Live Your Life By The Code Of Elves

Live Your Life By The Code Of Elves

Let's treat every day like Christmas.
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I love Christmas. Love it. The music, the movies, the joy of gift giving, the reminder of hope. My roommates and I leave our Christmas trees (all six of them) up year-round. We are the real deal.

One of my favorite Christmas movies is the Will Ferrell classic, "Elf." I think it is the perfect mix of comedy, Santa and the meaning of Christmas. Buddy the Elf is one of my favorite characters of all time. The way he lives his life completely uninhibited, with such joy and love, is something I strive for. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from the movie, including to never try to hug a raccoon, but one of the best is something I try to apply to my everyday life: The Code of Elves.

1. Treat every day like Christmas.

This is so important. No, we don't need to give gifts wrapped in reindeer-print paper to each other every single day or have family dinner with 15 desserts every weekend. What we do need is to keep the spirit of Christmas with us every day. I can keep it in the small things like holding the door open for the people walking behind me and making sure to hug my friends every time I see them. The Christmas spirit is in me when I hold on to hope. It is in me when I find joy in the mundane parts of life. Encouraging others, acting with love, holding onto hope. That is how we treat every day like Christmas. And maybe eating a cookie or two.

2. There's room for everyone on the Nice List.

Seeing the best in people can be hard. I try to live by the idea that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. And then sometimes I still assume they are innocent. I think that the more we assume people to be kind and caring, the more we will find that people are kind and caring. If someone can sense that I don't like them from the start, he or she probably won't like me either. We as humans tend to take on the role that others give us. If people continually tell me that I am dumb, I will start to believe that I am dumb. Remembering this philosophy is essential to living a life of joy. If I am constantly assuming the worst in people, it becomes hard to love them. I think that Jesus always sees the best in us, and does what He can to draw that out of us. I want to do the same for those around me. I think that that is love.

3. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

Clearly, this is my favorite one. We all have that one song that we can't help but turn up and yell-sing at the top of our lungs with a huge smile on our faces. For me, it's more than one song, but I don't know a single person that doesn't have at least one. Singing is therapeutic. Music can make the world melt away in a way that nothing else can. My favorite part of this movie is at the end when Emily (Michael's mom) starts to sing along, and she is completely tone deaf. To me, that is beautiful. Yes, individually, her voice is not pleasing, but when she is singing among all of the people standing outside of Central Park, the sound is beautiful and joyful. What can speak more to the meaning of Christmas than that?



So, my friends, I hope you will join me in living by the Code of Elves. I'm not saying you need to go dig around in your attic and stick up your Christmas tree today. Not that I would be opposed to you doing that. I do hope, though, that we can start a tradition of holding onto hope in the midst of chaos and love in the midst of war. Together we are stronger. Warm up those vocal chords, grab a cup of hot cocoa and come with me as we live our lives like Buddy the Elf.

Cover Image Credit: bustle.com

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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The Football World Loses One Of Its Finest Players

Bart Starr passed away and NFL players, coaches, and fans all mourn the loss of the Packer legend, but his life and career will live on in hearts of Packer nation forever.

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Bart Starr passed away at the age of 85 in Birmingham, Alabama. The NFL lost a great player. The Green Bay Packers lost a hero. And, the world lost a true gentleman. Starr's legacy has surpassed his accomplishments on the gridiron. He inspired not only his peers but the generations that have come after him. He is — and always — will be remembered as a Hall of Famer, a champion, and a Packer.


Bart Starr was a Packers legend. Starr led Green Bay to six division titles and five world championships. As the quarterback of Vince Lombardi's offense, he kept the machine going and executed the plays like no other. His mastery of the position was a large part of the Packers success in the 1960s. Starr was also the perfect teammate for the perfect team. His leadership put him in command of the Packers. Starr's time in Green Bay will not be forgotten by former players, coaches, and the fans.

Bart Starr's resume is rivaled by few in NFL history. He played in 10 postseason games and won 9 of them. He led the Packers to victory in Super Bowls I and II and won the MVP award in both games. He was the MVP of the league in 1966 and was named to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1960s. The Packers retired his number 15 and Starr has been inducted into the Packers and Pro Football Hall of Fame.


After his playing days, Starr would become the head coach of the Packers. He could not repeat the success he had on the field from the 1960s teams. His coaching years do not take away from his legacy as one of the all-time great Packers. Starr was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

One of Starr's last visits to Lambeau field was on a cold November night in 2015. Starr and his wife attended a ceremony in which the Packers retired Brett Favre's jersey number. Starr was the perfect personification of what it meant to be a Packer. His most heroic moment came in the 1967 NFL Championship Game. The Ice Bowl came down to a third and goal in Lambeau Field's south endzone against the Dallas Cowboys. Starr came to the sidelines and bravely told Vince Lombardi that he can sneak it in for a game-winning touchdown. Lombardi then replied, "Run it, and let's get the hell out of here." Starr ran a quarterback sneak for the game-winner and the Packers were off to Super Bowl II. Without Starr, Green Bay would not have won a second straight Super Bowl. His leadership in big game moments will live with Packers fans for a lifetime.

Vince Lombardi: A Football Life - The Ice Bowl

Starr leaves behind his wife Cherry, his son, and three granddaughters. Packers fans will have a tight grip on the memories Bart Starr and the 60s teams created. Starr left behind a template for being a Green Bay Packer. He also left a template for being a good man and a gentleman of the game of football. He was a competitor and a leader. Packer nation mourns for the loss of one of the finest human beings the game has seen.

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