Keeping the True Meaning of the Holiday Season

Keeping the True Meaning of the Holiday Season

It's not about getting the present, it's about being present in the moment of celebration.

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The holiday season most would say is the greatest time of the year. Students are off from school, people are out and about making the most of their favorite stores' holiday sales and it seems as if everyone, in general, is in an uplifting and enthusiastic mood for the approaching time off and celebration.

Everything about the holiday season is enjoyable, but to make the most of it really includes staying true to its original meaning. It's evident that in contemporary society Christmas and other holiday celebrations have been largely influenced by Western consumer culture. The holiday season has certainly turned into a business, in which there is a greater emphasis on what one buys for the other and what one receives.

While the practice of gift giving is definitely not problematic, it shouldn't be seen as the quintessence of the holiday season. Just think about Black Friday. It occurs on the day right after Thanksgiving, a celebration that is meant to bring families together and be a time where people can enjoy themselves and their loved ones. People working in retail stores don't get to share in the full experience of the holiday since they have to go to their shift and prepare for the chaotic commotion that is Black Friday.

The videos that show people absolutely destroying everyone and everything in their path for a new flat screen TV are, albeit funny, the most accurate representation of a Christmas that has lost its meaning. Despite what one may celebrate, it is important to consider that the essence of the holiday season transcends any video game, lip kit or car one may get.

When you come to think of it, it is essentially the process of getting ready for the holidays and the celebration itself that constitute the spirit of the season. Helping a family member or friend with setting up the Christmas tree, for example, is living in the spirit of the holiday because it is the time, effort and the memory that is being shared at the moment that matters most. Spending time with family and friends by partaking in holiday festivities and enjoying each other's presence is what the holidays are all about.

It shouldn't be about just anticipating Christmas day and wondering what kind of gifts you'll get. It should be about getting to spend every single moment with people you care about and being grateful for it. Ultimately, that has been and is what Christmas is known to be universally.

It is a time of love, care, joy, and gratitude and although this can be shown by gift giving, it's not the gift itself that has value, it is the thought, meaning, and sentiment behind the gift that is valuable.

While all of this has been repeated and is something that we've heard before and know to be true, sometimes we lose sight of it and just see the holiday season as a way to do what we want and get what we want.

To truly make the most of the holiday season, put down your phone, temporarily avoid some of your responsibilities and don't focus on which gifts from your Christmas list you'll get. Instead, live presently, spend time with those you love and enjoy every moment of it.

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21 Beer-rific Instagram Captions For Your 21st Birthday

Because "twenty fun" is old and overused.
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For the past few years, I have seen the same caption on Instagram over and over again about a girl turning 21. Yes, "Twenty fun," is pretty clever, but I'm tired of seeing it. Since my 21st birthday is this week, I was wondering what I should use as an Instagram caption. So, here are 21 Instagram captions that you'll be dying to use for your 21st.

1. R.I.P. Fake ID.

2. Cheers and beers to my 21 years.

3. Do you find me aBOOZing?

4. Pitcher perfect.

5. Hakuna Ma 'Vodka - It means no memories for the rest of your night.

6. Bad and Boozy

7. I make pour decisions.

8. Beer makes me hoppy.

9. IPA lot when I drink.

10. I can finally have a six-pack.

11. Tequila probably won't fix my problems, but it's worth a shot.

12. Sip happens.

13. Let the evening be Gin.

14. Wine not?

15. Whiskey business.

16. Getting into the birthday spirit.

17. If life gives you lemons, add vodka.

18. Here's to the year I won't remember.

19. It's a lot easier to start the day when you know it can now end with beer.

20. Save water, drink beer.

21. Here's to an unBEERleliveable night.

Cover Image Credit: Alexalosey on Instagram

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Your Happiness Should Not Be Dependent On Others

Happy mind, happy life.

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As humans, we are always growing, evolving and changing. Whether you're 20 or 60, you're a different and more developed person than what you were two or three years ago. While we are growing and changing, we're looking for happiness. We're humans, that's what we do. We want to be happy and loved and needed. The question is why are we always looking for happiness when we can create it?

We often rely on others for our happiness. Usually, that's a significant other or a best friend. Maybe it's our parents. I believe that nothing lasts forever so when we rely on someone else for our happiness, we start to think we need that person. We can't live without them, they make us whole, blah blah blah. But what happens when you're boyfriend breaks up with you? You're best friend moves away or you're parents die? Now what? Life goes on no matter how much you relied on that person.

Stop looking for happiness in other people when you can create it yourself. You don't need your "amazing" boyfriend that's cheated on you two times now. You once lived without him. Just because you're best friend moved away doesn't mean you can't still be friends or create more friends and let's face it, death is inevitable and you're life will go on when your parents pass.

I have a proposition for you. Try building an empire within yourself. Find yourself, heal yourself and most importantly, love yourself. Be passionate about your life. Try new things, grow your friendships, meet new people, make memories, push yourself outside of your comfort zone.

Have you ever done stuff on your own with no shame? Go to lunch by yourself, exercise, go shopping, the options are endless. Do what makes you happy. Whether that's having a relationship with God or The Universe. Maybe it's that donut that you don't need, but really want or spending your paycheck right after it goes into your bank account. Whatever it is, do it for you.

You don't need other people to make you happy. Worry about loving yourself, instead of loving the idea of other people loving you. Besides, it takes very little to make a happy life. Start by letting go of the past and focusing on your way of thinking.

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