When's It OK To Play Christmas Music?

When's It OK To Play Christmas Music?

It is that time of the year! No, not Christmas, but the time when people began debating whether or not it is okay to play Christmas music yet.

The TODAY show debates it every year, and every year, it makes me question my Christmas music habits.

There is nothing that makes me feel better than bopping to Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You" (except for when she's performing on New Year's Eve) or "Pentatonix's Santa Claus is Coming to Town".

These warm-spirited songs bring joy to my life and make doing chores around feel less time-consuming. But is November 1st too early to start these jams? I do not think so. Sometimes, when my phone is on shuffle, these songs come on in July, and they are just as fun then.

Christmas Music is meant to put everybody in the holiday spirit… and Thanksgiving is part of the holidays… isn't it? For some reason though, people are judgmental about me starting my music so early.

I just ignore the haters and play my music anyways. There is nothing better at turning my mood around than "Hark the Herald Angel" or "Little Drummer Boy".

So, the answer is, it is okay to play Christmas music whenever you want, but I won't be starting until November. Just block the haters out because they obviously just don't want to be as jolly as you.

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11 Gifts You Can Give To The Homeless This Holiday Season

The season of giving should be for everyone

Many things come along with the holiday season including cold weather. The season of giving comes in with a whoosh of cold air and sometimes snow - depending on where you are from. While many of us go out and buy gifts for every person we know and love, there are people out in the world who cannot. Over 610,042 people experience homelessness on any given night in the US, and many of them are veterans. In the season of giving, the least we can do is give to those who are less fortunate as us. Here are Christmas gifts that are good to give to the homeless.

1. A hot meal

Many times the homeless are lucky if they get to eat each day. The cost of food adds up really quickly. The least we can do is vouch for them one time.

2. Warm clothes

With cold weather approaching (or already has) the more layers the better. It could never hurt to bring a jacket, long johns, scarves, hats, gloves, socks. Anything that will warm them up. No one likes to be cold.

3. New shoes

Many homeless people have one pair of shoes. They get worn very easily if they travel by foot and are constantly outside. Give them something nice like some new shoes.

4. Durable blanket

The homeless have to sleep. Sadly they do not have anywhere like a bedroom or a bed. In the cold season, they need as much help staying warm as possible. The thicker the blanket, the better.

5. Dress clothes

Many times the homeless are also jobless. Employers see them in their state and do no even give them a chance. If we give them a little help in appearance, not only will employers consider, you will boost their confidence.

6. Luggage

I often see homeless people pushing shopping carts full of plastic sacks. It would make their lives a bit easier if they had actual bags to carry all that they have.

7. Snacks

There is no way homeless people can carry hot meals around with them all the time. There also no way they can carry ingredients or stoves with them too. They have to eat, so give them a variety of snacks.

8. Restaurant gift cards

If you would like to get them something to eat, but have no idea what they would like, try food gift cards. You can never go wrong with those.

9. A night in a hotel

One of the ultimate gifts you could give is a night in a hotel. This would allow them to have a bed to sleep in, a shower normally with complimentary hygiene products, and even some entertainment like a TV.

10. First aid supplies

You never know what is going on in the homeless' lives. They could run into trouble as little as a scraped knee. First aid such as band aids, wraps, creams, tweezers, pain killers, and many others essentials are great gifts.

11. Personal hygiene materials

Personal hygiene should not be a luxury. Unfortunately it is if you are homeless. Essentials like tooth brushes, tooth paste, deodorant, brushes, razors, soaps, and feminine products are too costly to get on a regular basis. Like food, they add up in the end.

There is so much we could give to the homeless that is not costly at all. If you don't like any of my ideas, watch this video and maybe you can visit the homeless to see what they personally want this holiday season.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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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.


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.


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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