There is no "War on Christmas"

You Were Literally Always Able To Say "Merry Christmas"

But please remember that it's important to respect other holiday celebrations too.

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It's the holiday season once again, which means you'll see people celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, the Solstice, and a few more. For some reason, over the last few years the misconception that people are no longer allowed to say "Merry Christmas" has become a hot topic. Well, folks, I have some news: You have literally always been able to say it.

If you've had an encounter with someone who may not celebrate Christmas, and they have yelled at or belittled you for saying "Merry Christmas", I'm sorry, that's really unfortunate and awkward. However, that does not give you the excuse to demand that Christmas be the only holiday recognized because then you're doing the exact same thing. I also see more people being criticized for not saying "Merry Christmas" than for saying it, so I'm guessing your experience is few and far between (though that doesn't make it any less valid).

I do celebrate Christmas, but for the most part, I say "Happy Holidays", and I'm glad to stick to that because a lot of times, I don't know what someone may or may not celebrate. It also incorporates New Years, and it's always nice to wish someone a happy new year. But if someone says "Merry Christmas" to me, I'll wish them one back. If someone says "Happy Hanukkah" to me, I'll wish them one back. And so it goes. There is no reason to be offended over whatever holiday someone is wishing you, it's nice enough that they were wishing you well at all, so let's stop belittling anyone for what they do and don't celebrate.

Furthermore, businesses and corporations are not obligated to cater to your holiday preferences. Starbucks has gotten hate in recent years for their holiday cup if it doesn't say "Merry Christmas" on it, or if it only says it once, or if it includes other holiday celebrations. Let's keep in mind that Starbucks has no reason to cater to anyone, nor does any business (perhaps, unless they market themselves to do so).

It's really not necessary to be rude to someone who was just wishing you well. After all, they didn't have to say anything in the first place. Please try to remember that there is no "War on Christmas". You were never told to stop saying it, you were just asked to remember that other holidays and traditions exist too.

With that said: Happy Holidays!

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How To Stop Being The Toxic Person That You Would Normally Cut Out Of Your Own Life

It's so much easier to pin a problem on someone else than it is to look deep within yourself and take responsibility for the things that you've done. But that's all part of growing up.

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I'm sure you've heard it before...

"Cut someone out of your life if they negatively impact your mental health."

"You need to cut off friends, family, anyone that is bad for you and your future."

"You will be so much better off once _____ is gone from your life."

At this point in your life, you've probably cut off one or more people who you believed weren't good for you. You were prioritizing yourself, and that meant letting go of someone, regardless of the memories, bond, and love that you had for them. It was probably difficult, but somewhere down the line, you knew that you did what was best for you. And you stood by that decision.

But how many times have you been the problem?

How many times have you sat down and took the time to analyze a situation, only to come to the conclusion that YOU'RE the one that's messing up? And that if you changed x, y, and z, you could save or help your relationship with your friend, family member, or significant other.

Probably not very often.

It's so much easier to pin a problem on someone else than it is to look deep within yourself and take responsibility for the things that you've done. But that's all part of growing up. At some point, I hope you realize that you weren't so perfect either, after all. And when you do, this is what I want you to think about:

We all go through different phases of our lives, and it's okay to understand and acknowledge that this phase doesn't represent the best version of yourself. Character development isn't a strict upward slope, where you start off being a shitty, underdeveloped, immature person, but then progress into being an angel. There are going to be ups and downs. There are going to be moments where you're really disappointed in yourself, and can't believe that you let yourself slip up to that degree. We all have flaws, we all make mistakes. But also all have so much potential.

As long as you're willing to put in the effort to change (because everyone around you deserves that), then you're on the right track. And I'm proud of you for having the emotional maturity to self reflect and be better. That's the first step.

And the next step is going to involve putting everything you're saying into practice. I can't promise you that it's going to be easy. And I can't promise you that you're going to drastically permanently change overnight. If I did, I would be lying. But what I can promise you is that everything you're going to do will be worth it in the long run. I hope that's enough of a reason to dig deep for a new you.

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Everything You Need To Know About The Sudan Crisis- And What You Can Do To Help

Now is not the time to remain silent.

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Sudan Military Kills Over 100 Peaceful Protesters | NowThis www.youtube.com

Turmoil is spreading in Sudan as civilians are being massacred left and right, but few are aware of the details leading up to and regarding the calamity. Here is everything you need to know about the crisis in Sudan.

Civilians began to protest against President Omar al-Bashir as his presidency was one of violence and suffering. Under his rule, thousands of villagers were murdered by the government militia in 2003, and millions of Sudanese people were displaced from their homes. While the president was charged with genocide and war crimes, the charges were dropped when the government failed to get support from the UN. Bashir was again arrested in April 2019, after three decades of rule and several large protests.

After his rule came to an end, the people demanded a democracy, and smaller, peaceful protests eventually merged into a mass civil disobedience. Sudanese authorities banned social media and cut internet and mobile data in the capital of Sudan. Recently, soldiers have begun to open fire on crowds of protestors, rape women and men, and beat the protestors that remained on the streets. So far, it is estimated that over 100 people have been killed, 70 raped, and 700 injured. Among these numbers are hundreds of young children.

These people have no access to the outside world, or basic necessities like food and water. Instead of remaining silent and waiting for our country to step in, do your part and 1. Share this article informing others of the crisis 2. Sign this petition demanding the UN investigate this atrocity 3. Donate something to this GoFundMe raising money for Sudanese medical aid. Every share, signature and donation can and will make a difference.

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