Not Your Typical Christmas Playlist

Not Your Typical Christmas Playlist

For the chilly days that approach us.

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The Holidays are right around the corner and that means it's time to dust off the gathered snow on your Christmas playlists. Once December rolls in, shopping centers rotate the same iconic Christmas songs on their speakers: from Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" to Wham!'s "Last Christmas" to Michael Bublé. I thought it would be nice to introduce you to some underappreciated Christmas tracks for the upcoming Holidays. Enjoy.

Little Saint Nick by The Beach Boys

The Christmas Album by The Beach Boys media2.giphy.com

"Well way up north where the air gets cold
There's a tale about Christmas
That you've all been told
And a real famous cat all dressed up in red"

Santa Tell Me by Ariana Grande

Santa Tell Me music video by Ariana Grande media1.giphy.com

"Santa, tell me if you're really there
Don't make me fall in love again if he won't be here
Next year"

Ariana Grande's "Christmas and Chill" EP

Hashtag True Love media2.giphy.com

Not Just On Christmas: "I'll love you till I die, boy. Every day of my life. I celebrate you, baby. I adore you, not just on Christmas"

True Love: "On that second day of Christmas. Said you felt like something's missing. So you promised me that promise ring to keep 'til we get old, boy"

Run Rudolph Run by Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry Dancing media1.giphy.com

"Said Santa to a boy child what have you been longing for?
All I want for Christmas is a rock and roll electric guitar
And then away went Rudolph a whizzing like a shooting star
Run, run Rudolph, Santa's got to make it to town"

Thank God It's Christmas by Queen

Queen Rock Band media1.giphy.com

"The moon and stars seem awful cold and bright
Let's hope
The snow will make this Christmas right
My friend the world
Will share this special night
Because it's Christmas"

Cindy Lou's Wish by Tyler, The Creator

Tyler, The Creator in After the Storm Music Video media1.giphy.com

All I can say about this track is that its pure raw creativity. The artistry of Tyler, The Creator is unmatched. The track is just instrumental but that doesn't matter. Words aren't needed in order for your imagination to run wild. In fact, take the time to listen to the entire EP: Music Inspired by Illumination & Dr. Seuss' The Grinch. You won't regret it.

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13 Thoughts I Had Driving In The Snow For The First Time In College

I'd rather stick to my upbringing and just not function in snow.

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I remember during my last year in high school when it was the very start of a new year and the streets were utterly deserted. Cars were abandoned along the freeway. The hill up to my apartment was littered with cars on either side. It was like the apocalypse had reached our streets. The world was white, and Portland, Oregon didn't function like that.

Fast forward two years and you'd find me 2,000 miles away from home, I had the same old delight at the sight of a world full of white, but I also had my same understandings of the rules to surviving in snow. In Ohio, everyone functions in snow. People get in their cars and drive to their destinations. There's no cancellation of school or closing down of roads. Not for a mere few inches. The roads are cleared within hours. The people have no fear. And I'd have to learn to function like them too. So when the day finally came and I had to venture out into my bitterly cold wonderland I was terrified.

Here are 13 things I thought as I drove in the snow for the first time at the age of 20:

1. Why is my car so dark?

When I first made it to my car I was in such a hurt to get in and turn the car on to get the heat started I missed a step. As soon as I climbed in I realized I was in utter darkness. My windows wired as if they adorned curtains that were shut. My lack of knowledge had led me to forget that I had to clear my windows of their white companion.

2. Why do my windows keep freezing over even after I scrape them?

Takes a while for the window defrosters to really get going and protect the windows from refreezing over.

3. My foot is a feather, wait no, it’s a cloud

My foot touched the gas pedal as if I was sitting on a bomb and if I pressed it too hard that bomb would go off. I imagined my foot to be a feather. And that was what was going to keep me alive. As I drove, though, terrible images filled my head causing my foot to become a cloud.

4. I don’t care what any other driver thinks

When I looked in my rear-view mirror, I saw a car inching behind me. I was going significantly below the speed limit. I kept saying things to the driver of the car behind me (fully aware that they couldn't hear me) like, "I'm so sorry," or, "I'm just trying to keep us all alive tonight," and with my head moving from side to side, "Don't you get mad at me."

5. I’m approaching a barrier, one that I’ll have to overcome

For me, that barrier was going over the train tracks which included the smallest incline.

6. Why isn’t my car moving?

There I was, ready to take my turn at the stop sign but as much as I put my foot down on the gas pedal I wasn't moving — until suddenly I was!

7. Why does anyone function in snow?

The Portlander in me found this way of life to be crazy risky. I'd rather be safe, in my living room, with my cats, then out here risking my life

8. Why is this taking so long?

As I moved painfully slow along the road due to the conditions I was well aware of the increased time it was taking me to travel to my destination. Specifically, that night it took me three times as long.

9. Everyone who ever told me “it’s just snow” was and is wrong 

Everyone who ever has told me "it's just snow" is wrong. Snow is not a "just" thing. It's something to be taken seriously no matter what your expertise with it may be. Based on the number of other vehicles I saw traveling slow and still sliding from time to time, I'd say it requires more seriousness.

10. Maybe it’s not too late to just go home now

I definitely wanted to just go home and get away from the stress and safety risks of driving in the snow.

11. How would this be different if I had grown up in a city that functions in snow?

There’s always at least one “what if...” question for every situation.

12. I wish the roads had been plowed before I left

Then I wouldn’t have had to deal with the stress and safety concerns of my short trip.

13. All the ways something could go wrong

At numerous points throughout my drive, I would have a scene still play in my head. I saw it play like some old movie in a drive-in theater: over dramatized images displayed large across a towering screen. The basic plot of each one involved me sliding and then crashing.

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Everything You Need To Know About The Government Shutdown

The longest government shutdown in history will impact every American.

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In the early morning hours of December 22, the longest government shutdown in United States history began. At this writing, the government has been shut down for 24 days -- and counting.

The current shutdown revolves around President Trump's request for over five billion dollars to fund a U.S.-Mexico border wall, which he sees as a necessary response to the "massive Humanitarian Crisis" taking place at the southern border -- the flow of migrants from Central America. Democrats in Congress, who fervently deny the severity of the situation, refuse to allocate funds towards a wall, instead looking to negotiate other measures for border security. Unable to pass bipartisan spending legislation, the government remains closed.But what exactly is a shutdown, and what does it mean for ordinary Americans?

A government shutdown occurs when the annual appropriations bills that fund several government agencies and programs fail to reach passage by both Congress and the president. Congress is in charge of creating these bills, and each year the president must sign them into law in order to fund the government for a new fiscal period. In October, at the beginning of the current fiscal year, only a few of the necessary appropriations bills were enacted, and Congress had until December 21 to enact the rest. However, due to congressional infighting and the President's incessant demands for a wall, the government failed to reach a spending agreement by the deadline, and a shutdown ensued.

Without appropriated funds, any departments or agencies deemed "non-essential" are put on hold under a government shutdown. This means that many federal workers, including those within the Food and Drug Administration and National Park Service, are furloughed, or put on temporary leave without pay. The remaining employees, who work in departments or agencies considered "essential," are forced to work without pay until appropriations are made by Congress and the President. Once the government is open again, they will receive their missed checks in back pay.

Put simply, the 800,000 Americans who work for departments affected by the shutdown have been without a paycheck for almost an entire month now. In past weeks, several of these workers have taken to Washington to protest the shutdown and have appeared on television to voice their frustrations. Forced to deplete their savings to make ends meet, they worry about how they'll make their next mortgage payment and keep their families fed. Paying for daycare services for infants, or college tuition for young adults, has become almost impossible for some.

And government employees aren't the only Americans affected by the shutdown. Though social security checks are sent out and Medicare is paid for, the issuance of insurance cards could cease, meaning that those newly eligible for Medicare could be turned away. Hundreds of sites with hazardous waste or polluted drinking water will go uninspected by the EPA. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, responsible for feeding thousands of impoverished families, cannot last another two months without funding.

Perhaps the scariest effect of the shutdown is its impact on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), responsible for screening passengers at airports. Since the shutdown began, airports across the country have dealt with a shortage of staff, causing long lines and massive travel delays. George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Texas and Miami International Airport in Florida have both been forced to close entire terminals in response to a staffing shortage. On January 14, TSA spokesman Michael Biello tweeted that TSA "experienced a national rate of 7.6 percent unscheduled absences compared to a 3.2 percent rate one year ago, Monday, January 15, 2018." Although the agency claims that security has not been compromised during the shutdown, the lack of workers leaves many travellers skeptical.

As President Trump continues to exploit the "crisis" at the border (see the televised address) and top Democrats defend the merits of legal immigration, it is unclear just how long the shutdown will continue. In the House, Democrats have passed spending bills supporting the immediate re-opening of affected federal departments, but such bills have not yet been brought to the Republican-controlled Senate. There have been no meetings scheduled between the White House and congressional staff, and Trump has abandoned his idea of declaring a national emergency. It seems the only thing left to do is wait.

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