Over this past week, I found myself playing games from my childhood and wondering why I’d ever stopped. I guess having my family together for Christmas brought on an extreme case of nostalgia, but it was much more than basic nostalgia. The old games are actually much more fun than anything available today. It’s funny that as a child all I wanted was the newest and brightest toys and games around, but as an adult I am fine with dusting off the old Nintendo or playing monopoly. Part of growing up is basically forming a state of contentment with the things you can’t change while changing the things you can, and along with that contentment comes a realization of what makes things enjoyable. When I was a child I always wanted the newer item because I thought it was better than the one I had, but these days I have realized that a shiny new paint job does not make an item better. It’s no great wonder that advertisers target children so often, it is easier to get a child to want a new item every year than it is for an adult, since most adults are accustomed to wearing the same jeans for years. I think the longing people have for the good old toys and shows of their youth is more than just nostalgia, it is the fact that the products of the past had more heart and were actually more fun than the products of today. These days everything is about glamour and pomp, but when it comes down to it, games were just more fun when nobody cared about how pretty they looked.
Merry Christmas Everybody, today is a wonderful day of joy and family togetherness. I know that everyone does not celebrate Christmas, but to me the lack of a Christmas celebration would be completely foreign. On Christmas my family and I celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, and I know that he may not have been born in December, but this day just happens to be when we decide to celebrate the miracle. Whether you are a Christian or not, it is an undeniable fact that Jesus walked this earth and that he is one of the most inspirational people to ever live. The reason I have to say that Jesus is my favorite person in history is becomes he did what no other person could and he did it for everyone who ever lived. Jesus was able to draw multitudes of people without promising them any type of earthly treasure or amenity, and he is still one of the most quoted individuals of all time. Jesus showed the world how to love in a way that we still have trouble comprehending, and he managed to start a revolution without ever raising a sword. Today, we celebrate the anniversary of the day that the world welcomed the man who would change it forever. I believe that Jesus was the Son of God, and there are billions of others around the world who are willing to profess that same belief. It is amazing to consider that Jesus was just a baby in a manger some two thousand years ago, but today he is the hope of the world, and the promised messiah that many longed to see but few are willing to accept. This completes the series of my favorite people in history, Merry Christmas everyone, hopefully you enjoyed your day.
Today is Christmas Eve, and as I think about this day I often remember the old poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas. The poem is about Santa’s arrival at the home of a child on the night before Christmas. A Visit from St. Nicholas is an extremely charming poem, however I often wonder how it is possible for children to still believe in Santa Claus. With all of the technology available today, I find it odd that kids are not as jaded as their teen counterparts, but many of them still believe in good old Santa. When I was a kid I never had a chance to believe in Santa Claus, because I had older siblings who didn’t allow for much childishness, and also I may have been too clever to think an old man would climb into my window to give me gifts on Christmas. These days, more and more people seem to be against telling their kids about Santa Claus, and while I am not generally in favor of kids believing in Santa, I feel like part of childhood should be exploring and figuring things out. I don’t plan to tell my future children that Santa exists, but if they want to believe he does, I would rather not tarnish their beliefs unless it is completely necessary. When I think about Christmas, I don’t think about presents, or about a jolly old man spreading joy, Christmas is a time to spread the joy of the life we have been given to those who feel they have no reason to be joyful. Try to be nice this Christmas, it isn’t about getting the last toy or pie on the shelf, tell everyone you see Merry Christmas, you would be surprised by how much those simple words mean to a person who is down. Merry Christmas everyone.
I love the Christmas season, and that surprisingly hasn’t changed since my post elementary school adulthood has kicked in. As a child I believed that the best thing about Christmas was a combination of gifts and time off from school, but as an adult I have seen that there is much more to this holiday season. There are millions of reasons to enjoy the holidays but I will keep this post to my top 5 favorite things about Christmas and the holiday season in general.
Christmas Carols – I love those tunes, some of them can be a bit sketchy and all of them are quite dated, but I love having them blasting from my computer or radio. I especially enjoy modern versions of old classics that are done in a sensible fashion.
Christmas Cartoons – I know that I am an adult, but I will never stop watching my favorite Christmas cartoons. I particularly enjoy The Little Drummer Boy and Frosty the Snowman, since they remind me of my childhood and of all things Christmas. I know that some may categorize television Christmas specials with the cartoons, but I can’t stand cheesy and often disconnected holiday episodes of tv shows.
Holiday Light Displays – I love a great lighting display, one of my favorite things about this season is just driving around on a cool winter evening and checking out some of the lighting displays of my neighbors and of the city.
Christmas food – I love holiday foods but I especially love Christmas themed cakes, cookies, snacks, and meals. The holidays are a time when many people put on extra weight, and with all of these amazing treats available, I’m sure there will be several new members to each gym once the new year rolls around.
Family Time – As we grow older and move away from our families and homes, the holidays become much more important for catching up with family and old friends. Family is extremely important, I love that at least once in a year, I have a chance to reconnect in person with loved ones that I no longer see on a daily basis.
As I said before, there are millions of reasons to enjoy the holidays, and even if these reasons don’t appeal to you, I’m sure everyone can find something to brighten these winter nights. If it is possible, try volunteering during the holidays, it is an extremely rewarding to give to those who are in need of some help and to brighten the holidays for all.
This past weekend I attended my fourth wedding of the year. Weddings are joyous events for family and guests, and everyone wants to be able to capture the joy of the moment, but camera phones and iPads are not the way to capture the enjoyment of weddings. One thing that was prevalent in all of the weddings I attended was the excessive use of mobile phones for photo and video taking. I know it is convenient to be able to snap a photo with your phone to save a memory, but I felt as though these devices get in the way of guests actually enjoying the wedding. Plenty of time and planning is put into making sure a wedding is perfect and enjoyable, especially for the guests, and one of the many provisions made to ensure that enjoyment is the use of professional photographers. Personal devices take away from the moment and they can even have an effect on the photographers doing their jobs. Perhaps it is just a sign of the times, but people don’t seem to understand the importance of a memory anymore. I know I have been a culprit of this “snap a photo” behavior, but once I realized how much I was missing, I decided to personally take advantage of all that is in front of me. Whenever I attend an event or visit a location, I understand that I may only get one chance to appreciate this sight, so I like to gather as much of the view as I can. Photos are nice, and it is always great to have a lasting documentation of an occasion, but for moments that only come around once in a lifetime, it is important to make sure you take the time to absorb the experience. Enjoying life is about more than just taking pictures of locations and events, whenever you find yourself in a unique experience, it is important to actually be present to fully enjoy the moment.
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
― Lao Tzu
Professing your love for someone is definitely a courageous action, it takes all of your resolve to be able to lay your heart on the line in hopes that the feelings you have will be reciprocated. It is no easier to profess your love in a wedding setting, as now you have the pressure of the festivities to worry about as well. I have been to three weddings already this year, and this year of weddings will finally come to its conclusion today as I will attend my fourth of the year as a guest. Throughout all of the weddings I have attended, as different as they have been, the one commonality is the love the bride and groom have shared. The new families I have watched forming fully exemplify the words of this quote, they are both strengthened by their love, and given the courage to profess it in front of friends and family. Every one of the couples were different, and some seemed more nervous than others, but all of them were able to show how much they care for their new spouse. I know love can be shown in situations other than in marriage, but being a part of seeing something new form is an incredible experience. I wish all the love and favor to these wonderful marriages, may they be fruitful and everlasting.
Thanksgiving day is upon us, and along with all of the food, sales, and football, one thing is generally always forgotten on this day, and that is to give thanks for what we have. On this day, I believe it is a time to be thankful for everything you have, and to ignore everything you don’t have. This day is not supposed to be a day to fantasize about what you will buy tomorrow or what you eat tonight, but it is a day to honestly be thankful for anything and everything. I am thankful for my family, even when they annoy me they are my home. I am thankful for my friends who I can speak to about things I can’t with my family. I am thankful for my health, I am thankful for my brain and mind that sometimes have an odd way of piecing together all of life’s puzzles. Even in the bad times if you look not so hard enough you can find more than 10,000 reasons to be thankful, so take the time today to be thankful and be happy, because that is what this day should be about. Happy Thanksgiving all!
Younger siblings are great, as kids they are playmates and living action figures, but as adults they can be somewhat annoying at times. I am speaking as a middle child, I know how it feels to be a younger sibling as well as an older one. I don’t necessarily hang out with my older siblings often, but when I am around them I kind of expect them to give me stuff, or pay for me, and as an older sibling I don’t mind doing any of that for the younger ones. It is almost as if we are conditioned to always treat the “babies” like babies even when they are older and doing pretty well for themselves. As a younger sibling, I respect the older ones and use them as a reference, I remember their mistakes and I ask them for advice, even though I rarely heed their advice. I am sure my younger siblings don’t listen to me either, but it is always a treat when they ask me for advice so I can see how their situation ends up when they ignore it. Older siblings can be seen as extra parents who often happen to be more lenient, you can speak to them about more than you feel you can speak to a parent about, and you can expect a more practical approach to life’s many issues. A younger sibling is like a “practice child,” it is almost as if you have a hand in raising them, but are less liable for the mistakes they make. I have the joy of being a middle child, and while there are many negative things said about this birth position, I am happy that I have a chance to take a step back and interact with my family in the many complex ways that are only possible when you are born in the middle.
A birthday is that wonderful day that comes once a year, a day that we have been conditioned to feel prideful for our successful completion of another year of life. I love birthdays, they are a day in the year in which you can make a complete stranger feel important by simply wishing them a happy birthday. Today is my birthday, and while this year has not quite lived up to my expectations, I am extremely grateful for the life that I have, and that I get to enjoy another year. Birthdays are a great time to celebrate with family and friends, but sometimes birthdays make us start thinking of the many tasks we have set for ourselves to compete by a certain age. I have to admit, I am nowhere near where I thought I would be 10 years ago, but I have experienced and grown far more than I would have ever imagined. It is useless to sit and think if the “should have beens” in life because there are too many variables to our existence, and we can not change the past. Each new year gives new chances to set new goals and complete old ones, this year I am going to make sure that I leave no stone unturned as I march on to my goals and approach my next birthday. It feels good to be a year older, I am going to relax today and prepare for the inevitable celebrations of tonight.
I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.- Atticus Finch
– Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird was one of my favorite books as a child, it was a story of courage in the face of stark opposition. In this quote from the book, Atticus, one of the books protagonists, is explaining his definition of true courage. While I fully agree with the quote, I consider courage to be more than just continuing when the odds are stacked against you. Courage is pressing on in spite of uncertainty, courage is standing firm for your beliefs or convictions no matter who is coming against you. Courage is more than just fighting when you feel you are beaten, courage is fighting to win even when you are outnumbered. I am inspired to write this post today because my younger brother is currently in the hospital fighting courageously against an illness that I know he will defeat. It is never easy seeing a loved one go through pain, but I know by the grace of God, that he will be fully healed of his sickness. I dedicate this post to every person who ever has or ever will fight against an illness. As long as you are willing to fight, you will get better, just be courageous and never give up.