current shutdown revolves around President Trump's request for over five billion dollars to fund a U.S.-Mexico border wall, which he sees as a necessary response to the "massive Humanitarian Crisis" taking place at the southern border -- the flow of migrants from Central America. Democrats in Congress, who fervently deny the severity of the situation, refuse to allocate funds towards a wall, instead looking to negotiate other measures for border security. Unable to pass bipartisan spending legislation, the government remains closed.But what exactly is a shutdown, and what does it mean for ordinary Americans?

A government shutdown occurs when the annual appropriations bills that fund several government agencies and programs fail to reach passage by both Congress and the president. Congress is in charge of creating these bills, and each year the president must sign them into law in order to fund the government for a new fiscal period. In October, at the beginning of the current fiscal year, only a few of the necessary appropriations bills were enacted, and Congress had until December 21 to enact the rest. However, due to congressional infighting and the President's incessant demands for a wall, the government failed to reach a spending agreement by the deadline, and a shutdown ensued.

Without appropriated funds, any departments or agencies deemed "non-essential" are put on hold under a government shutdown. This means that many federal workers, including those within the Food and Drug Administration and National Park Service, are furloughed, or put on temporary leave without pay. The remaining employees, who work in departments or agencies considered "essential," are forced to work without pay until appropriations are made by Congress and the President. Once the government is open again, they will receive their missed checks in back pay.

Put simply, the 800,000 Americans who work for departments affected by the shutdown have been without a paycheck for almost an entire month now. In past weeks, several of these workers have taken to Washington to protest the shutdown and have appeared on television to voice their frustrations. Forced to deplete their savings to make ends meet, they worry about how they'll make their next mortgage payment and keep their families fed. Paying for daycare services for infants, or college tuition for young adults, has become almost impossible for some.

And government employees aren't the only Americans affected by the shutdown. Though social security checks are sent out and Medicare is paid for, the issuance of insurance cards could cease, meaning that those newly eligible for Medicare could be turned away. Hundreds of sites with hazardous waste or polluted drinking water will go uninspected by the EPA. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, responsible for feeding thousands of impoverished families, cannot last another two months without funding.

Perhaps the scariest effect of the shutdown is its impact on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), responsible for screening passengers at airports. Since the shutdown began, airports across the country have dealt with a shortage of staff, causing long lines and massive travel delays. George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Texas and Miami International Airport in Florida have both been forced to close entire terminals in response to a staffing shortage. On January 14, TSA spokesman Michael Biello tweeted that TSA "experienced a national rate of 7.6 percent unscheduled absences compared to a 3.2 percent rate one year ago, Monday, January 15, 2018." Although the agency claims that security has not been compromised during the shutdown, the lack of workers leaves many travellers skeptical.

As President Trump continues to exploit the "crisis" at the border (see the televised address) and top Democrats defend the merits of legal immigration, it is unclear just how long the shutdown will continue. In the House, Democrats have passed spending bills supporting the immediate re-opening of affected federal departments, but such bills have not yet been brought to the Republican-controlled Senate. There have been no meetings scheduled between the White House and congressional staff, and Trump has abandoned his idea of declaring a national emergency. It seems the only thing left to do is wait.

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