Thanks For Ruining My Holiday Cheer

Thanks For Ruining My Holiday Cheer

We go from being thankful to being greedy almost instantaneously.
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Thanksgiving is a time of year where Americans come together and celebrate what they have. It's a time of year where we cook, we eat, watch football, and completely whitewash a piece of history where we committed cultural genocide on an entire group of people. But regardless of my passive aggressive political comments, this article is about taking time to reflect on things to be thankful for. The problem with this time of year is that immediately following Thanksgiving, Black Friday swoops in and makes everything about prices.

We go from being thankful to being greedy almost instantaneously.

I remember being a little kid and loving the holidays. We all went to my grandma's house and spent the day together. We laughed, told stories, and genuinely enjoyed each other's company. We didn't care about what was on sale the next day because we had each other. And don't get me wrong, I have no problems with anyone who goes Black Friday shopping, you do you. However, our society has become so fixed on materialism that we lose focus of what these holiday seasons are about. They are about being together and remembering what we have and being thankful for it.

Now that I've ripped into you all about Thanksgiving, time for Christmas. I love Christmas, I love the music, I love the music, I love the smiles on my friend's face when I give them that sentimental gift that really meant something to them. I just love it all. I get all wrapped in my nostalgia-themed gift wrap that I don't even notice materialism sneak in and poke its ugly face in.

Now, around this time of year, materialism appears in the form of a fat white boy in red velvet pants. That's right... I'm talking about the creepy dude who you stand in line for hours for just so you can sit on his lap and take a picture. The guy who eats so much processed sugar and complex carbohydrates in one night that he's a borderline medical miracle. I'm talking about Buddy the Elf's wet dream, Santa Claus.

Now, before anyone jumps down my throat in the comments and threatens to stab me with a candy cane, I got no beef with the big guy. I think his symbolism of holiday cheer and the fact that he's the nuclear deterrent against children being brats for a month is a marketing miracle. I just hate... well just about everything else.

I hate that he's the reason we celebrate, I hate that we have forgotten that Christmas is a holy day and should at least have those sentiments behind it. Instead, all we think about is Santa and whether or not our mom is going to get us that Xbox we wanted. I'm guilty of all of these things, and hell I'm not perfect, but I know we can be better.

Stay safe and have a great holiday break!

Cover Image Credit: Timothy Eberly

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10 Bible Verses For Thanksgiving

Psalm 34:1
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The Thanksgiving season is a time we spend with our loved ones giving thanks for the blessings we are given. Here are 20 Bible verses that remind us of what Thanksgiving is all about:

1) 1 Chronicles 16:34

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

2) Colossians 3:15-17

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

3) Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

4) Psalm 30:12

That my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

5) Isaiah 12:4-5

And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. “Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth.

6) Hebrews 12:28-29

Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.

7) Jonah 2:9

But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay Salvation is from the Lord."

8) 1 Timothy 4:4-5

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.

9) Psalm 28:7

The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.

10) Psalm 100:4

Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name.

Cover Image Credit: Wallpapers Pro

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What Christmas Means To Me: An Atypical Prayer

You are where my life began and continues to grow, and the love is always unconditional, never ending, and felt as soon as you walk in the door.
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This last Christmas, my grandfather gave me the opportunity to write the grace and prayer that is read before Christmas Dinner. Though it may not sound much like a typical prayer or a traditional grace, it sounded a little something like this:

"When I think of Christmas, I think of this moment right here. The one where we are all gathered together, bound together by love in a place where so many memories have been made. It’s the time that we get to spend together that makes Christmas so special, not the presents, not the food (though it is delicious and I’ll never say no to another one of Grandma’s cookies), but instead the bond that we continue to strengthen each and every year when we come together.

So this Christmas, I am thankful to be surrounded by a family that loves me. As I said in an article of mine that came out earlier this week, “never is the love in my house one-sided”, and that rings true here today. God has given us this holiday not only to celebrate Christ’s birth but also to remind us that the love of this family is never one-sided. It reminds us how special this family is, and how lucky we are to have one another.

I could not ask for better people to have in my life. I could not ask for better grandparents to teach me so many life lessons and to be there whenever I needed someone to turn to, parents that raised me into the strong, independent, and loving young woman that I am today, and a sister that I’ve become so much closer to this year and am proud to call my best friend. I could not ask for a better aunt and uncle that have never failed to make me feel loved and are always there to support me in everything that I do, and cousins that always take time to make sure I’m ok and give life advice that has helped shape who I am as I grow up. I could not ask for better little boys to be my little boys and bring joy and laughter to my life, and a dog that makes me happy to come home and I can always count on for kisses.

Christmas is my favorite holiday, but not for the reasons many people may think. It’s not because of the presents, or the cookies (though I do love them so please make as many as you can Grandma), but because of the love, I get to experience on this day. Family is where life starts and the love never ends, and in this family, this rings true. You are where my life began and continues to grow, and the love is always unconditional, never-ending, and felt as soon as you walk in the door.

Merry Christmas, I love you all with all my heart."

Christmas may be over, but the words in this prayer still ring true. Though people change and every holiday is different in its own way, these words will forever ring true.

Cover Image Credit: Nancy Summer

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