To White People, Politics Are Not Worth Ruining Christmas

To White People, Politics Are Not Worth Ruining Christmas

People of color don't have the same privilege.

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In a recent article, it was stressed that instead of ruining memories being made, you should set aside political differences during the holidays and focus on family. The author stressed the importance of recognizing the birth of Jesus and that politics "are not worth hating family members over."

While initially this sounds like an appealing idea considering the holidays are supposed to be a happy time, it's only plausible for White people.

White people are not tied to politics the same way people of color are, and thus they can choose when to push the boundaries of their political views and who to end relationships with.

To White people, including this author, politics are a debate or a mild entertainment. They become a hobby to be interested in politics and they believe political actions can only offend someone, not completely shape their lives.

White people have the choice to "be political" or ignore it completely. They could live their entire lives without dipping their toes into politics and absolutely nothing about their lives would be different.

As a result of institutionalized racism and a system built on White supremacy, people of color live out their political ideals daily. They benefit from what they believe in, but they also suffer from what others do not even bother to believe in. They have to fight extra hard just to be included in the political conversation when White people have complete access and often choose not to use it.

When I meet someone new on my college campus, a point of conversation is usually whether they are political or not. Often people say it's too exhausting to keep up with political news or they just don't care. If they don't see that it directly affects them, they won't get involved because they don't have to.

While the article had good intentions, it stank of White privilege. The ability to avoid political discussion to focus on baby Jesus and your racist family members? Believing politics are simply "provocative" and not a daily struggle for civil and economic rights? Thinking your desire to not associate with racist, homophobic, and xenophobic family members is a "personal agenda"?

White privilege.

White people believe there are "proper places and times for [political] discussions," as if it doesn't continue to affect people of color every second of their lives.

The author finishes with an encouragement to forget the "pointless debates" and enjoy your family at Christmas. Your family is your first contact as you grow up and you will forever be linked to them in some way. They influence you as much as you influence them. If you don't bring up these political conversations, when will our country ever grow? Where is the appropriate time to talk about politics? When White people feel good and ready to do it?

Bring up politics at your Christmas table and don't be afraid of hurting feelings. Changing our political atmosphere starts on a small scale and this suppression of political discussion is only going to tear us further apart.

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.

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Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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I'm Keeping My Christmas Tree Up All Winter And There's Nothing You Can Do About It

It's the WINTER Season... ;-)

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I think that my tree would not be considered Christmas-y if the ornaments are taken off and the lights are kept on. I think to just looks wintry. I am also keeping up decorations that say "let it snow", and I am keeping up any snowman without holly berries or presents in their hands.

The tree looks wintry in my opinion. It looks pretty with the lights and brings the room together. It gives off a warm ambiance, unlike that of fluorescent lighting.

I've taken all ornaments off except for gold snowflakes and I've left the silver tinsel garland on as well as the lights. It looks wintry to me still. I will probably be taking the whole tree down by the end of this month to prepare for Valentine's Day decorating. (Yes, I pretty much decorate my apartment for every holiday—sue me).

There's nothing like coming downstairs and seeing those lights sparkling.

Or coming inside from a dreary, rainy day outside and seeing them light up the room in a calm, warm, and comforting glow.

Or having a bad day, looking up, and seeing them shine.

It sort of makes me upset when I come downstairs and see that someone has unplugged them, to be honest.

I guess they don't see it as I do.

Pretty, twinkling lights forever!

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