What Do The Holidays Mean To You?

What Do The Holidays Mean To You?

I decided to do a survey about the holidays and asked 3 different questions. I had so many responses it was hard to choose which to add in this article! Thank you to everyone who filled out the survey!

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The top 5 favorite holiday activities were...

1. Holiday parties with friends and family

2. Spending time with relatives

3. Looking at Christmas lights

4. Decorating the house for the holidays.

5. White Elephant Exchange or Secret Santa

What are your favorite traditions with your friends and family?

"My favorite holiday tradition is decorating the Christmas tree with the kids, watching a LOT of Christmas movies with my family, baking cookies, going to see the Christmas lights around town."

"Love spending Christmas Eve with my family, we go to Chinatown for dinner every year in Downtown LA, and have made it a tradition with our close family friends."

"I love going over to my family member's houses and making meals and eating together. We usually will sit around and talk and play games which is great. If you are old enough, we usually try out new holiday alcoholic beverages too."

"On Christmas Eve, my mom gets a loaf of sourdough bread and cuts it a special way and puts cheese on top and bakes it. It's super yummy and always great to share as a family."

"Every year as a family we decorate the tree and my mom goes through each of our ornaments and when we got them. It's like a timeline of my past!"

"We do Christmas Eve boxes, and we get pajamas, cocoa, a mug, and a Christmas movie inside of it. Then, we make the hot cocoa, put on the PJs, and watch the Christmas movies together."

"I always love my friend's secret Santa and white elephant gift exchanges!"

"My boyfriend and I always do a "12 dates of Christmas."

How connected do you feel around those around you during the holidays?

"I feel like Christmas brings people together. Once, when my dad and I were out grocery shopping, this random stranger helped us get all of our bags into our car when he saw how much we had, and all he said when we thanked him was "Merry Christmas"."

"I feel very connected to people around me around the holidays. My extended family doesn't really get together very often, but we always do on holidays, and it is just like we picked up where we have left off."

"Everyone always seems to have a smile on their face, the season of "joy" is reflected on everyone. I wish the entire year could be filled with this "joy" that the holidays bring but then it wouldn't be as special."

"I feel extremely connected! It's the season that puts everyone in a giving and loving mood. It reminds me of how appreciative I am of everything I have."

"I feel so at home being with my family and friends during the holiday season, it brings me back to my childhood."

"I feel really connected because it's a special time of the year to spend with your friends and family."

Why do you think the holidays are important?

"I think the holidays are important because it feels like everyone can forget about their differences and just enjoy the time together and be grateful for what that have."

"It's a good time to reconnect if connections are lost throughout the year and to remind your family how loved they are."

"Even if you don't see your family for most of the year you can usually depend on the holidays as the one or two times per year that you will get the opportunity. Sometimes that is good and sometimes it is bad depending on your family but it keeps a connection going."

"The holidays are a time to come together with friends and family and celebrate your blessings. It's important to take time to do that. Religious holidays are important because they are a time to reflect on your beliefs and grow deeper in them."

"To celebrate the Lord Jesus Christ and to spend time with your loved ones. To also forget all of the bad things going on in the world around you for a short while and focus on all of the fun, beauty, and joy of this time of year."

"First and foremost for me, it's about celebrating the true reason behind the holiday - the birth of Jesus. It's also a time to show the ones you love how much they mean to you, whether that is giving your time, visiting, giving a gift, or sending a card. Making memories and traditions with your children that will go on to their own families one day."

"The holidays are important because they give hope. To small children and even to adults it means hope for happiness, hope for a break, hope for family."

"When we're all going around living our lives, we might be hundreds of miles from our nearest family member, but we always come back together every year and enjoy each other's company like no time has passed at all. The holidays remind us that we still have a family and people who love us in this world, even if we don't see them every day. They remind us of what love feels like."

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13 Summer Struggles Only Thick Girls Understand

Chafing. So much chafing.

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Summer is a lovely time. A time of cookouts, swimming, and sunny weather. But if you're a " thick girl," summer sometimes brings more unpleasantries than it does for slimmer women. No matter how beautiful and confident you are in your body, it can bring some struggles.

1. The living hell that is shorts-shopping

Step 1: Find the biggest size the store has.

Step 2: (If you can even get those on): Realize your stomach is being squeezed into the top, your butt is falling out of the back and your thighs are having the life squished out of them.

Step 3: Realize why winter isn't so bad.

2. And dealing with them even after finding a pair that "fits"

Nothing like taking a pair of shorts home you remember fitting you okay in the store and then walking for 45 seconds and pulling them out of your butt or crotch 17 times. Truly a magical experience.

3. And every bathing suit you try on shows more skin than you'd planned

Even the most conservative bathing suit turns into cleavage-city and a non-cheeky set of bottoms turns into a thong. I promise, older people glaring at me in my sexual bathing suit, I didn't mean for this to happen!

4. Chafing. So much chafing.

No better feeling than four minutes into wearing short shorts realizing that your inner thighs are literally tearing themselves apart. Body Glide and baby powder are a thick girl's No. 1 necessity.

5. Loving rompers. Rompers not loving you.

Rompers are made with short and skinny girls in mind. Heaven forbid you're not short, and heaven forbid you're not skinny. Rompers are like a mystical article of clothing that, no matter what, always just barely doesn't fit.

6. Imagining wearing a sundress with a strapless bra and just laughing

Of course, not all thick girls are well-endowed in the boob department, but if you are, you understand how hilarious the thought of you wearing a strapless bra truly is.

7. And bralettes are a thing of fantasy

Once again, bralettes are designed for a very specific body type. One that I do not fall into.

8. Feeling like you need to constantly defend yourself for dressing like you want to

There are so many posts and tweets and just general ideals that people have that certain sized women can't wear certain clothing. You shouldn't feel the need to defend yourself for wearing a cute crop top or a bikini, but you will.

9. And always feeling looked at when you're rocking your swimsuit

Yes, I see your judging eyes, and yes, they are making me feel like shit. It doesn't matter how confident you are in your body, people looking at you like you just killed somebody just because you're wearing something typically made for smaller women doesn't make you feel good.

10. Did I mention chafing?

I just felt like something so horrible couldn't just be mentioned once.

11. Online shopping for cute summer outfits and then none of them fitting you correctly

There's always the dreaded "one-size-fits-all" for plus-size women. As if there's just one way to be plus-size. No matter how much they promise online that it'll fit well, it won't.

12. Seeing tiny girls complaining about losing their "summer bodies"

So many tweets talking about choosing food over a summer body. So many profile pictures of traditionally skinny women. I'm not saying that thick girls are the only ones who can complain about their summer bodies, and thick girls do not have a monopoly one not feeling confident in their bodies. But it is hard to see those posts knowing that those women would be glorified in their swimwear while you'd be gawked at.

13. The "you go girl!" comments on your oh-so-brave bikini photos

Compliments are nice, and positive comments while wearing a bikini go a long way. But the dreaded "you go girl" comment just seems so condescending. Just treat me like anyone else you'd see wearing a bikini. I promise, I'd like to feel like that.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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To The Stressed Out College Student, Be Optimistic For Spring Quarter

I am looking forward to a productive spring quarter.

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As a strenuous ten weeks of winter quarter is finally coming to a close, there is no better feeling than to be rewarded with a week of spring break. For most colleges and universities, this period of time is one of excitement and relief, as students approach a summer vacation that begins in May. Yet, for students with schedules revolving around the lovable (and often hatable) quarter system, it feels as though summer is far from our reach.

On a personal note, my previous ten weeks of classes have been bearable at best. I can proudly say that I have been counting down the days until spring break since our winter quarter began in January, though now that the week is finally approaching, I am reminded by the fact that I have yet another ten weeks of school in the near future. Interestingly enough, I have not started the countdown to June 18th quite yet. Instead, I am looking forward to a productive spring quarter that will leave me feeling energized and accomplished as I enter into a fresh summer.

I believe that the spring quarter withholds a sense of refreshment and newfound energy in comparison to that of fall and winter. Though students on the quarter system will end classes later than others, there is something to be said for spending days on campus when the warm weather finally breaks. Time seems to pass faster than it did in the dark and ominous weeks of winter quarter, and everyone seems to have a more positive attitude - as we can all see that vacation is approaching.

To the stressed out college student, be optimistic for spring quarter. Though tests and finals will still be ever-present, the completion of another ten weeks of classes is excellent motivation to achieve success and reward yourself within the coming months.

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