An Open Letter To My Father In Heaven As The Holidays Approach

An Open Letter To My Father In Heaven As The Holidays Approach

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Hey Dad,

We're going on our second holiday season without you. For some reason, it really feels like the first, maybe because last year was such a blur, and we were able to go away for Christmas. It was nice to be able to escape for a bit. The last holiday season we spent with you was in the hospital two years ago right before you left us. I often feel angry that the last holidays we spent together weren't at home, but you were there with us, and that's what really matters, right?

Do you remember when you were in the hospital and I was so determined that you would be home for Christmas that I went out and got a tree and did all the decorations myself? It ended up falling down Christmas Day, but I made mom keep it because I wanted you to see it so badly.

I'm not sure I can do that this year Dad, no one knows how to pick out the perfectly "just too big" (according to mom) tree like you do. Besides, without you I couldn't even make it stay up anyway.

When you were in the hospital I made it a point to ask you where the outlets were outside, so I could hang up the lights. I never got myself to do it though Dad, Im sorry.

Because of you, I have always cherished and loved the holidays. You made our home feel as if it were magical every single time you walked in that door to hear those slow Christmas lullabies and feel the reflection of the huge colorful lightbulbs strung around your tree. At Thanksgiving you would be on the couch watching football, with cheers and screams so loud I could feel the vibrations in my room. And let's not forget the occasional kart wheel every now and then when your team scored. You would carve the turkey, but make sure to take a bite every couple of pieces and tease Jack with it as he sat at your feet begging mercilessly. You would get the important seat at the head of the table, even though you really had just sat around all day watching football, while Mom was the one "slaving away in the kitchen." But you were important Dad, you were the center of it all.

I'm not entirely sure what one does when that central piece is removed from the puzzle. Do you move on and act like nothing ever happened? Do you avoid those moments in time where that person was once a vital part of, and not partake in it? Or do you try to honor them by continuing what they loved?

I'm sure most people reading that started to nod their head at the third option. "Yeah, that sounds good. Honoring a loved one is good. Thats a good thing to do."

You couldn't be more right that that is a good thing to do. But until you have lost a puzzle piece as vital as this, you won't understand how that option is sometimes the most difficult of them all.

I don't want anyone getting a Christmas tree to put in our house. That's where yours is supposed to be, and it wouldn't be nearly the same.

I don't want anyone putting up the Christmas Village that you cursed at for days as you put it up each year. That was our special thing together. Besides, no one knows how to string the wires of the little street posts properly so that you can't see them from under the snow blanket.

I don't want to hear football playing on Thanksgiving Day, because their cheers just won't be the same. I want to hear your cheers Dad.

I don't want anyone touching the chair at the head of the table Dad, I want you to be sitting there, chewing with your mouth completely full and obnoxiously loud as you always did.

What people reading this letter probably don't realize, is that I absolutely love the holidays. And that is a hard concept to express to others. Loving the holidays, but feeling sad about them at the same time. I am excited to put up a little tree in my apartment, and host our secret santa party. Because that is separate from you. If I really let myself think about it, I do get sad. But that sadness doesn't compare to the pit in my stomach when I think of looking at a tree in our living room at home, and not seeing you sitting next to it. It is such a complex feeling to dread something and look forward to it at the same time. But I am not entirely sure that will ever go away.

I just want you here Dad. The thought of doing Christmas at home this year without you is incredibly scary. I want you here to slow dance with me on Christmas Eve, I want you here so I can buy you that globe that I still have saved on my Amazon Wishlist; I want you here so we can sit in silence together on the couch as we listen to Christmas Carols and admire the tree.

I hope that you've brought that holiday magic to heaven with you. I hope that you have access to so many Christmas lights and decorations that you don't even know what to do with it all. I hope you have endless Christmas cookies (particularly ginger snaps), stuffing and turkey. I hope you are sitting with Grandpa who recently joined you, your mother, Jack and mom's parents; and you're all around a campfire singing songs as Grandpa plays the guitar, all laughing uncontrollably loud that we could almost feel it here.

I don't typically ask for this type of thing, but I hope that maybe you could just keep an eye out this season. Give me some hope that I can do this, and that you are still here with me. Give me a little help in not tearing up in the department store dressing room when they start playing your favorite Christmas songs. And, maybe if I do end up getting a tree you could ask the big man if he wouldn't mind making it stay up this year?

Mom keeps asking me what I want for Christmas, and besides the answer of a puppy, I really have had no response for her. The only thing in the world that I want Dad, is you. I want that today, I wanted it yesterday, and I will want it every day of this beautiful life you blessed me with.

Happy Thanksgiving, and Merry Christmas Daddy.

Love from every inch of my heart and soul,

Your Little Girl

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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12 Things I Never Miss To Have In My Handbag

My handbag is a 'mini me' and I feel totally clueless without it.

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I take my handbag everywhere and carried everything at times even junk, worn out receipts, tickets, coupons for a long time. Thought it would be the right time to come to terms with it. I have started organizing or should I say customize my shoulder companion with things that are needed every day for me so that I could share it with you peeps. I really like my handbag that I became a sucker for naming it and you can see it why.

1.My nutcracker case

It might seem different but that is how I like to call my cute little box with nuts. I fill them up with almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnut and dried fruits and sorts if I go out. My nutcracker case helps me with my hunger pangs and snacking habit. I can munch them on when I have to skip my eating during my studies or if I have some work or travel. It is just a simple healthy alternative I do instead of grabbing fries or burgers. I've been taking healthy choices lately and this idea is helping me a lot. Try it!

2.My perfume

I literally cannot survive without my perfume. It keeps me going and it really helps me on the go. My perfume is like a part of me so I am very choosy about it. So that said, I always keep my perfume in my handbag. How do I choose my perfume? My nose has a sharp sensitivity over the fragrances. So it says, what is the best perfume for women.

3.My tech space

I use to put up a fight every time with my handbag in the name of searching for my charger and headphones. So I gave it a thought. My favorite clear pouch came to the rescue and I gave it a name, my Tech Space. I carry my two headphones, my power bank, pen drives, travel phone charger, memory cards, and USB connector within the Tech space!

4.Money banks

Well you would have figured it out by now. Yes, it's my wallet. Something I would never miss to have. I do have a separate small coin pouch. I am not a big wallet person so I always prefer a small comfortable wallet with many racks where I put my cards and ready-cash. I don't just put my wallet in my bag; I specifically have them in a zipped compartment. Once I had a bad experience when I left my wallet in the room due to 'bag cleaning'. So from then on, I started to put my wallet in a separate zipped compartment, so that it remains safe even when I occasionally take out the bag.

5.My journal

I am still an old school. I will better remember the details when I manually write it down. My journal is also my 'To-Do list' so I pretty much use it for everything. I carry a fountain pen with me which I use, so pretty much I am a very old school indeed.

6.Vanity

I stash all my skin essentials in this pouch. I will have a small bottle of my daily-face wash, a pack of facial tissues, my moisturizer, a concealer, small mirror and a light lip shade, overall a quick makeup fix. I have a side compartment in my vanity pouch where I keep my sanitary needs. I need my lip balm very often, so I usually put it the bag so every time I don't have to open the pouch.

7.The keys

It's always good and must, to lock your room when you go out. When I leave my house/apartment, it became my habit to keep the keys inside my handbag. I always put the duplicate key so one for me and another one for my room partner. In addition to the keys, I attach a bottle opener and my USB drive in the key ring.

8.Mini first aid kit

What I get myself a hurt unexpectedly while playing? I will need a bandage, dressing, antibiotic cream and a mini scissor to help me out. Having a pain reliever also will help me to come out of my headache. For this, I keep 'Ibuprofen/Asprin' all the time. I purchased my mini first aid in Walmart that easily fits into my handbag perfectly.

9.Pepper spray

I don't need to tell you why I keep the pepper spray. It's really important to me and every ladies out there to protect themselves. This world is crazy! .Everything happens (pain, dizziness) due to the spray is just temporary. So I don't afraid to keep. Irrespective of persons, It helps me to take a defense against bears and dogs too. Lip balm, lipstick, pen and many forms of pepper sprays are available. I have personal 'alarm key ring' pepper spray inside my bag.

10.Comb & bobby pins

These are the must-have hair accessories that I can't miss out. It's not very unusual for me to get my hair streak out, irrespective of how it looked shinier when I comb the hair at home. It's the case with everyone either. No matter how well you dressed, what shoes you wear, if your hairstyle is ruined then everything is ruined. This is why in my little pouch, I keep a comb and bobby pins inside the bag.

11.Tissues

Tissues can be used to many things. It helps me wipe the tears after having a heavy long working day of my class, after seeing a sentimental movie, to sneeze, to rub my hands and so on.

12.Stain eraser pen

Not only it helps me wear a stainless shirt without any coffee or food item stains throughout the day but it also helps me get a "life saver" title from my friends and colleagues.

When you ask me, my bag is more like a non-talking companion who literally has a small version of my room in it. What about yours?

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