Why I Will Never Buy A Real Christmas Tree

Why I Will Never Buy A Real Christmas Tree

It's probably not why you think
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I will never buy a real Christmas tree. I know, I know, that sounds like a harsh statement, maybe even a challenge against the spirit of the Christmas season. But, as terrible as it sounds, I do have a legitimate reason for my Christmas tree abstinence. It’s not because of the prices, or because I believe cutting the trees down is a sin against nature. It’s not because I hate Christmas, or because I don’t want to have the hassle of cleaning up tiny, sticky pine needles for a month. I don’t have an opinion on tree prices or cutting or clean up. And I certainly don’t hate Christmas. My reason for refusing to ever buy a tree is simple. I am allergic to them.

Yes, you read write. This poor, unfortunate soul is allergic to Christmas trees. When I was growing up, picking out a tree from the local grocery store (I know, real classy) and then keeping it alive and watered for the next month was a tradition. We decorated it with different colored lights and Hallmark ornaments and regularly vacuumed up pine needles from around the base. And every year, without fail, I got walking pneumonia. At first, it was a coincidence, then a concern, and finally, a realization: maybe there was a reason I couldn’t breathe normally for the majority of December.

I was diagnosed with asthma when I was eleven, after a very long and scary attack during which I lost enough oxygen to make my lips and fingers turn blue. It was not fun. 10 out of 10 would not do again. While my diagnosis meant a rather strict medication regime for a while, it also meant my family got some understanding about my annual walking pneumonia crisis. My doctor ran an extensive allergy test to find out what things could trigger my asthma attacks. Along with physical activity and smoke, tree pollen—specifically pine—was one of my biggest triggers. Since it would often take days or weeks of exposure to the tree for my asthma to get bad enough to lead to pneumonia, the correlation wasn’t clear before. But after that simple test, it was hello oxygen, good-bye Christmas trees.

So I will never buy a real Christmas tree. Call me crazy, but breathing is a little important to me. My family has invested in a somewhat realistic fake tree that sits in our sunroom year round. Not because we’re super excited about Christmas all the time; we’re just too lazy to take it apart and put it in the attic every year. In the end, I guess I get the better end of the deal. Christmas tree scented candles don’t bother me, so I can enjoy the scent without the mess or price. And I get to do it all year long. While breathing. It’s really not such a bad trade.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.gatesmillsvillage.com

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'Baby, It's Cold Outside' Is NOT About Date Rape, It's A Fight Against Social Norms Of The 1940s

The popular Christmas song shouldn't be considered inappropriate.

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The classic Christmas song "Baby, It's Cold Outside" has recently come under attack. There has been controversy over the song being deemed as inappropriate since it has been suggested that it promotes date rape. Others believe that the song is another common example of our culture's promotion of rape. You may be wondering, where did they get that idea from?

The controversy has led to one radio station, WDOK, taking the song off the air and banning it from their station. Some people believe that this song goes against the #MeToo movement since it promotes rape. However, people are not considering the fact that this traditional Christmas song was made in the 1940s.

People are viewing the song from a modern-day cultural perspective rather than from the perspective of the 1940s. "Baby, It's Cold Outside" was written in 1944. Many people have viewed the song from the perspective of our cultural and social norms. People believe that the song promotes date rape because of lyrics that suggest that the male singing is trying to stop the female singer from leaving, and the female singer is constantly singing about trying to escape with verses like "I really can't stay" or "I've got to go home."

When you first view the song from the perspective of today's culture, you may jump to the conclusion that the song is part of the date rape culture. And it's very easy to jump to this conclusion, especially when you are viewing only one line from the song. We're used to women being given more freedom. In our society, women can have jobs, marry and be independent. However, what everyone seems to forget is that women did not always have this freedom.

In 1944, one of the social norms was that women had curfews and were not allowed to be in the same house as a man at a later time. It was considered a scandal if a single woman so much as stayed at another man's house, let alone be in the same room together. It's mind-blowing, right? You can imagine that this song was probably considered very provocative for the time period.

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" is not a song that encourages date rape, but is actually challenging the social norms of society during the time period. When you listen to the song, you notice that at one part of the song, the female states, "At least I can say that I tried," which suggests that she really doesn't want to leave. In fact, most of the song, she is going back and forth the whole time about leaving stating, "I ought to say no…well maybe just a half a drink more," and other phrases.

She doesn't want to leave but doesn't really have a choice due to fear of causing a scandal, which would have consequences with how others will treat her. It was not like today's society where nobody cares how late someone stays at another man's house. Nowadays, we could care less if we heard that our single neighbor stayed over a single man's house after 7. We especially don't try to look through our curtain to check on our neighbor. Well, maybe some of us do. But back then, people did care about where women were and what they were doing.

The female singer also says in the lyrics, "The neighbors might think," and, "There's bound to be talk tomorrow," meaning she's scared of how others might perceive her for staying with him. She even says, "My sister will be suspicious," and, "My brother will be there at the door," again stating that she's worried that her family will find out and she will face repercussions for her actions. Yes, she is a grown woman, but that doesn't mean that she won't be treated negatively by others for going against the social norms of the time period.

Then why did the male singer keep pressuring her in the song? This is again because the song is more about challenging the social norms of the time period. Both the female and male singers in the song are trying to find excuses to stay and not leave.

On top of that, when you watch the video of the scene in which the song was originally viewed, you notice that the genders suddenly switch for another two characters, and now it's a female singer singing the male singer's part and vice versa. You also notice that the whole time, both characters are attracted to one another and trying to find a way to stay over longer.

Yes, I know you're thinking it doesn't matter about the genders. But, the song is again consensual for both couples. The woman, in the beginning, wants to stay but knows what will await if she doesn't leave. The male singer meanwhile is trying to convince her to forget about the rules for the time period and break them.

In addition, the complaint regarding the lyric "What's in this drink?" is misguided. What a lot of people don't understand is that back in 1944, this was a common saying. If you look at the lyrics of the song, you notice that the woman who is singing is trying to blame the alcoholic drink for causing her to want to stay longer instead of leaving early. It has nothing to do with her supposed fear that he may have tried to give her too much to drink in order to date rape her. Rather, she is trying to find something to blame for her wanting to commit a scandal.

As you can see, when you view the song from the cultural perspective of the 1940s, you realize that the song could be said to fight against the social norms of that decade. It is a song that challenges the social constrictions against women during the time period. You could even say that it's an example of women's rights, if you wanted to really start an argument.

Yes, I will admit that there were movies and songs made back in the time period that were part of the culture of date rape. However, this song is not the case. It has a historical context that cannot be viewed from today's perspective.

The #MeToo movement is an important movement that has led to so many changes in our society today. However, this is not the right song to use as an example of the date rape culture.

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The Christmas List for Girls Who Are Transitioning from College Life Into Big Girl Life

I'm right there with ya.

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I know we thought it never would, but college life is quickly coming to an end.

I know it's sad but look on the bright side... one word... PAYCHECK!!!

This is the last Christmas we will pack our bag and go home for a month to completely detox from all the stress and anxiety college brings. Even though we're home and stress-free, we will have in the back in our mind how close the real world is to become our reality.

HAVE NO FEAR! As it is the holiday season, perhaps some family and dear friends can get you gifts that will make you feel better about the transition into the real world.

Here is a Christmas list for the girl who is transitioning from college life into big girl life!

1. A Reliable Computer

Gift a 13.3 Inch MacBook Air, $999

This is a NECESSITY! Now of days technology is EVERYTHING. Having a reliable computer can improve your productivity and land you jobs that require up to date software. Personally, I am a huge Apple person, but gift the brand the person knows well!

The MacBook Air is extremely light and easy to create on. It has up to 12 hours of battery life and 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 or 2.2GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor. Basically in blonde terms... its light and fast and PERFECT for your future job!

Apple link: https://www.apple.com/shop/buy-mac/macbook-air/1.8ghz-dual-core-processor-with-turbo-boost-up-to-2.9ghz-128gb#

2. Car Essentials 

Gift a 42-Piece Emergency Car Tool Kit, $25.71

We all hope it won't happen, but let's get real for a sec... we will ALL have car troubles at one point in our life, so why not be prepared?! This gift offerers road assistance, a certified AAA toolkit, a flashlight and first aid kit. It might not be the most exciting gift we will receive this Christmas, but it sure as heck might save our lives one day!

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Lifeline-4330AAA-Premium-Emergency-Flashlight/dp/B0006MQJ0M/ref

3. Handman Toolkit 

Gift a 65-Piece Tool Kit, $42.99

After graduation, you enter the "real world," and the real world will include putting together furniture, Googling how to fix leaky faucets when your landlord avoids your calls and enticing your friends with pizza to get them to help you mount your living room TV. It's not the most strictly "fun" gift, but it will absolutely be necessary. She'll be glad she has the tools to handle whatever life throws at her confidently, and since this is one gift she may not buy for herself, it makes perfect sense as a post-graduation gift.

Link: https://www.shopko.com//catalog/product.jsp?productId=24279

4. KitchenAid Mixer

Gift a KitchenAid Mixer, $299.00

Awhhh.... a kitchen aid mixer. The ONE tool that makes cooking fun. Why not tack this onto our Christmas list to explore the baking world and truly make us feel like we're "adulating."

PLUS have we not mentioned all the cute colors these things come in?! I mean come on, anybody would want one of these things!

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-KSM155GBSA-5-Qt-Artisan-Design/dp/B00L9LD85S/ref

5. Cookbook

Gift the "Magnolia Table Cookbook" by Joanna Gaines, $13.73

Watch out Joanna Gaines, we ALL need one of your amazing cookbooks for "big girl life"

A lot of graduates are coming out of school with little knowledge of cuisine or the human palette as it pertains to tastes that are not mac and cheese or $1 pizza (yes, it exists). A cookbook is a nice way to make sure they can get off on the right foot post-graduation, maybe eating some vegetables and enjoying the activity itself rather than relying on the same cheap eats out of habit or lack of know-how.

If you would like to purchase a Magnolia Table Cookbook" by Joanna Gaines, click here: https://www.amazon.com/Magnolia-Table-Collection-Recipes-Gathering/dp/006282015X/ref

Best part? ITS ONLY 13 BUCKS FOR A HARD COPY!!!

6. Keurig 

Gift a Keurig coffee maker, $79.99

Coffee is something many of us rely on daily and don't want to spend a lot of time making. In the morning or in a rush, instant gratification is best. Which is why fast coffee makers that take the hassle out of the equation are so popular.

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Keurig-K55-K-Classic-Coffee-Programmable/dp/B018UQ5AMS/ref

7. Fresh Set of Sheets

Gift a Brooklinen gift card, $129

Graduates will be moving from dorms to a new place that's more fundamentally 'adult,' and that calls for an upgrade in bedding. They'll probably want to pick it out for themselves, but a gift card is a perfect way to give them a luxury they'll be extremely happy to have but maybe couldn't justify just yet for themselves.

Brooklinen has quickly become one of the best-known startups offering premium bedding at affordable prices. They look great, they feel even better, and they can genuinely offer you a better night's sleep for the third of your life you spend doing just that. They're also our pick for the best luxury sheets you can buy.

You can get a Queen sheet set (flat sheet, fitted sheet and 2 standard pillowcases) for as little as $129 altogether.

8. Amazon Prime Membership

Gift an Amazon Prime Membership, from $99.99

An Amazon Prime membership is one of those things that immediately makes life easier and ultimately better. If you decide to gift one, the recipient will enjoy free two-day shipping; access to the Prime Now app, which provides free two-hour delivery on tens of thousands of items; Prime Video, Amazon's streaming video service; Prime Music; the Kindle Lending Library; Prime Reading; Prime Audible Channels; unlimited photo storage, and more.

If you want to see how Amazon Prime ($99 for the year) actually gives you a lot more than free shipping, check out Amazon!

9. Monogrammed Planner

Gift a Moleskine Monogrammed Planner, from $14.95

Life is busy in college, and it doesn't stop being busy after graduation. Having a professional-looking, organized way to start off the year like a monogrammed Moleskine planner is a thoughtful and useful gift. It's certainly better than writing things down on the back of their hand.

Link: https://us.moleskine.com/c/personalize/108-2

10. A Nice Blazer for Years to Come

Gift an Of Mercer blazer, from $195

A high-quality, timeless blazer is something you can add to your wardrobe at 20 and still find in your closet a couple decades later. It can elevate any outfit, and if it's there from the beginning of your career to its peak, there's a good shot it could become that "lucky blazer" that adds assurance and confidence. It's one of the best and most valuable workplace buys you can make or give. You're looking at Of Mercer's "Prince Blazer" ($235) above, but there are plenty of fresh and high-quality workwear startups to browse before buying.

Link: https://www.ofmercer.com/collections/blazers

11. Eco Dot 

Gift an Echo Dot, $29.99

This smart-home device can turn the lights on, wake you up in the morning with an alarm, set timers, report the traffic and weather, and many more helpful tasks. The Amazon Echo Dot is an easy-to-use, affordable personal assistant they will surely use.

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/All-new-Echo-Dot-3rd-Gen/dp/B0792KTHKJ/ref

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