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5 Reasons We Should Celebrate The Holidays Year Round

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5 Reasons We Should Celebrate The Holidays Year Round

The holiday season is right around the corner and it’s no secret– I LOVE it! In fact, if I ever have a daughter, I will name her Christmas. It’s OK– laugh it up. I am a little biased over here, I know.

Whenever I start to feel down during the rest of the year, I immediately go to my magical happy place…Christmas.

So, grab yourself a mug of hot chocolate and let’s consider some reasons why the holidays should be celebrated year round

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1. Holiday music is so happy and cheerful (mostly).

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    People tend to love the music until it’s over-played. As long as it does not become too repetitive, we don’t get bored or annoyed by it. Christmas music often creates a feeling of nostalgia and lifts the spirits of many people. I keep Christmas music CDs in my Jeep at all times…just in case.

    2. People tend to be more charitable during this time of the year.

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      Maybe it’s from subliminal messages or you know it’s going to be a tax write-off. Whatever the case may actually be, we tend to give more to others during this time of the year because it makes us feel good. We give presents to people that we know. We give money to the Salvation Army bell ringers. We donate toys to needy families. So, why couldn’t we do this on a weekly basis during the rest of the calendar year?

      3. We branch out from our every day eating and indulge in a few seasonal treats.

      Five-Best-Thanksgiving-Apps-for-Your-Perfect-Holiday-Meal

        Some of us love turkey, but only make it once a year. We reserve feasts for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas only. Then we stuff ourselves until we feel sick. For many, this is a tradition. If we did this every day, it would no longer be a tradition and it would just be boring. But couldn’t we take the time to cook indulgent foods more than just a couple of times a year? I personally have pumpkin flavored treats year-round. For some of us, if we allow ourselves to have these foods during the rest of the year, we are less likely to go nuts during Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

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        4. We eat with our families and friends more often.

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          We bust our best china out of hiding and use it to signify the importance of the occasion. Communal meals provide the feeling of belonging and security. Family meals give us the opportunity to connect. We get the chance to share happy memories and funny stories of times gone by. Many of us spend the majority of the year not sitting down with our family to have meals.  We get caught up in eating at our desks at work, we eat in our cars driving to and from work, and we eat in front of the television. It’s a shame because having meals with our families strengthens the bond and links generations closer together.

          5. We remember the things we are thankful for.

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            It’s easy to overlook all of the great things we have going on in our lives when we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the day to day. We are more in tune to our blessings during the holidays because there are movies, music, and events to help remind us that we have a lot to be grateful for. Practicing gratitude all year long is helpful for alleviating depression, lack of purpose, and loneliness.

            So, as you can see— The holidays are great! Unless you have one of these 12 Christmas phobias that is. I sometimes wonder if I have North-Polar Disorder (NPD) myself.

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              Featured photo credit: Dolores Freeman via images6.fanpop.com

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              Last Updated on January 27, 2022

              5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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              5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

              Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

              “Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

              Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

              Food is a universal necessity.

              It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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              Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

              Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

              Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

              Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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              The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

              Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

              This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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              Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

              Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

              Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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              So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

              Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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