'Tis the Season of Giving

'Tis the Season of Giving

Give a little bit

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November through December is undoubtedly one of the best times of the year. Thanksgiving and Christmas are back to back, and even if you aren't religious Christmas has become more of an American cultural tradition rather than just a religious event.

While you catch up on your favorite Christmas movies, listen to 'All I Want For Christmas' on repeat, and wrap away, please don't turn a blind eye to those in need.

I am so fortunate to not have to worry about if there will be a roof over my head, if I will have food to eat, or if there is someone who cares.

But not everyone is as lucky.

If you're in the spirit of giving but don't know how to help someone in need, here's a list of possible ways you can make someone's Christmas a bit brighter.

  • Fill a backpack up with thick socks, gloves, a hat, and non-perishable goods. If you live in or near a major city give them to homeless people-many lack shoes, let alone a good pair of socks, and in the winter months the risk of frostbite or hypothermia is too great for us to ignore.
  • Be a Secret-Santa for a family who is struggling to make ends meet. Whether it be through your local church or just a family on Facebook, there are thousands of families scrounging up pennies to buy their kid one gift. You'll be taking the burden off the parents' back and making the holiday season a bit merrier for children in need.
  • Donate to your local Ronald-McDonald House! Ronald McDonald Houses house families and their sick children so that they aren't separated during treatments. Whether you're donating gifts, food, or money, anything helps!
  • Pay for someone's coffee! It is a small act of kindness, but it can go a long way.

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The Importance Of Patriotism

Why it's important to stand together, love and respect one's country.
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Patriotism is a hard concept to grasp. I think it can be open to interpretation, but to me, it is isn't solely about blinding loyalty to one's country, but it is about love and respect. This doesn't mean that there is a belief that one's country is the absolute best, but it means that there is pride in one's origins and a desire for that country to thrive. This is why patriotism is so important, especially among the younger generations. No matter how many times we've heard it, we truly are the future, and for the future to be bright, we have to act in our country's best interest, not our own.

I once read an article that compared patriotism to a family. It said that without love, respect and loyalty that family would disintegrate. Think about adultery, a parent failing to support his child, the child disrespecting his guardian; it would all fall apart. For this reason, patriotism is important; to preserve and protect the nation as it currently exists, and eventually, perhaps make it better.

I grew up in Italy where patriotism was practically nonexistent. I saw more hatred for my country than anything else. Celebrating who we were, was seen as silly and unnecessary unless it was in the context of sports. While I was too young at the time to do anything about it, I now realize that it is part of the reason why the country isn't functioning. When young people are too busy complaining about everything sucking instead of loving their nation and working hard for it to succeed, things don't go well at all.

I encourage everyone, especially the youth, to love their country. No matter where you are from, it is part of who you are because it is where you come from. I understand that especially nowadays, there are more problems than anything else, and it's easy to be unhappy and complain about everything being wrong, but I also recognize that the only way to achieve progress is by working together from a place of love and respect. It is important to focus on what is good and stand together united, pushing for progress. Don't be afraid to show your patriotism especially this 4th of July, be proud and stand together.

Cover Image Credit: Patriotic Conservative

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As I Get Older, I Care Less And Less About My Birthday

It doesn't hold the same meaning as it did when I was younger.

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Every year people celebrate their birthday. It's an exciting day for most as you get some gifts and cake and spend it with friends and family. I used to love my birthday. I loved that on that one day, the spotlight was on me. People had to care about me. As I've gotten older though, I found myself caring less and less about my birthday. It's not a day I get excited about.

I've always had a love/hate relationship with my birthday anyway, given that it's on Valentine's Day. So I've always had to share my birthday with all that love and people wanting to spend it with their partner. I believe that the dislike side has grown as well because as I get older and my friends get older, they are all finding someone to be with or starting a family. Therefore, they have someone they want to spend the day with. They want to celebrate with them, not me. I've always had to battle Valentine's Day.

I believe that once you've hit a lot of major milestone birthdays (i.e first, 16th, 18th, 21st) there isn't much to look forward to. It's just another year added to your life.

You realize more and more that you're just getting older.

I'm generally a simple person as well. I don't want a huge party, I don't want fancy gifts, and I really hate people singing to me. I like having the attention, but hate it at the same time. It's a weird feeling to explain. You want to be loved, but don't want it all at once. I don't want all eyes on me.

Of course, there will always be certain parts of my birthday that I really like and do look forward to. My mom gets me the heart-shaped donuts from Dunkin' every year on my birthday. She never forgets because I don't give her the chance to. I always remind her. I do like the fact that I can ask for something, and more often than not get it because it's my birthday.

I don't mean like big gifts either. I mean that I can ask that we have what I want for dinner. That I can ask my mom to spend some one on one time with me. Simple things that I don't usually get.

I don't hate my birthday, I just don't feel as much excitement as I did growing up. It's just another day of the year.

There's just too much effort you have to put into your birthday as you grow older as well. You usually have to plan something yourself, which I don't want to do. I have no idea what I'm supposed to do because I don't want a party and there isn't anything special I ever wish to do. Even if I did want to plan a party inviting people would be a nightmare and trying to make it work for different people is a hassle.

I just think that as you get older, birthday's just aren't worth the trouble.

So, I've accepted the fact that I just don't care. I will enjoy the little things about it, but I won't make a big fuss. It's just another day.

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