The Most Ironic Day Of The Year

The Most Ironic Day Of The Year

Also known as Black Friday
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On Thursday, our nation will celebrate a holiday of thankfulness. Families and friends will come together for a huge meal of turkey and ham and stuffing and casseroles and green beans and corn and pies and coffee and many more delicious things. Football will be on the TV, and card games will occur, and there will probably be walks around the neighborhood, too. Movies will be watched (and slept through). Stories will be told, and little kids will make a mess on the living room floor. There will laughter and reunions and fellowship. There will be food comas and thankfulness.

And on Friday (or if you’re turkey daze wears off early, Thursday night), our nation will venture out to a million different stores and wait in line to shop. People will set up tents outside department stores or set their alarms for 3 am, pour their coffee and ready their pocket books for the incoming hit. Not even 24 hours after our day dedicated to thankful hearts, we go out and participate in mass consumerism. Does anyone else find that ironic?

Sure, Black Friday has great deals for Christmas gifts…but since when did Christmas become about giving things? Holidays, which used to be days of respect and remembrance, have been turned into opportunities to give and get things we really don’t need.

Technically, Black Friday isn’t a holiday, of course. In fact, according to an article by Sarah Pruitt for History it started out as a term used by Philadelphia police in the 1950s to refer to the mass chaos that happened the day before the Army-Navy football game that happened the Saturday after Thanksgiving each year. Not only were there mass crowds and traffic, but shoplifting was also a big problem. However, retailers have turned the term into a positive thing. Now, the term is supposed to refer to the day when stores move from the "red" of operating at a loss to the "black" of making a profit.

This year, I will be hiding away from the crowds at home. I don’t normally participate in the Black Friday craze, anyways, but this year I’ve found it very refreshing to ignore it altogether. Since I don’t have a TV with cable in my apartment, I don’t see all the commercials advertising sale after deal-breaking sale. It’s been nice. I’m not constantly reminded of what I don’t have but should. I’m no longer conditioned to think I need to rush out and spend money in order to save it. I understand the point of using the sales, and I certainly don’t condemn anyone who does, but I’ve found that I don’t need to. I don’t need anything. Sure, I need food and water and all the general necessities of life. But the newest high-priced piece of technology I’m not smart enough to fully comprehend all its uses? No, thanks, I’ll pass.

This Thanksgiving season, I’ll be focusing on what I do have, what I’m thankful for. That’s enough, already. I have plenty. I have family and friends that are family. I have a boyfriend who buys me food and sweaters (yeah, he’s a keeper). I have a warm bed and an overflowing bookshelf and a satisfied heart. I don’t need Black Friday or retailers to show me what I need. I already have what I need, and I’m going to spend my time being thankful for it.

Cover Image Credit: http://i.huffpost.com

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12 Gifts To Give Your Girlfriend On Valentine's Day

All of these gift ideas will for sure win over your girlfriend's heart this year!
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To all the last-minute gift givers of Valentine's Day:

Don't panic. While I know how stressful it can be to get the perfect gift for your significant other, there are so many gift ideas that people always forget as an option. The best part about Valentine's day is not the gifts you get, but rather the romantic time you get to spend with your loved one. So don't worry about how expensive the gift is, just worry about how much thought you put into it. If you are still stuck on a gift to buy for your girlfriend, here are 12 ideas to get the ball rolling for you:

1. Chocolate



Chocolate is every woman's best friend. It also can be your wallet's best friend for this Valentine's Day season. A box of chocolate can warm your girlfriend's heart for a low price.

Buy a box on Amazon.


2. Flowers



Flowers. Another common, but romantic gift for your girlfriend. Get creative with it. Throw rose pedals all over the bed, or hand her a giant bouquet all at once. Either way I am sure she will love it.

Buy them on Amazon.


3. Giant Teddy Bear



This is a gift that I always found so adorable. While it can be obnoxious to purchase and carry around, the look on your girlfriend's face when she sees it will make it all worth it. She can cuddle the bear when you're not around. ;)

Buy one on Amazon.


4. Wine



Again, another luxury that is a woman's best friend. You cannot go wrong with buying your girlfriend a bottle, or bottles, of wine. The only question you have to ask yourself when buying it is, red or white?

Buy a set of glasses to match on Amazon.


5. A Couple's Massage

Um, hello. Who wouldn't love this gift? Not only is it a gift for her, but it is one for you as well. This gift can also be surprisingly cheap. Many places offer amazing deals during the Valentine's Day season!


6. Dinner

There is absolutely nothing wrong with just taking your girlfriend to a romantic dinner on Valentine's Day. Dinner can be expensive enough as it is, the important thing to remember is to make memories that will last a lifetime during the meal.


7. A Movie



Again, nothing wrong with just going to a movie for the night. Sometimes a movie can set the level of romance you need for Valentine's Day.

Buy an AMC gift card on Amazon.


8. A Necklace



I know what you're thinking, too expensive! Don't throw away the necklace idea just yet. There are so many stores that sell such elegant necklaces, and they are decently priced as well. Check out stores like Alex and Ani, or Pandora for great deals, or just order from Amazon!


Buy one on Amazon.


9. A Ring



While this gift may only apply to a select few, imagine how memorable this day would be for your girlfriend. Do not think it is too cliche to propose to your girlfriend on Valentine's Day. Who cares how many other people do it, think about the joy it will bring her.

Buy a diamond ring on Amazon.


10. Clothes



Plan and buy your girlfriend's outfit for the night! It saves her time figuring out what to wear, and you just bought her clothes that she will absolutely adore!

Buy a sweater she will love on Amazon.


11. A One Night Stay at a Hotel



I don't think I have to say anything about this gift. You all know how romantic this is.

Buy a Hotels.com gift card on Amazon.


12. Personalized Picture Frame



A gift that is beyond thoughtful. Taking all of your pictures of memories from before and putting them together for your girlfriend is a gift that will for sure have her in tears.

Buy one on Amazon.


Please note that all items are in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

Cover Image Credit: Chip Party Ideas

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5 Things To Look For Before Signing A Lease

"Does it have a hallway closet?"

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Spring is an exciting time of year. The trees are starting to get leaves again, flowers are blooming and the weather is starting to get nicer. Spring Break seems to be right around the corner. However, Spring also brings the dreaded apartment hunting season. Once your lease is up you can either renew it or find a new place. Finding a new apartment can be stressful but that shouldn't take the fun out of it. So, here is a list of things I wish I had known to look for before signing the lease.

Check for hallway closets

Once moving in you realize how much you miss that closet in the hallway and how much stuff you really put in there. That closet was the perfect place to stash those pesky cleaning supplies, the vacuum, and the broom. Those odds and ends like the extra paper towels and water bottles so nicely fit into that hallway closet you took for granted. Living without storage for these items has made our living area and kitchen look a mess and a nuisance when having to move it just to use the table.

Noise levels

Noise levels are something that is often forgotten about when walking through an apartment. You shouldn't be able to hear your roommates Netflix binge through the wall. What about the floors do the creak? Does the door make an annoying screech when opening it? What about the traffic outside does it bother you? Remember once you sign that lease you're stuck until it is up. Living with creaky doors and floors makes going to your 8 am class so much worse knowing you might wake your roommate by accident.

Damages

Damages are something most people notice before moving in but is there water damage? Water damage often means a leaking roof or dripping pipe that could become a worse issue later. Taking note of these damages before signing can prevent you from having to pay for them later.

Neighborhood

It's college everyone parties it seems, but living by the parties can be annoying especially if you're trying to study. Partying usually happens a couple nights of the week but those couple nights seem like every night when attempting to study for an exam on Thirsty Thursday. Studying feels nearly impossible when you hear a raging party going on next door.

Kitchen storage

Storage in general as mentioned in number one is important. A place for your food in the kitchen makes a difference in how much you actually cook. When having a place for cans or boxes of pasta you feel less overwhelmed when you do cook them. Cooking with stuff on the counters isn't only annoying but it makes a mess to clean up. Storage for all your kitchen gadgets and dishes makes for an easier life and not just piles laying around.

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