Christmas Season Does Not Begin After Halloween, It Is Thanksgiving Season

Christmas Season Does Not Begin After Halloween, It Is Thanksgiving Season

Time to give Thanksgiving the respect it deserves.
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As the end of October nears, families and friends often begin to feel a transition into the next season. Pumpkin carving and cliché costumes are left in the past and the next holiday to look forward to is Thanksgiving.

Or so you would think.

As we fall back into autumn and the temperatures have just finally drifted away from the intolerable heat (living in the unpredictable state of Virginia), it seems as if we are already hearing the chimes of the bells outside of every store with Santa decorations and wrapping paper being advertised before even getting the opportunity to fathom what will be on the Thanksgiving dinner table.

In my youth, I don’t recall Christmas music being blared on six different radio stations as early as the day after Halloween. I would even be able to turn on the television and not be consumed by the hyper-intensive Toys R Us commercials forcing me to be reminded that Christmas is still almost two months away.

Walking around shopping just the other week, I couldn’t help but notice the Christmas wreaths nearly thirty feet in diameter towering over each store lined with the white lights that are notorious for staying up far too long after the holiday season is over. I couldn’t help but cringe and feel sorry for the seemingly forgot holiday fondly known as Thanksgiving.

With the weeks following Halloween leading up to Thanksgiving, I want to see the obnoxiously massive turkey inflatables in front of people’s yards. I want to see the infamous cornucopia being represented also as one of these inflatables or set on top of a bale of hay. I want to see commoners walking the streets as pilgrims handing out cans of cranberry sauce.

Feeling as if I was being irrational, I took to the streets to unravel the common opinion on this issue. One student, Cameron Brandon, stated, “Thanksgiving has become an overlooked holiday and seems to have lost its meaning while being forced to hide behind the seemingly superior holiday that is Christmas.” Another passionate student, Jeff Fisher, said with breathtaking passion, “The encroachment of the start of the Christmas season to the day after Halloween has all but overshadowed Thanksgiving.”

With these two examples, I was able to come to the conclusion that I am not crazy or alone in my thinking for my stance on this issue.

It is not time for the cliché hallmark movies to come on the television on multiple different channels or to wear the red Santa hats claiming that “Christmas is right around the corner”.

It is time to put an end to this madness. Thanksgiving needs to be put back on the map as November is a month for thanks, not reindeer and elves. It is a time for families to finally have a day together after rarely seeing one another, not for light tours and Fraser Fir trees.

Christmas season can take the back seat for a few more weeks – it is Thanksgiving season.

Cover Image Credit: flickr

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33 Fun Indy 500 Facts to Share This Race Weekend

Learn more about one of the biggest Hoosier Traditions!
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This Race Day, brag a little about your knowledge of the biggest Hoosier tradition: the Indianapolis 500! Check out these 33 fun facts about the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

1. The Indy 500 is actually held in Speedway, Indiana; a town that was built around the IMS.

2. The 500 Festival Parade is the third biggest in the nation.

3. The first race was held in 1911 and was won at a speed of 74 mph.

4. If you lined all the hotdogs and bratwursts sold on race day at the track, it would wrap around 3 times.

5. The events leading up to the race--known as the 500 Festival--started in 1957 with a parade and a square dance gala.

6. It's known as the Brickyard; the track originally was made of hand-laid brick.

7. Rear-view mirrors started at the Indy 500 (Thanks, Ray Harroun!)

8. Danica Patrick is one of 9 women who have run the race, with the highest finish.

9. This year, Pippa Mann is the only woman running.

10. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is considered the largest sport venue in the world.

11. 200 is the magic number.

It takes 200 laps for racers to complete the 500 miles.

12. When in doubt--it's 33.

33 drivers, 33 directors, 33 princesses, 33 pace cars!

13. There are only 3 racers who have won the race 4 times.

14. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was founded by Carl Fisher.

15. The IMS opened with balloon races originally.

16. It is a tradition that the winner drinks a bottle of milk upon winning.

Thanks, Louis Meyer!

17. Each lap is 2.5 miles.

18. In 1981, it took around 5 months to declare a winner after a controversial finish.

Bobby Unser finished a whole 5 seconds before Mario Andretti, but due to a penalty they revoked his win and gave it to Andretti. Unser and his owner, Roger Penske, challenged the penalty and eventually, he regained the victory.

19. Originally, racers had to have an additional passenger--a ride-in mechanic.

20. Eddie Rickenbacker, the famous WWI pilot, raced the 500 four times and later purchased the track.

21. Jules Goux won in 1913 after chugging champagne at every pitstop.

In 1914, drinking and driving in the race was outlawed.

22. Winners get their faces sculpted onto the trophy.

23. The IMS is bigger than several famous landmarks, including the Coliseum, the Vatican City, and Churchill Downs, among others.

24. The track was almost sold to real estate developers in 1945.

25. There are only 4 sporting venues that are older than the IMS.

They are Old St. Andrews, Churchill Downs, the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, and Saratoga Race Course.

26. Tickets to the Square Dance Gala, called the Governor's Ball, were $5 a couple.

27. Of 9 women, 6 countries are represented.

28. The Indy 500 is broadcast worldwide, in over 200 countries.

29. The fastest lap clocked is 237.498 mph.

30. In 1916, the race was intentionally shortened to 300 miles.

31. One winner actually ran 505 miles before winning.

Jacques Villeneuve drove to victory even after a two-lap penalty at the beginning of the race.

32. The youngest racer to ever win the 500 was Troy Ruttman at 22!

33. Alexander Rossi won the 100th running of the 500 in 2016--as a rookie.

Cover Image Credit: Sporting News

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Keep Your Wellbeing On Track This Summer With These 5 Health Hacks

Don't waste your time off, use it!

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Summertime is here, and for many of us, these three months of vacation mean more room for slacking off with our usual health routines. Between sleeping in through the morning gym alarm, and consuming too many tempting party foods and drinks, it is easy to fall into a euphoria of laziness and lose health as a top priority.

Here's the good news — believe it or not, summer is actually the easiest time of the year to get and stay in killer shape because of all of the extra time you have!

Here are some tips and tricks to get you started.

1. Try using the five-to-two rule.

It's easy to forget the difference between weekdays and weekends during summer when every day feels the same. But sometimes it is actually helpful to be aware of what day of the week it is. Just like you would do in school, try to stay on track during weekdays. Wake up at a reasonable time, exercise, find ways to be productive throughout the day, and be conscious of eating healthy. This way when the weekend rolls around, if you choose to indulge in sleeping in, or going out and having a few extra drinks, it's more acceptable than choosing to do so every single night. You will feel more in control, and trust me, your body will thank you for the moderation.

2. Skip the junk food and embrace the fresh seasonal produce.

Summer is the season where all of the nutrient-dense fruits and veggies are in their prime season. Take advantage of this! Skip the fast food, and try cooking since you now cannot use the excuse that you don't have time! Go to the grocery to stock up on fresh produce. There is nothing better than homemade, healthy food, and with so much time on your hands why not try some fun new recipes? Cooking is actually really enjoyable and rewarding. Here are some of my favorite healthy summertime recipes that keep my body feeling fresh and energized.

Healthy green smoothie

Quinoa Salad

Chia Pudding

Salmon and Apple Kale Salad

3. If you're tired of the gym, try alternative forms of exercise. 

Whether it is hiking, kayaking, swimming, or playing a family game of kickball, summer presents you with many more fun active opportunities than the colder, rainier months of the year. Take advantage of that if you are getting bored or unmotivated sitting in a stuffy gym.

4. Build a new routine.

During the school year, we all fall into a fairly consistent routine. We have classes at the same time every week, we have responsibilities, deadlines, and all of those other things that may seem pesky but actually, serve in giving our lives some major structure. For many of us, that structure is much needed. When summer arrives and suddenly we don't have those obligations calling us to get up and be productive, we fall into a slump of doing nothing. That's when it is helpful to set a new routine. Our bodies like routine and regularity and the best part about a summer routine is that you set it how you like it.

How do I build a new routine? Decide on a general bed and wake up time, at least for weekdays. Choose which days of the week you will exercise and stick to them! Plan out your week at the beginning of the week. I like to keep a weekly calendar. Before the week begins I write down all of the things I would like to get done that week and place them on the days I plan to do them. You can even write down your plans with friends or social events.

5.. In general, spend time outside.

Did you know that spending time in the sunshine and fresh air actually has an impact on your health? Nature can boost our moods, make us feel more energized and productive. And everyone knows that a healthy mindset leads to a healthier life. The great thing about summer is that we have endless opportunities to be outside because of the close weather. You can really take almost any activity you want and move it outside. Even as I sit here writing this blog I am sitting outside on our beautiful porch looking out over a lake.

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