Thursday, December 15, 2011

Can you outgrow Christmas?

Every year, my family goes to cut down our own tree. We fight over which tree to get, trudge up hills, and are tempted to chop a head off instead of a tree down. We go to eat pizza after, and then go home and decorate the tree, usually while watching some family favorite Christmas movie and drinking Hot Chocolate.

As my sister and I grew up, we became the ones putting up the lights and decorating the tree. Last night, it was just the two of us. Is a family tradition still a family tradition if your whole family doesn't do it?

The worst part was when I found out it was my turn to do the angel. "Ugh, I don't want to. Sarah can do it." "No! I don't want to!" Years before, Sarah and I would fight over who dad lifted up so she could put on the angel. My mom would put it on the calendar whose turn it was so we wouldn't fight. It was the best thing in the world. Now... not so much. As I stood on a chair and put our ancient angel on the top of the tree, all I could think about was how much it hurt basically standing inside a Christmas tree and how ugly the angel was. This morning, I realized how sad that made me. One of my favorite things about Christmas had become one of my least favorite.

I like to think of myself as a kid at heart, but last night, it showed me that no matter how hard I try NOT to grow up, it's going to happen. This led to many questions: Will I still want to wake up early on Christmas morning? Will I be as excited opening my stocking and eating candy right away? Will I forget the joy of Christmas?

Even at seventeen, I was waking up at 6, and looking in my stocking. There's something about Christmas morning that makes me so happy. What if I become one of those cranky teenagers who would rather sleep?

This time next year, I'm going to be stressing over finals. This was probably our last time getting the tree, all four of us. And that makes me so sad. My parents probably aren't going to want to cut down the tree next year, so we'll probably get a pre-cut one. That's okay... but we've maybe only done that once.

It's official. The worst part about growing up isn't leaving home or figuring out what you want to do. The worst part about growing up is outgrowing the magic of Christmas.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Reason number 739478 I'm glad I live in CT...

Rick Perry isn't my governor.

In this post, I'm not going to be directly attacking him (Even though he makes me want to SCREAM). Instead, I'll be saying my opinions on what he says in his "Strong" Ad. This is a disclaimer. If you don't like what I say, fine. Don't leave rude, anonymous (or non-anonymous) comments. If you disagree, and say it nicely, please, go ahead. I'd be happy to see your point of view. But be nice and courteous about it, please.

  1.  Everyone knows that something is wrong with this country, no matter their religion or if they sit in the pew at church every week. However, that "something" is different to everyone. For me, it sickens me that we can kill people to show that killing is wrong. I think that this country at times has a God complex with that, but others disagree, and that's okay. Others think it's abortion, or gay marriage, or war, or economics, or health care, and the list goes on and on. 
  2.  What Rick Perry sees wrong in the country in a nutshell are: a) gay people fighting in the military, b) kids not being able to pray in school and c) Not being able to say Merry Christmas. I have mixed feelings on the ending of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. But, I'll save that for another time. As to praying in school: I pray in school every day. I make the Sign of the Cross and say a Hail Mary during the Moment of Silence after The Pledge of Allegiance. I also pray before I eat lunch every day. Not once have I been prosecuted or been told "I can't do that". I've been teased by other students before, but not once has a teacher or the principal told me I couldn't pray. America has Religious Freedom, which means that OF COURSE I have the right to pray in public. However, this also means, that Joe Schmidt has freedom FROM religion, at least in a public school. We can't force him to pray. But we have the freedom to pray if we so choose. And on the topic of saying "Merry Christmas"... I always say Merry Christmas. Not once has someone freaked out on me or told me that I offended them. I've been told that they don't celebrate Christmas, and then proceeded to wish them a happy whatever they celebrate. Today, we spent the period in Spanish class talking about Christmas. My Spanish teacher is Jewish, and smiled and weighed in on what she wanted for Hanukkah. She wasn't offended at all. 
I think many people are exaggerating on the "Happy Holidays" versus "Merry Christmas" issue. Not many people are offended by being told Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays was originally created to wish someone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

Say what you want. Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy Solstice! Happy Festivus! I wouldn't be offended if any of the above were said to me. Would you?

I end with a Christmas tree. Because... I like Christmas Trees.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's time to play the music! It's time to light the lights!

Let me start off with HOW MUCH I FREAKING LOVE JASON SEGAL. He not only is one of the funniest human beings on the face of the earth, but a hysterical writer of comedy, too!

As you probably guessed, I saw "The Muppets". And it was FANTASTIC.

I actually don't have a lot of "history" with the Muppets. The only movie I've seen within the last ten years is A Christmas Carol (which, by the way, is my favorite version.). But, I love Jason Segal, Amy Adams, Disney and anything "little kid-ish", so I went.

I knew I'd love it, I'm just that type of person, but I loved it WAY more than I expected. What was great about it was that Disney successfully entertained an 18 year old, her almost 50 year old mother, and the five year old girl in front of us (and her parents, too). There was stuff kids would love, and stuff that teens and adults would love, like the different celebrity cameos.

Speaking of cameos, there were a BAJILLION cameos by famous people. To name who I saw:

Mickey Rooney
Neil Patrick Harris
Selena Gomez
Whoopi Goldberg
Sarah Silverman
John Krasinski
Jim Parsons (No words. No words.)
Jack Black
Zach Galifanakis
Emily Blunt

It was fantastic.

The music was phenomenal, kept you humming for the rest of the day (or three, in my case...) and also with a smile on your face.

I HIGHLY recommend that you see The Muppets, no matter what your age is. As long as you're a kid at heart, you'll love it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

College Visits

So, this weekend I went to go visit three colleges in the Virgina/DC/Maryland area.

Christendom College, The Catholic University of America and Mount Saint Mary's University.

The good (and bad) part is: I LOVED all three colleges. Here's a little "play-by-play" on what happened at each school.

On Saturday, we left and drove to Winchester, VA, which is about a half hour away from Christendom. Because I am SO smart, I forgot a blanket, so we stopped at a Walmart on the way and I got my future college bedding. It's cute, I know. It's also very ME.

On Sunday morning, my parents and I went to mass at Christendom. It was a lovely Latin Mass and the priest gave a wonderful homily about preparing for Christ's birth in Advent. After mass, I met my student ambassador and she took me to brunch. Then, I went back to her dorm and helped the girls decorate for the Christmas party that was that night. It was so much fun and the girls really made me feel like I had been at the school just as long as the rest of them. I went to three classes on Monday: Latin (the teacher was hysterical!), Literature (so interesting) and Theology (they were reviewing their midterm and discussing things I had no idea about. but it was interesting all the same.)

After my parents picked me up from Christendom, we went to go see the Muppets.



On Tuesday, we went to DC and got a tour of the Catholic University of America. The campus was gorgeous and IN DC!!! I LOVE DC so that is just amazing.

After that, we went to Mount Saint Mary's University. My admissions counselor let the cat out of the bag and told me I was accepted (with scholarship) before I read my letter. When I got home, I found out that scholarship was for $16,000. PER  YEAR.

So, now's the big question: Where am I spending the next four years of my life? It's a HUGE decision, exciting and terrifying all at the same time.

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