Holy Fudge Nuggets, It's Finally Christmas

Holy Fudge Nuggets, It's Finally Christmas

A break from my regularly programmed open letter.
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Joyeux Noël

Frohe Weihnachten

Nollaig Shona Dhuit

Buon Natale

Feliz Navidad

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand.....

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

We've made it. We've finally made it. As a Christmas addict, I have counted down the moments until this blessed moment has arrived. I try to keep my Christmas subdued for a chunk of the year, at least for the sake of those around me, but, as soon as Thanksgiving is over, it's time to get holly jolly.

Decorate the house (or dorm), pump up the carols, and break out the wrapping paper because now it's almost two straight months that are filled with the spirit of joy and giving. I would like to consider myself a Christmas expert or, at least, not a Christmas novice. Here is my advice to make sure that this Christmas season is holly and jolly.

1. Christmas Carols are always a jam, and Movies are a MUST.

I'm a huge supporter of Christmas carols year-round, but I know that isn't realistic. I think it's more than fair to jam to carols the moment Thanksgiving is over. All songs are good. You can go sad with "Christmas Shoes," silly with "Dominick the Donkey," or classic with "The Christmas Song."

They're all good. Rock on without fear of judgment. Don't let Christmas movies go the wayside. Movies like "Elf," "Home Alone," "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas," and more are all cinematic masterpieces. Similar to the carols, there are movies for all types of moods, and there's just something about curling up with hot cocoa and getting into the Christmas spirit.

2. Season of Giving.

Remember that, while getting gifts is fun, it's just as important to give. There are many people who aren't as fortunate as you, and, no matter what you give, you could make the season for someone. It also is important to remember that, even if you don't have lots of money, gifts can be given from the heart, and they're worth just as much, if not more.

3. "Candy, Candy Cane, Candy Corns, and Sugar."

It's a given that caloric temptations increase around the holidays, and, with all the eggnog and peppermint and Christmas feasts, who is really surprised? Here's the thing: most people's New Years' resolutions are to be healthier in one way or another, so my philosophy is it'll all be worked off then. Don't be so strict on yourself around the holidays because it's a time to let loose and just have a good time. You may gain a pound or two, but you won't gain tons after a few weeks of guilty pleasure eating.

4. Decorate BEFORE it's too late.

Lights, ornaments, trees, OH MY!! I wish that decorations could be year-round, but that's generally frowned upon. I feel like there should be a scientific study about the effects of Christmas spirit on your mood because I think that it makes you 102340934% happier, or, at least, that's what it does to me. There's no such thing as too much or too little. A little bit goes a long way to brighten your day, and it will keep your spirit alive all season long.

5. Don't be a Grinch.

Christmas lovers have waited patiently, more or less, all year for our time to shine. Even if Christmas isn't really your time, you don't have to go around being a Debbie downer all the time. This time of year is a magical season for kids and old folk alike, and your negativity isn't necessary. Sure, Christmas has become commercialized. Sure, we often forget the true meaning of the holiday. And, sure, the stores and commercials can get a bit crazy. BUT, it's all in good fun. So, don't ruin the magic. Go bah-humbug in the corner.

Have a blessed holiday season, and stay very Merry!!

Cover Image Credit: Annika Soderfelt

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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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What Christmas Means To Me: An Atypical Prayer

You are where my life began and continues to grow, and the love is always unconditional, never ending, and felt as soon as you walk in the door.
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This last Christmas, my grandfather gave me the opportunity to write the grace and prayer that is read before Christmas Dinner. Though it may not sound much like a typical prayer or a traditional grace, it sounded a little something like this:

"When I think of Christmas, I think of this moment right here. The one where we are all gathered together, bound together by love in a place where so many memories have been made. It’s the time that we get to spend together that makes Christmas so special, not the presents, not the food (though it is delicious and I’ll never say no to another one of Grandma’s cookies), but instead the bond that we continue to strengthen each and every year when we come together.

So this Christmas, I am thankful to be surrounded by a family that loves me. As I said in an article of mine that came out earlier this week, “never is the love in my house one-sided”, and that rings true here today. God has given us this holiday not only to celebrate Christ’s birth but also to remind us that the love of this family is never one-sided. It reminds us how special this family is, and how lucky we are to have one another.

I could not ask for better people to have in my life. I could not ask for better grandparents to teach me so many life lessons and to be there whenever I needed someone to turn to, parents that raised me into the strong, independent, and loving young woman that I am today, and a sister that I’ve become so much closer to this year and am proud to call my best friend. I could not ask for a better aunt and uncle that have never failed to make me feel loved and are always there to support me in everything that I do, and cousins that always take time to make sure I’m ok and give life advice that has helped shape who I am as I grow up. I could not ask for better little boys to be my little boys and bring joy and laughter to my life, and a dog that makes me happy to come home and I can always count on for kisses.

Christmas is my favorite holiday, but not for the reasons many people may think. It’s not because of the presents, or the cookies (though I do love them so please make as many as you can Grandma), but because of the love, I get to experience on this day. Family is where life starts and the love never ends, and in this family, this rings true. You are where my life began and continues to grow, and the love is always unconditional, never-ending, and felt as soon as you walk in the door.

Merry Christmas, I love you all with all my heart."

Christmas may be over, but the words in this prayer still ring true. Though people change and every holiday is different in its own way, these words will forever ring true.

Cover Image Credit: Nancy Summer

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