My Plea Against Hallmark Holidays

My Plea Against Hallmark Holidays

Our celebrations shouldn't exist for sales cycles.
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I hate holidays. This is perhaps an unpopular opinion, but I stand by it.

I don't mean to undermine the validity of celebration and family time, which I think is a valuable part of familial life, but I feel that it's simply unnecessary to celebrate every family gathering with a five dollar greeting card and some useless, undesirable gift from your neighborhood knick-knack shoppe.

I feel like I should first explain the concept of a so-called "Hallmark holiday". Hallmark holidays are holidays with no basis other than quarter sales' increases and dependent upon the mass purchases of a consumer base. Think Valentine's Day, for example.

We as a culture celebrate Valentine's Day as a day to commemorate or honor your love of a significant other.... but shouldn't that happen without the purchase of cheesy greeting cards and overpriced rose bouquets? Celebrating your love is fine, in fact, it's exceptional, but why even bother if it only happens on a scheduled calendar date to cash in on your affection?

Again, think of all the days we have in familial celebration as a culture. Mother's Day, Father's Day, Grandparent's Day, etc. Sure, all of these family members are celebration-worthy in their own individual way, but is the best way to show your love and appreciate really on one day of the year with an overpriced singing card and some vaguely personal gift? I think not.

There's nothing wrong with partaking in these celebrations.

It's hard not to, with everything we see in advertisements, on store shelves, and online centered around some sort of sales boosting celebration, but you have to admit some absurdity in its practice. Why are we buying cards to express our joy and affection? Why do we celebrate some of the most important relationships we have only one, calendar determined day of the year?

I think these actions speak less of our humanity, and more of our undying commitment to cultural standards. Is the best way to celebrate a loved one by running to Walmart on 11:46 the night before to buy the last card in stock to share for their designated holiday? Or is it showing that affection in ways that transcend a pay period?

Celebrating the relationships in our lives is an important way to connect with the people we love, but that should not revolve around calendar days. Even more traditional holidays get wrapped up in the marketing mania, with all of winter being a shopping extravaganza and spring being a time for bunnies and eggs of sweets and treats.

Taking a day to celebrate a loved one is a-okay, so long as the reason transcends the season and the meaning behind our joyous celebrations don't get lost in a spinning tower of greeting cards.

Cover Image Credit: David's Disposal

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10 Bible Verses For Thanksgiving

Psalm 34:1
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The Thanksgiving season is a time we spend with our loved ones giving thanks for the blessings we are given. Here are 20 Bible verses that remind us of what Thanksgiving is all about:

1) 1 Chronicles 16:34

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

2) Colossians 3:15-17

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

3) Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

4) Psalm 30:12

That my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

5) Isaiah 12:4-5

And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. “Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth.

6) Hebrews 12:28-29

Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.

7) Jonah 2:9

But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay Salvation is from the Lord."

8) 1 Timothy 4:4-5

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.

9) Psalm 28:7

The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.

10) Psalm 100:4

Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name.

Cover Image Credit: Wallpapers Pro

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To Read Or Not To Read

That is the question.

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Much like most of our generation, I think I stopped reading for fun around 2012 and hadn't picked up a book that was not assigned for school for the last 6 years but this summer I tried to make the effort to stay off of Netflix or any other streaming service and not catch up on any new or old shows and finish some books.

Here are my top 5 of the books that I enjoyed this summer…

1. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo ( John Oliver - Last Week Tonight) 

I started with this classic by John Oliver from Last Week Tonight, that I bought for shits and giggles because he was selling it just to spite Vice President Mike Pence. But in reality, it is a really cute book that's about a gay rabbit that is trying to get with the love of his life. Plus it has some insanely cute art and was a quick 30-minute read.

2. It (Stephen King) 

Let's dive straight into a horror masterpiece from a wholesome picture book. Full disclosure, I started reading this book last summer and it's almost a 1000 pages and I couldn't finish this book before last school year started, but this year I just grit my teeth and tried to finish it. Not that finishing it was hard, this book is as amazing as it is creepy!!

3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (J.K. Rowling) 

This is one of my favorite books of all time and my favorite book by far in the harry potter series. It is a great mixture of intrigue and humor. The more I read it the sadder I feel because the movie didn't live up to the expectations that the book had set up for me.

4. Crazy Rich Asians (Kevin Kwan) 

I was really excited to read this book because I was really excited to watch the movie. It had been a really long time since I had read a book before the movie was coming out. So a few weeks before the movie came out, I bought the book and had a great time with it. I really loved both the movie and the book and what makes me even giddier is that this book has sequels and, personally, I can't wait to get my hands on them as well.

5. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte) 

You know that copy of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse that you bought in 5th grade and still have, no? Just me? Anyway, through it away because Wuthering Heights is what it's all about. I recently found out that Eclipse was based on Wuthering Heights and I attempted to read it. Now Wuthering Heights is one of those books that classify under the "classics" section and I have always hated those because I thought they were boring. But Wuthering Heights is absolutely amazing and just hits you with so many emotions it's unbelievable.

I really had a great time just logging off this summer and getting in touch with the literary geek within me. Maybe take some time and prepare your own reading list for Winter Vacation.

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