A powerful case for why we should only celebrate Christmas every other year.

A friend of mine quit drinking a few years back and I asked him why. “When life is always a party, it’s never a party,” he said. That’s how I feel about Christmas.

When it’s always Christmas, it’s never Christmas.

But before you brand me as a bitter “bah humbug” type, let me explain. I love Christmas and I think I know how to make it even better.


For reasons mostly having to do with commerce, the Christmas season has been arriving earlier each year.

Cardboard cutouts of Santa hawking holiday trinkets are now appearing next to back-to-school displays in early September.

According to NerdWallet, 20% of Americans start Christmas shopping in the final weeks of summer and that number doubles even before Halloween.

“Forty percent have started Christmas shopping before Halloween,” Bernacchi University of Detroit-Mercy marketing professor Mike Bernacchi explained to WWJ News Radio. “The pumpkins haven't even gone away yet and Christmas shopping — I mean, 40 percent? That’s just unbelievable.”

It’s simple math: the longer the season, the more you will spend. And we’re doing a fantastic job of obeying our retail masters.

While some look at premature Christmasing with skepticism, others are praising the trend, claiming it gives low-income people a chance to spread out their holiday spending.

But maybe the Christmas industrial complex shouldn’t be pressuring people to overextend themselves in the first place?

Studies show that the average American racked up about $1,000 in holiday debt debt in 2016, and many were still paying it off by Christmas 2017.

Christmas is such an all-pervasive part of American culture that goes on for so long, its magic has been diminished.

When Christmas music is on the radio from November 1 to January 15, it starts to become audio wallpaper.

When “Home Alone” is constantly on television for three months straight, watching Joe Pesci get hit in the nuts feels a little less triumphant.

The pressure to spend seems to intensify every year.

The days of aggressive Black Friday marketing seem quaint now that we get hit again three days later with Cyber Monday.

No one should blame you if you feel like Christmas feels a lot more like an obligation than a celebration.

We should celebrate Christmas every other year.

Imagine, if when the Christmas hullabaloo dies down in the early days 2019, it wouldn't come around until 2020?

There would be an entire year with no Christmas music, no holiday tearjerkers on the Hallmark Channel, and no viral videos of people getting cold cocked in a Walmart while trying to buy a $9 toaster.

None of it. Winter would come and go in peace.

One of the greatest joys of Christmas when I was a kid was waiting for it to happen. For a seven year old, the time from Thanksgiving to Christmas felt like three years.

Let's bring that back.

Anticipation is such a powerful emotion that Americans will actually watch curling once every four years in the Winter Olympics. Not because watching the athletic equivalent of some guy plowing his driveway is exciting, but because it's a rare occurrence.

The same goes for the McRib. It tastes like boiled egg cartons topped with ketchup, but the novelty keeps bringing us back.

Imagine if you actually had to wait for Christmas season to arrive instead of saying, “Wow. It’s Christmas time already? Time flies.”

But what about Jesus?

Every-other-year Christmas would be fantastic for Christians who want to remind people of the real reason for the season. On non-Christmas years, Christians could take that time to focus on the birth of their lord and savior without all of distraction caused by crass commercialism and secular traditions.

They could call it Jesus’s Birthday!

When the entire block isn’t flooded with Christmas lights, your big ass manger scene will finally get the attention its due.

Economically, people would be in a better place as well. Sure, consumer spending would plummet towards the end of the year, but the average person would be carrying around a lot less debt.

So what will we do on December 25?

For generations, Jewish people have celebrated December 25 by eating Chinese food and watching a movie. This seems like a pretty damn good way to celebrate non-Christmas.

Although it would suck for Jewish people. What was once a quiet dinner with the family at Changs would be ruined by a flock of ravenous gentiles overloading on kung pao chicken.

#StopChristmas2019

Some people who are reading this may say I’m part of the never-ending war on Christmas, and label me a blasphemer or communist. But I bet there are a lot of people out there who agree and are afraid to address the topic with their friends, families or coworkers.

So, let’s start a movement online. Because it’s a lot easier and less time consuming than taking it to the streets.

If you agree that Christmas should be every other year, jump out of the Christmas closet and share your support on social media at #StopChristmas2019.

Do it for yourself. Do it for your America. Do it for Christmas.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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