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During this time of year, it’s easy to get caught up in all sorts of things that ultimately have no bearing on the true meaning of the holidays.

Gifts are fun to give and get, and buying things on sale can be a great feeling. But, remember, neither the gifts nor the fun are a reason for the season. Being grateful for those things are what really matters.

“Be grateful that you have a roof over your head and food to eat.”

Everyone has had someone say this to them at some point in their life.

And, they’re right.

As students,  the fact that we are able to sit in a classroom and have the opportunity to get a degree is huge. There are billions of people around the world who have no home, no access to clean water and no education.

But, does that mean we shouldn’t be grateful for luxuries?

I’m grateful for Netflix and Under Armour shirts with thumbholes in them.

Is that wrong?

I don’t think so. I think it becomes a problem when we forget that those things are luxuries acting as if they are owed to us.

The holidays give us the opportunity to visit with friends and family who we probably don’t get to see every day.

Soak that in.

Play a board game. Watch old home videos, or look through photo albums. Talk about school, about love interests, about sports and about life. Unplug from the everyday Candy Crush and Instagram activity. Enjoy some real face time with people who love you, who you love.

If not for the fun, do it for your future self. Do it for the memories that you’ll be able to look back on. You won’t remember that cool picture of a dog hula-hooping that you liked on Instagram. But, you will definitely remember memories you create with your family and friends.

Be grateful. If you can intentionally make your holiday season about gratitude, I can guarantee it will truly be great.

About The Author

Melissa Neubek

Melissa, aka Meli, is a second year journalism major. Originally from Boston (Go Pats!), she’s been in Florida for three years now. She graduated from Boston University with her photography degree in 2011 and now owns her own photography business with her husband. If she’s not busy schooling or photographing, she can be found cooking, watching HGTV or Netflix, or traveling. She loves writing simply because it’s fun. She loves National Geographic, the color purple and monkeys. She really doesn’t like math, watermelons, and having to repeat herself.

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