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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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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A Beginner's Guide to Milwaukee Sports

Part I: The Bucks

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Being a college student in Milwaukee has its perks, especially for sports fans. Now, while some may have brought their hometown teams to college, others (myself included) may have warmed up to the Cream City teams without knowing much about them. If this is the case for you, then these pointers can help you start enjoying Milwaukee basketball without looking and sounding like a bandwagon fan.

Quick History

www.nba.com

Here are some facts about the Bucks that can make you feel more knowledgeable about the franchise:

- They have only won one championship (back in 1971) and have lost one NBA Finals series (1974) (Land of Basketball)

- They have only had one* MVP-caliber player in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (#33) during the 1971, 1972, and 1974 seasons (Land of Basketball)

- Other Notable Players Include: Oscar Robertson (#1), Sidney Moncrief (#4), Jon McGlocklin (#14) and Ray Allen (#34) (Land of Basketball)

*Giannis Antetokounmpo may win the MVP award this year

sited: https://www.landofbasketball.com/teams/milwaukee_bucks.htm

Gear Up

https://twitter.com/bucksproshop/status/982026548705415168

This one is a bit of a no-brainer. Wearing team's colors or spirit wear is a must, especially if you're going to a game. Most items like hats and t-shirts are perfectly acceptable, and these are great if you're not trying to break the bank. Buying your gear from a sporting goods store will usually be cheaper than buying them from the team store (the main one of which is located in Fiserv Forum). Most online stores like NBA.com, Fanatics, Fansedge, and sometimes even the team's online store will have sales on sports gear, so getting a good deal on team wear is always a plus!

A Word of Caution: Jerseys

All three of these players are not part of the 2018-2019 roster and #77 and #3 have been reused by current players Ersan Ilyasova (#77) and George Hill (#3)

www.nba.com

If you're willing to go the extra mile, buying a jersey can really get you into locked in and pumped for the live action. However, it should be kept in mind that official Nike NBA jerseys range from $110-$250, so they definitely are an investment. While there are other options available like the FastBreak jerseys by Fanatics, they are a simpler (still official) knockoff of the Nike jerseys. Also; beware buying sale jerseys. There are usually three reasons why jerseys are ever on sale (aside from a storewide sale): a player is injured, a player doesn't play much and is about to be traded, or a player has been traded. While there is nothing wrong with having the jersey of a player who went on to another team (like Kareem and Allen), you are not exactly going to get brownie points for wearing a Jabari Parker or a Thon Maker jersey anytime soon.

Know The Current Squad

Fiserv Forum, Home of the Milwaukee Bucks

www.nba.com

Everyone in Milwaukee has heard of Giannis Antetokounmpo, but who else is part of the supporting cast?

Starting Five for the 2018-2019 Milwaukee Bucks (Basketball Reference):

- #6 Eric Bledsoe at Point Guard

- #13 Malcolm "The President" Brogdon at Shooting Guard

- #22 Khris "Money" Middleton at Small Forward

- #34 Giannis "The Greek Freak" Antetokounmpo at Power Forward

- #11 Brook "Splash Mountain" Lopez at Center

Student Perk

www.nba.com

Using your university email, you can get special discount ticket offers for home games by signing up for the Bucks' Student Rush Program. Tickets usually start at $15 per ticket, and the seats available may depend on who the Bucks are playing (and how well they are doing during the season).

Get Involved and Have Fun!

Mascot Crawl GIF by NBA - Find & Share on GIPHY Giphy

Don't be afraid to get into it! The Bucks are an amazing team to watch and they love Bucks Nation. In addition to cheering at games, going to team events and player appearances can be great ways to make memories and even get an autograph or two!

Are You a Bucks Fan Now?🦌

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I think Giannis would agree!

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