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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19 Things To Do On Your 19th Birthday

You only turn 19 years old once, so spend the day doing these awesome things!
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Nineteen isn't a fantastic birthday. It is not your 18th birthday where you can start saying, "I'm legal," it's not your 16th birthday when you can have a Sweet 16 birthday party and it is not your 21st birthday where you can finally drink legally.

So here are 19 things that you can do to celebrate your 19th birthday and make the most of it.

1. Sleep in.

Unless you need to wake up early for something, don't set your alarm. Catch up on your sleep and relax for the morning. Enjoy waking up and not having a place to be.

2. Make yourself a nice breakfast.

You only turn 19 once, so make sure it is a good breakfast to start your day off right. Make yourself some eggs, toast, bacon and a nice cup of coffee.

3. Go get a manicure.

It is your birthday; make sure you treat yourself right! You deserve to be pampered on your birthday!

4. Go to the beach.

There is nothing better than getting some sun on your birthday! Enjoy the warm weather and the heat. Swim in the water and soak up some sun.

5. Go to an amusement park.

For those of you who like the thrill of roller coasters, an amusement park is the way to go. Ride roller coasters and eat some fried dough with your friends.

6. Have a party.

This is the most common way to celebrate your birthday. Invite friends to come over and make food. Spend your birthday surrounded by friends and family.

7. Have a bonfire.

This is what I love to do on my birthday. Surround yourself with your best friends, enjoy some s'mores and sit around the fire.

8. Go on a hike.

For the nature lovers, this is the ideal way to spend your birthday. Grab a friend and go to the Adirondack mountains and spend the day hiking.

9. Buy yourself something nice.

That pair of boots you've been staring at for the last two months or that Michael Kors wallet you've been dreaming of? It's your birthday! Go buy it. You deserve it.

10. Have a movie night.

Invite a couple friends over, make some popcorn and have movie theater candy on hand. Watch a couple movies and eat some snacks with your best friends.

11. Call up an old friend.

I'm sure that old friend has been thinking of you too, so why not give them a call? See if they want to go out and get lunch with you.

12. Buy some lottery tickets.

Who knows? Your birthday could end up being your lucky day. Maybe you'll lose all of your money, but maybe you could win some back too.

13. Go to a concert.

What is better than music on your birthday? Hopefully there will be some good music groups in town during your birthday.

14. Bake a cake.

If you love to bake, then make a birthday cake! Decorate it all specially and put your favorite colors and flavors of frosting on it.

15. Do something on your bucket list.

At one point or another, all of us have made a bucket list. Take it out and find something on your bucket list that you can cross off and complete!

16. Spend your day with family.

Enjoy your day surrounded by your family. They will know exactly what to do for the day and how to make sure your birthday is a good one.

17. Visit your favorite place.

Whether you love going to the zoo and seeing the animals, or there is a nearby city that you love going to, spend the day there.

18. Get a haircut.

It is a new year and a new you! Get a haircut!

19. Do something you love doing.

Whether you love reading or love to run, spend the day doing whatever it is you love. It is your birthday and you should spend the day doing what you love.

Cover Image Credit: Cross Cards

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Christmas Of Remembrance Series: My Last Letter

Christmas time is not about the gifts... It is about something far, far more special.

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Dear Reader,

Thank you for your time.

This is a series that I have dedicated to those I have loved and lost. It was merely a thought, then an idea, and now a realized creation. Christmas time… all winter really is a hard time for me. It holds this duality in my life of being both my favorite and also my least favorite and difficult time of year. It has been that way for years now.

In a way, this series aids my closure and healing further, and it allows me to tell my story in a way that, to me, is less scary (one of the many great facets of this platform). It was never my intention to write this in order to reach people, or encourage people, or serve as an inspiration to anyone. This was for me and only me. No one else. But, if these pieces of writing do impact someone, somewhere, or make them feel encouraged or inspired in some way or another, or just simply make them feel, then I hope you have enjoyed them. If I can make someone feel, then I guess I have done my job.

The life of an artist is often an uncertain one. The life of a human is a trying one. But life is a journey, and all journeys have their trials. Their tests. Their triumphs and rewards. And they all have their losses. What matters most is what you make of all of it. What lessons you learn. What changes you make. What life you create for yourself. What art you create because of it all. It can be very, very hard. But it can all be glorious at the same time.

At the heart of this series, my words, there is this deep and valuable belief of mine: Christmas (or the Winter Holiday that you may celebrate) is so much more about presents and cooking and shopping and all that other bullshit… it is about family.

The family that is related by blood. The family that surrounds your heart. Your Mom. Your brother. Your dearest friends. The bonds that make life valuable. Worth living. These bonds are soulful bonds, ones that are far more special than any mere trivial object. So… be with them. Forgive. Forget. Heal. Mend what is broken. Reassemble what has been shattered. And stop worrying so much. Laugh together. Cry together. Heal on another. Heal together. And may your new days be better, brighter, and full of love.

Happy Holidays.

Ty


A song for you...

"Sense of Home" — Harrison Storm / YouTube

If you liked this series, I invite you to check out my previous article below…

To My Fellow 孤, The Sons Without Fathers On Father’s Day

As well as this article by a fellow creator…

What You Learn Losing A Parent So Young

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