It's Not Christmas Season Until Thanksgiving, Here Are 7 Reasons Why

It's Not Christmas Season Until Thanksgiving, Here Are 7 Reasons Why

After Halloween, everyone seems to dive straight into the Christmas spirit, utterly ignoring one of our greatest holidays—Thanksgiving.


On November 1st, I heard the first Christmas carol of 2018, and I was disappointed. Nothing is more upsetting than getting really excited for your favorite holiday, and having everyone around you ruin it by being more excited for a holiday that comes after it. (That feeling of disappointment only grows if you don't even celebrate the holiday everyone is so pumped for.) I get it, with the end of Halloween, people are looking for the next super fun thing, but that thing should not be Christmas. Thanksgiving, at least in America, is iconic, and it opens so many doors for creativity and joy. Here are just a few.

1. It's basically a celebration of fall.

Fall, as a season, is really underrated. It's like the whole three months are defined by either Halloween or the gross weather that occurs before it's finally wintertime. Fall is so much more though. Thanksgiving is a time that you can really appreciate the season, decorating with gourds and leaves and pumpkins that don't have weird faces carved into them. You can really step outside and breathe in the November air for a second. November is practically defined by Thanksgiving, so why not just appreciate it for what it is?

2. The food is better than literally any other holiday. Just try to argue.

Thanksgiving is literally based around food. Like, the purpose of the holiday is to eat delicious things. How can you possibly say no to that? Whereas Halloween and Christmas are all about the sweets, Thanksgiving understands that real good food is well rounded. It conquers both sweet and savory food categories. You get turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and all that other good stuff as an entrée, and then there's a whole dessert after. And, let's face it, a good slice of apple or pumpkin pie is way better than any other dessert, because it makes you feel at home.

3. It's just as family/friend based as Christmas.

Sure, Christmas may be defined by spending time with family, but Thanksgiving is too, and honestly even more so. Not only do you get to reunite with the family you barely ever get to see, you probably also get to take away a couple hilarious anecdotes from dinner. And of course, Thanksgiving isn't just family based, it's also the first opportunity college students get to see their friends from back home. Friendsgiving is fun for just about everyone, and it allows for a nice break from the family drama.

4. Black Friday is possibly the most American event ever, and it's an official kickoff for Christmas season.

Y'all want to know the real kickoff for the holiday season? Nothing screams Christmas like shopping for gifts, and that's what Black Friday is all about. Black Friday is the first day that people really start thinking about Christmas gifts. If you're not shopping for the holidays, you're probably still getting something from the huge sales. At the very least you'll catch a deal online on Cyber Monday. Thanksgiving is all about America after all, and what's more American than good old-fashioned capitalism.

5. You still get the extra day off from school/work.

A couple of days ago in class my professor mentioned that our university never used to give the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off, but people would skip classes anyways, so the administration made it official. Ironically, now people just skip the whole week. The point is, whether you're purposely missing class or getting let off early, you still get some wonderful time to yourself at home.

6. Thanksgiving gets a whole parade to itself. Beat that.

Christmas may have music, but does it have a whole parade to itself? I mean sure, there'll be the odd celebration or two, but the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is a tradition in itself, much like the fireworks on Fourth of July or New Year's Eve.

7. Everyone in America can celebrate Thanksgiving. It's completely nonexclusive.

Lastly, Thanksgiving is open to all Americans. Although my own family is one made of mainly immigrants, we prize Thanksgiving because it puts us on the same level as any other American citizen. Christmas is, honestly, a little closed off to those of us who are distinctly non-Christian, and although the blatant commercialism is pretty enjoyable to take part in, it's still not fully accessible. As a Jew, it's important to me that I'm a part of the nation I live in, not ostracized in any way from being a part of it's community. Although Christmas is certainly festive, Thanksgiving represents much more to me, as a first generation American Jew, than any other day.

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7 Things I Wish I Knew BEFORE Moving Into My First Apartment

I've learned quite a few valuable lessons in my first year on my own.


Last Thanksgiving, I moved out of my childhood home and into my very first apartment. In the just over a year of "adulting," I've learned that I really had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Here are a few things I wish someone had told me beforehand...

1. Bill collectors don't mess around!

If you're as much as a few hours late on paying a bill, expect a letter dropped in the mail and/or an e-mail in your inbox notifying you about it. Stay ahead by keeping a calendar, and write in each bill's due date. Then, place the calendar where you will see it every day — either hang it on your fridge or leave it on your kitchen counter if it's a notebook calendar like the one I have.

If you are looking at the calendar several times a day — even if you are not sitting there and studying it — it becomes less likely that you will miss due dates.

2. The first of each month creeps up QUICKLY

Sometimes it will feel like you JUST paid your rent when it is already due again. Be prepared by having at least a few months' worth of rent saved up.

This way, you will never be late on rent, even if the first of the month catches you off guard (again).

3. It requires constant effort to keep everything in the house stocked

It isn't easy keeping track of everything from toilet paper and toothpaste to trash bags and laundry detergent. And their prices add up quickly! The best way I've found so far to try and not run out of everything I need is by keeping a grocery list and pen on my kitchen counter, right next to my trusty calendar.

When I notice I'm running low on something, such as dishwasher pods, I simply write it on the list. Then, when the list gets long enough, I bring it with me to Wal-Mart and try and get everything I need in one trip.

4. Cleaning is no walk in the park either. 

I am hereby acknowledging my privilege and saying I totally took for granted when my mom, and then the maintenance crew in my college dorm, cleaned my bathroom for me. In order for things not to get out of hand, I keep a handwritten list of everything in my apartment that needs cleaning. And when I clean one thing, I check it off.

Once every item on the list has a checkmark, I re-write a new list for next time. This way, I don't get overwhelmed by trying to clean every single thing in my house all in one day. Instead, I do it little by little when I have the time.

Sure, I'll have a cleaning day now and again, but more often than not I perform one cleaning task a day to keep up with it without tiring myself out after work.

5. You most likely won't get your security deposit back in full

When I first paid my security deposit, I thought to myself, "for sure I will get that back in full whenever I move out." But, I learned that life happens. I've dropped heavy objects and scratched up the wall. I've accidentally burned a spot onto my kitchen table with a burning hot bowl.

I've spilled things onto the carpet that I was unable to get out, even with carpet cleaner. I've also broken things by accident, such as my refrigerator door handle, and the pulley attached to my ceiling fan. I've come to terms with the fact that I won't be getting my security deposit back in full, and that's OK.

That is what it's there for, after all.

6. Coasters are not a want, but a need

When I was growing up, I thought people who insisted you use coasters when you visited their house were annoying. But now I understand. I harass my friends when they come over to always use a coaster. It prevents rings from appearing on the tabletops, which falls under the category of that security deposit we were chatting about earlier.

I recommend buying a pretty set of coasters from a shop like Marshalls. That way, the coasters are nice-looking, and they all match.

7. Housekeeping is a big responsibility

You can't just pick up and LEAVE if you want like you could with your parents. If you want to go on vacation, you still have to pay your bills. You also need to find someone to come care for your pets, bring in your mail, etc.

You are also responsible for turning off your heating/air conditioning when you leave and locking up your doors and windows. You may also be required to have renter's insurance, in the event any damage or break-in happens to your home.

Although housekeeping is a bigger responsibility than I anticipated, I wouldn't give it up for anything in the world. I love having my own apartment, despite the expenses and stresses associated with it. It's the best decision I ever made, and not nearly as frightening as I worked myself up to be.

It is a wonderful journey I know you will do just fine on.

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5 Stories That Shook America in 2018

It's been a long year. These stories prove that.


Now that 2018 is officially over, we can look back on the year's most significant ups and downs and reflect on what's to come next. This year saw the emergence of two large-scale movements that broke down barriers and shook up society, increased our understanding of social media's implications, and revealed the troubling extent of America's immigration crisis. The following five news stories were some of the most covered national events of 2018. Each reflect the tumultuous, eye-opening, inspiring year 2018 has been.

Facebook's Mishandling of User Data

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress in April.

This social media giant has long been the target of government criticism, but its troubles seemed to peak last year in March. That's when federal regulators began to investigate Facebook's mishandling of user data in connection with the 2016 presidential campaign. The Federal Trade Commission's investigation came in response to reports that political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica had improperly gained access to 50 million users' information, and exploited this information in Trump's favor during the election. Since then, Facebook's stock value has plummeted, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has launched an aggressive apology campaign. In April, he appeared before an unforgiving Congress to answer questions about Facebook's lacking privacy policies. The company's repeated failures to protect user data will most likely lead to stronger federal regulations come 2019.

March For Our Lives

Emma Gonzalez, a Parkland survivor and one of the movement's organizers, speaks at the March For Our Lives in Washington, D.C.

On February 14, 2018, seventeen students and teachers were killed in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Days after the tragedy, Parkland students flooded major TV networks demanding gun control. The March For Our Lives movement was created by a group of MSD juniors and seniors with the goal of rallying their generation for gun reform, in the hopes that one day school shootings would be a thing of the past. One month later, over 2,000 schools participated in a nationwide walkout to mark the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. Ten days after that, millions gathered in Washington D.C. to march in solidarity with the students of MSD and send a message to lawmakers. As many of these students reach voting age in the coming year, it will be interesting to see how politicians respond to their demands, and the gun control legislation that will follow.

Family Separation 

A portrait of Felipe Alonzo-Gomez, the second Guatemalan child to die in U.S. Border Patrol custody following implementation of the "zero-tolerance" immigration policy.

The Trump Administration's family separation policy at the border, first practiced in October, is perhaps the most controversial act thus far by one of the most controversial presidents. On April 6, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the "zero-tolerance" immigration policy that would soon separate thousands of children, and many infants, from their parents as they reached the United States. Unsurprisingly, the American public reacted swiftly and angrily to the policy, and their outrage peaked in June when photos of children held in cages began circling the internet. Judges have ordered that the Department of Homeland Security reunite separated families, but the agency has failed to reach two different deadlines, and as of three months ago as many as 200 children remain in government custody. With recent reports that two Guatemalan children have died in Border Patrol custody, this tragic issue won't be going away in 2019.


Actress Ashley Judd, who became one of the first women in Hollywood to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault in a 2017 New York Times exposé.

The #MeToo movement began in late 2017 when a New York Times exposé featured firsthand accounts from several women accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. As more and more men were forced to step down from powerful positions, Alyssa Milano coined the hashtag "MeToo" to represent victims of sexual assault, and hence the movement began. The following months saw the creation of the Time's Up coalition, the record-breaking second annual Women's March, the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, and the imprisonment of Weinstein, Bill Cosby, and Larry Nassar. This movement, which took hold over not only Hollywood, but each profession, has brought permanent change to the country as women gain more seats in office and more representation in media. #MeToo has set the precedent for future steps toward gender equality in 2019.

Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford prepares to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee in October.

Publicized by the #MeToo movement and defined by the political loyalties of skeptical conservatives, Supreme Court judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings kept the nation on edge for two weeks in mid-October. The reason: Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee and alleged that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her at a party when they were in high school. The poise with which Ford presented her testimony, contrasted with the emotional turbulence that characterized Kavanaugh's defense, both moved and shocked the many Americans who watched the hearings unfold live on television. After an initial delay, the confirmation vote proceeded, and Kavanaugh was appointed to the Supreme Court on a narrow 50-48 vote split along party lines. To many, Kavanaugh's confirmation symbolized just how much progress the United States has yet to make in its treatment of sexual assault victims, and how little the nation has changed since Anita Hill testified against then-nominee Clarence Thomas in 1991.

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