Why Some People Don't Like Christmas

Why Some People Don't Like Christmas

It's not so holly and jolly for a lot of people.
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Honestly, I really don't see Christmas as "the most wonderful time of the year" for more reasons than one -- and I'm sure there are other people who feel the same.

Every year when I groan about Christmas music, I get people who ask me, "How can you not like Christmas?" or they accuse me of being a Jesus hater for not being appreciative of the celebration of His birth. My answer is this:

Christmas isn't about having the nicest stuff; it's about Jesus. But the problem is that we have created an expectation for our society which says that we are defined by how much we get or give for Christmas. For people with major financial issues, it can be really stressful in a sense that those families get reminded, once again, that they are less because they have less. Some people struggle to make ends meet on a daily basis, so when it comes down to it, how should they be expected to splurge this one time of the year when they can barely afford to put food on the table anyway?

If Christmas were more about Jesus than competitive commercialism, I really believe that it would be a much happier holiday. Ironically, Jesus taught more about sharing and caring rather than fighting to the top and seeing who can get the best gifts. It seems like Jesus has kind of been sucked out of His own birthday, which is sad. Because although several people know what Christmas signifies, they don't celebrate it for that reason.

There's a condition called SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which makes people feel more depressed during a certain seasonal change, typically in the winter months. This means that while stores are blasting Christmas music about it being "the most wonderful time of the year" and having "a holly jolly Christmas," the people with SAD are only being dragged further into their pits of despair. What's worse than being depressed, is being depressed while seeing everyone else so happy. Christmas music makes it ten times worse.

Ah, yes, but Christmas is a time to get together with your families and have a good time -- unless you're one of those people who either doesn't have a family or doesn't have a "normal" family. With divorce rates being so high, there are likely a lot of kids out there who don't get to celebrate it with their families as a whole. Instead, they get the pleasure of living out of a suitcase on Christmas break, being reminded that they don't have one big happy family.

Realistically, death doesn't take a break on Christmas, either. There are a lot of families who have experienced the death of a loved one on or around Christmas. Heck, even if the death wasn't experienced on or near Christmas, people still grieve. There are parents who have lost children -- or even children who have lost parents. There are widows and widowers. You can bet that grieving people don't forget about their loved ones on Christmas, but are instead, reminded of their losses.

In my case, I lost a parent at age five on December 30 -- just five days after Christmas. The traumatic experience reenters my conscience every year around Christmas time. To me, Christmas isn't a cheery time and, personally, I wish people would respect that, rather than putting me on trial for not enjoying the holiday season. This isn't to say that everyone else should stop being happy during the holidays to please people who don't like Christmas. This is a simple inquiry to be more compassionate to the people who struggle throughout the holiday season.

Cover Image Credit: Hand of Jesus Ministries

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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The Struggle of Taking Classes During the Summer

It can put a bit of a damper on summer fun

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To everyone reading: I hope you're having a nice, relaxing summer. Even if you're working I hope you can get a few days off to hang out with friends, go to the beach, and have some nice downtime. Not me. I am currently in the process of completing two four-week long summer classes. I'm taking them now to get ahead for next semester and to keep my overall schedule on track. It certainly isn't fun, but the reminder that it is only four weeks is what really keeps me going. If you are in the same boat as me, you'll relate to this list like no one else can; if you're not taking summer classes, don't let this list scare you, but use it to mentally prepare yourself for any you may have in the future.

1. Studying and homework

The homework isn't too bad with some summer classes just because you don't have time for a lot of intense projects. Still, since the class is so short you have to do some kind of homework pretty much every day. Make a schedule and spread it out so you don't get too behind.

2. Actually going to class

I am in two classes. One meets in person every day from 10 am to 11:45 am. The other is online. Let me be the first to say that getting up for class during the normal semesters is hard enough, but knowing my little brother gets to sleep in while I have to wake up early and go class is a real motivation suppressant.

I will say, though, it's kind of nice being on campus when it's basically empty.

3. No going out...

You'll probably be a little down because you might not be able to really go out at all during the time you're in class. For me, I go to lecture every morning, come home and do homework for that class, then do homework for my online class. I have some free time on the weekends, but I try to use those lecture-free days to study or work on papers.

4. But being super busy

Even though you might not be able to go out like a summer off, you'll be keeping yourself busy with all that super fun homework I mentioned.

5. Stress

Yes, summer classes can be a little stressful and it's pretty much all thanks to how fast-paced they are. Just do what I do: make a homework and project schedule as soon as you can and remind yourself how short it is.

Summer classes are not the worst thing in the world, and if you choose to take one at some point it won't be absolutely horrible. The nice thing about them is it's like ripping off a Band-Aid; it may be a little painful and annoying, but it's over so fast you don't suffer. Pick your class and professor wisely and get down to business; taking the class means you're one step closer to graduation!

So, to anyone else taking a summer class: good luck and you got this!

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