25 Reasons To Be Thankful For Christmas

25 Reasons To Be Thankful For Christmas

Why should we be thankful during the most wonderful time of the year?
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I love the Christmas season, and I don't want anyone to get lost in all the busyness of finals and shopping. So, here are 25 reasons to be thankful for the most wonderful time of year.

1. Jesus's Birth

This reason for the season is number one. Christmas reminds us that we have a savior who was born to us on this day. The number one reason to be thankful for and remember is that Christmas is a celebration of Jesus' birth.

2. Christmas Music

Christmas music has always been one of my favorite parts of Christmas. Right when December first comes, I can't help but play Christmas music ASAP. My favorite song has to be either "Carol of the Bells" or "Sleigh Ride."

3. Family

Having time to spend with my family during Christmas is something I am always thankful for. We are always so busy, and Christmas allows us to slow down and be together.

4. Traditions

From our classic Christmas movies to ringing the bells to wake up on Christmas morning, I am so thankful for our Christmas traditions.

5. Christmas Lights

My dad and I always wrap the columns in front of our house with lights, and we're practically experts at this point. Driving through our decorated neighborhood and coming home to a house all lit up always makes me smile.

6. The Break

I am so thankful to have time off from doing work, so I can spend it with my friends and family.

7. White Elephant

White elephant is basically a chance to buy the most unnecessary and funny gifts to give in a group of friends. Picking a random gift, opening it and having the opportunity to trade makes it so fun.

8. Gingerbread House Decorating

I love decorating gingerbread houses. We recently had a competition, and even though we came in last, I still had fun. By the way, we definitely deserved at least second-to-last.

9. Advent Calendars

I have a sweet tooth, so having a calendar that gives me candy every day leading up to Christmas is pretty amazing. I am probably more thankful than my health is.

10. Christmas Movies

Leading up to Christmas, all the classic movies bring back so many memories. Our Christmas Eve tradition is watching "Elf".

11. Secret Santa

My friends and I do secret Santa every year, and I am so thankful to have thoughtful friends who love giving to each other.

12. Childlike Excitement

I still have trouble falling asleep on Christmas Eve. The childlike excitement in me has never gone away, and I am so thankful to always feel like a 5-year-old on this holiday.

13. The Christmas Tree

I am in charge of watering the Christmas tree in my house because I finally convinced my parents to get a real tree again. So, I am thankful for our real and good-smelling Christmas tree.

14. Nostalgia

Christmas brings back so many memories I am thankful for. We always tell stories of past Christmases. Just bringing out the old ornaments starts stories of where they came from and which ones are our favorites.

15. A Season Of Giving

Around Christmas, people are in a spirit of giving. Everyone shows their love and thankfulness for each other this time of year, and I am so thankful for the generosity Christmas brings.

16. Hot Cocoa

Hot cocoa with whipped cream, marshmallows and a candy cane to stir is happiness in a mug. I am so thankful for this warm reminder of the holidays.

17. The End Of The Year

Christmas also marks the end of the year. Looking back on all the blessings and growth over the past year always makes me feel thankful, and the new year brings new opportunities and resolutions.

18. Hanging By The Fire

Listening to Christmas music by the fire is two things to be thankful for in one. Putting some fuzzy socks on and getting cozy with friends and family is a perfect night.

19. Tacky Christmas Sweaters

Tacky Christmas sweaters seem to get more elaborate every year, and they never fail to make me laugh. I am thankful for their itchy reminder to be joyful.

20. Decorations

Bringing out all the Christmas decorations I have seen since I can remember brings back so many memories. I am so thankful for all the fat Santas, reindeer and wreaths decking our halls.

21. Love And Joy

Christmas is a time to spread joy and love as it is the time when Jesus was born. Seeing the joy of everyone I know is something I am truly thankful for.

22. Friends

My friends are amazing, and spending time with them over Christmas break is something I am thankful for. Their loving and thoughtful selves bring so much joy to this season.

23. Christmas Parties

We recently just had a Christmas party that consisted of playing Just Dance for about five hours, and I am definitely thankful for all the laughs and fun Christmas parties bring.

24. Church

Church during Christmas time is wonderful. Along with hearing Christmas songs, it reminds me to never forget the reason for the season.

25. The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Christmas is truly the most wonderful time of the year, and I hope you find reasons to be thankful all around you.

Cover Image Credit: Ben White

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15 Things Only Lake People Will Understand

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.
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The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people. Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look. Every year when summer rolls back around, you can't wait to fire up the boat and get back out there. Here is a list of things you can probably identify with as a fellow lake-goer.

1. A bad day at the lake is still better than a good day not at the lake.

It's your place of escape, where you can leave everything else behind and just enjoy the beautiful summer day. No matter what kind of week you had, being able to come and relax without having to worry about anything else is the best therapy there is. After all, there's nothing better than a day of hanging out in the hot sun, telling old funny stories and listening to your favorite music.

2. You know the best beaches and coves to go to.

Whether you want to just hang out and float or go walk around on a beach, you know the best spots. These often have to be based on the people you're with, given that some "party coves" can get a little too crazy for little kids on board. I still have vivid memories from when I was six that scared me when I saw the things drunk girls would do for beads.

3. You have no patience for the guy who can’t back his trailer into the water right.

When there's a long line of trucks waiting to dump their boats in the water, there's always that one clueless guy who can't get it right, and takes 5 attempts and holds up the line. No one likes that guy. One time my dad got so fed up with a guy who was taking too long that he actually got out of the car and asked this guy if he could just do it for him. So he got into the guy's car, threw it in reverse, and got it backed in on the first try. True story.

4. Doing the friendly wave to every boat you pass.

Similar to the "jeep wave," almost everyone waves to other boats passing by. It's just what you do, and is seen as a normal thing by everyone.

5. The cooler is always packed, mostly with beer.

Alcohol seems to be a big part of the lake experience, but other drinks are squeezed into the room remaining in the cooler for the kids, not to mention the wide assortment of chips and other foods in the snack bag.

6. Giving the idiot who goes 30 in a "No Wake

Zone" a piece of your mind.

There's nothing worse than floating in the water, all settled in and minding your business, when some idiot barrels through. Now your anchor is loose, and you're left jostled by the waves when it was nice and perfectly still before. This annoyance is typically answered by someone yelling some choice words to them that are probably accompanied by a middle finger in the air.

7. You have no problem with peeing in the water.

It's the lake, and some social expectations are a little different here, if not lowered quite a bit. When you have to go, you just go, and it's no big deal to anyone because they do it too.

8. You know the frustration of getting your anchor stuck.

The number of anchors you go through as a boat owner is likely a number that can be counted on two hands. Every once in a while, it gets stuck on something on the bottom of the lake, and the only way to fix the problem is to cut the rope, and you have to replace it.

9. Watching in awe at the bigger, better boats that pass by.

If you're the typical lake-goer, you likely might have an average sized boat that you're perfectly happy with. However, that doesn't mean you don't stop and stare at the fast boats that loudly speed by, or at the obnoxiously huge yachts that pass.

10. Knowing any swimsuit that you own with white in it is best left for the pool or the ocean.

You've learned this the hard way, coming back from a day in the water and seeing the flowers on your bathing suit that were once white, are now a nice brownish hue.

11. The momentary fear for your life as you get launched from the tube.

If the driver knows how to give you a good ride, or just wants to specifically throw you off, you know you're done when you're speeding up and heading straight for a big wave. Suddenly you're airborne, knowing you're about to completely wipe out, and you eat pure wake. Then you get back on and do it all again.

12. You're able to go to the restaurants by the water wearing minimal clothing.

One of the many nice things about the life at the lake is that everybody cares about everything a little less. Rolling up to the place wearing only your swimsuit, a cover-up and flip flops, you fit right in. After a long day when you're sunburned, a little buzzed, and hungry, you're served without any hesitation.

13. Having unexpected problems with your boat.

Every once in a while you're hit with technical difficulties, no matter what type of watercraft you have. This is one of the most annoying setbacks when you're looking forward to just having a carefree day on the water, but it's bound to happen. This is just one of the joys that come along with being a boat owner.

14. Having a name for your boat unique to you and your life.

One of the many interesting things that make up the lake culture is the fact that many people name their boats. They can range from basic to funny, but they are unique to each and every owner, and often have interesting and clever meanings behind them.

15. There's no better place you'd rather be in the summer.

Summer is your all-time favorite season, mostly because it's spent at the lake. Whether you're floating in the cool water under the sun, or taking a boat ride as the sun sets, you don't have a care in the world at that moment. The people that don't understand have probably never experienced it, but it's what keeps you coming back every year.


Cover Image Credit: Haley Harvey

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5 Reasons It's Always Worth It To Be A Summer Camp Counselor

Summer camps have a special place in my heart, and I'm here to share that with you.

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Since I was 15, I have been a counselor at various summer camps. I have been a Program Aide at Girl Scout camp, a counselor at church camp, and a counselor at a day camp. These were all camps that I attended as a kid, so they already had a special place in my heart when I got a chance to work at them.

After being a camp counselor for five years, there are things that I have learned on the job that has helped me in life. Being a counselor has also helped me grow as a person. It's helped me gain skills that I don't think I would have learned in other jobs. I'm here to share what I love about the job of being a camp counselor.

1. You get to be the leader/role model

As a kid, there were many counselors in my life that I looked up to. They were people that I strived to be alike in my life, but now that I'm older, I get to be that person for the kid. What I say and do will influence how the kids around me act. That comes with a lot of stress, but it's also empowering. You can be a positive influence in a kids life, and hopefully, teach them important life lessons.

2. You can be your goofy self

One thing that I love about working with kids is that I can be silly around them. Kids won't judge you for being silly because they're silly right alongside you. They feed off your energy, and it can help them explore the world around them through communication. Plus, when was it not fun to be silly?

3. You get to hang out with kids all day

This reason might turn people off from the job, but it's a part of why I love being a counselor. Hanging out with kids tires me out at times, but they also motivate me to keep going. They're little balls of energy, and I feed off of other people's energies well. The kids also help me feel youthful and like nothing matters. Everything is fun to them; they help me keep a positive outlook on life.

4. Your coworkers become your best friends

Working at a summer camp can be difficult at times. It's emotionally and physically draining as well. But having a good support team helps with that. The counselors that I have worked with in the past have become my best friends, and I still stay in touch with some. They're there for you when no one else is, and they understand what you're going through. You know that their feelings for you are genuine, and they want to help as much as they can.

5. You get to watch the kids grow

Over the summer, I get to see the same kids every week at my camp. I get to see them grow as people over the summer and it's a rewarding experience knowing that I was able to help them. Watching them become leaders and grow into little helpers by the end of the summer is one of my favorite things.

I'm excited to have the opportunity to work at a summer camp again this year. I know that it'll provide an opportunity to grow as a person and I can't wait to see my favorite kids again.

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