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.
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.
It is important to surround yourself with people who have a higher expectations of you than you are willing to realize. Often times in life, people form impressions and expectations about others, and these expectations will generally drive all of their future interactions with an individual. A bad first impression and low expectations of an individual can damage a relationship before it even begins, but it also has to be said that having high expectations of a person can also have adverse effects on a relationship. I wouldn’t say thinking too highly of someone is as bad as having low expectations of them, but I would say that having high expectations leads to a higher chance of disappointment. In the case of surrounding yourself with people who expect much from you, it is extremely beneficial to growth and success. If you respect an individual and they hold you to a high standard, you are much more willing to try to live up to that standard in order to avoid disappointing the individual. A valued person has the ability to push their loved ones to better themselves by merely holding them to a high standard. On the other hand, if you are given low expectations by a respected individual, the respect won’t last long. Low expectations are not always a matter of malice, since some project their low expectations of themselves onto others, but whenever a person is faced with external low expectations it almost always seems disrespectful. Even though it is not always intentional, low expectations should be avoided like the plague. It is important to make and keep friends that will hold you in high esteem, and desire for you to continue growing. It is not easy to break friendships, but if a friend expects little of you, and doesn’t understand why that is a problem, then they most likely don’t deserve to be your friend.
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.
Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sometimes you never know how far you can go until you have another person pushing you. Even when you set a goal for yourself the biggest obstacle to overcome is your own doubt. In my opinion, this quote hits the nail on the head when it comes to speaking about human nature and motivation. We all have goals, hopes, and dreams, but often times we don’t know where to begin or if we can even start. We like to know that it is possible to reach our goals, that is why we speak to others about our ambitions in hopes that we will be inspired to proceed. To illustrate the importance of having outside inspiration I will refer to the job of a personal trainer, these individuals push their clients far past their “limits” in order to prove that they can do much more than expected. It is not always easy to have someone push you, but it is always more beneficial than quitting a task far too early. I understand that everyone would prefer to be self motivated, but it is important to surround yourself with people who are willing to push you harder than you thought you can go, in order to reach the higher levels that you know you deserve.
A bad mood can ruin a day, but it doesn’t have to control of your day. Far too many people let a bad mood take hold of their life when they don’t necessarily have to succumb to the stress of their mood. A few days ago a person who is close to me did something that made me very upset, and I have to admit, those actions put me in quite a bad mood. While what this individual did was annoying, I have to realize that these things happen, and our relationship is not any different, no matter how upset I became. Whenever an individual is wronged, if the transgression is not immediately addressed, they may end up in a bad mood, and that is exactly what happened in my case. I have since been able to resolve this issue, but aside from the actual wrong, a bad mood must be dealt with appropriately. There are times when a bad mood is not dependent an the actions of others, and for times like that, it is best to find a way to deal with it. Instead of allowing a bad mood to drive your day, many things can be done to alleviate the stress. Some people exercise, some go fishing, whatever can be done in lieu of being unhappy is a better option. A bad mood does not need to ruin a day, once you are able to find a task or hobby that can brighten your mood, any daily issues will seem as small inconveniences.
One of the greatest things I have attained from growing up in the Bronx is a great understanding of multiple different cultures. Since the United States is called a melting pot, New York City should be characterized as the area with the most flavor. Many people who have only seen the Bronx on television may not know what this borough is like, but I as a life long resident, can attest that the Bronx is much more diverse than what is shown on television. What I loved about growing up in the Bronx, was being able to meet and mingle with people of many different cultures and share our inherent similarities in peace. This weekend I was privileged enough to attended, and be a part of two weddings of a couple of friends that I have known for quite some time. The weddings I attended this weekend reminded of the diversity of the Bronx. One of the weddings was an Italian wedding, and the other wedding was a Dominican wedding. Both weddings had traditional American wedding elements, and both even shared some of the same rituals, but where they differed the most was the receptions. While I had a blast at each wedding, I was intrigued by how small differences in culture, can make a seemingly generic wedding much more unique. This weekend was emotional, fun, and very tiring, weddings are stressful events but overall they are probably one of the most awarding of life’s many achievements. I love a good wedding, and I am grateful that I was able to be part of two of them in one weekend, hopefully my wedding can be just as fun for the guests, and memorable for myself and my future bride.
I have posted about fantasy football once before, and about how it has nearly surpassed the popularity of actual football. With the NFL season less than a week away, I am in full football mode, and extremely excited for the fantasy season. Many people play fantasy football for money, I just find it to be a fun way to interact with the game, and to compete with friends. Fantasy football is on my mind today, because this happened to be the day my yearly live draft. In my league’s draft, we get together, eat some food, talk football, and of course pick our optimum team of players. Fantasy football isn’t merely about choosing the best player available, it takes time and strategy to pick the best team, it is also about picking any player available that can sabotage the hopes of your friends and rivals. I like to believe that I have the best team, but as with every game, it doesn’t matter how the team looks, performance is everything. I am in a full football “geek mode” today, so it is kind of hard for me to write about much else, but I really find it important to relax and play a game from time to time. I know fantasy football can seem frivolous to some, and foolish to others, but when it comes down to it, it is a fun hobby that many enjoy. I am glad that at this point in my life, I have the time to enjoy this hobby. I know that life can get crazy at times, but it is important to find something you enjoy and take a second to relax and do it. Football is less than a week away, hopefully my real and fantasy teams can both bring home championships this year.