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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.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


A dad from Portland, Oregon, has taken to LinkedIn to write an emotional plea to parents after he learned that his son had died during a conference call at work. J.R. Storment, of Portland, Oregon, encouraged parents to spend less time at work and more time with their kids after his son's death.

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Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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