Christmastime Love for the “Peanuts”

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For many people, it is a Christmas tradition. Sitting down with your loved ones and watching the timeless program, A Charlie Brown Christmas, which premiered on December 9th, 1965. Many people watch this story each year in December. But, have you ever asked yourself what makes this classic so memorable and a favorite of so many?

During Christmas, a feeling of nostalgia is in the air, and every smell, sight, film, etc. can trigger a beloved memory for most people. This is exactly what happens with A Charlie Brown Christmas. Within the first few minutes, as viewers watch the characters ice skating, and the song “Christmastime is Here” plays in the background, they are taken back in time. They remember special moments spent with family and Christmas memories from long ago. According to writer Mike Errico, in his article, “The Real Reason You Love A Charlie Brown Christmas,” jazz pianist and film composer Vince Guaraldi’s use of sounds and pictures created an “emotional resonance.” Plus, the characters are voiced by children, not adults, adding a child-like enjoyment to the story. After all, doesn’t everyone feel like a child again during the holidays?

Along with the music and children’s voices, the film is remembered because of its premise. A depressed Charlie Brown is on a “search” for Christmas cheer. He is fed up with the commercialism of the holiday. To help with his journey, friend Lucy asks Charlie Brown to direct the neighborhood Christmas play. However, things don’t go as planned and chaos occurs. All the characters have different opinions, but for Charlie Brown, all the play needs is the enchantment of a Christmas tree. He and friend Linus go shopping and end up with a tiny twig of a tree. Once the two return to the rehearsal, their tree isn’t a big hit and a frustrated Charlie Brown asks if anybody knows what Christmas is all about. In the end, Linus saves the day by reciting the story of Christmas, Luke 2: 8-14. In addition, throughout the film, Snoopy is up to his traditional antics, making the loveable pup even more treasured. The story concludes with the Peanuts gang finding the meaning of Christmas, which doesn’t involve presents, glitter, or decorations.

A Charlie Brown Christmas is full of memorable and meaningful symbols that almost everyone can connect to. There is the tree; the tension of the commercialism of Christmas; coming together to help a friend or loved one; and discovering the message of the holiday. One reason these elements are easy to relate to is because these are the things some people are feeling during the month of December. A Charlie Brown Christmas reminds us of what is important and what is not. It gives the Christmas message to generations throughout the world. In addition, it shows that material objects aren’t the full representation of the holiday and that you can take the tiniest, unpleasant-looking thing and make it beautiful, like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree.

When the show premiered on CBS, the network expected it to flop and be the end of Peanuts. However, people knew the program would be a success just by its broadcast when it was watched by more than 15.4 million viewers. Since then, ACharlie Brown Christmas has become the second-longest running Christmas program in history. Also, the program has inspired the television Christmas tradition of running half-hour animated specials, such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Frosty the Snowman.

Throughout the years, A Charlie Brown Christmas has become a Christmas staple. Peanuts creator Charles Schulz produced a timeless and relatable holiday story that is packed with nostalgia, a sense of melancholy, and meaning.  Just as Linus said, the program describes “what Christmas is all about.

xoxo,

Megan

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Finding a Job at Any Age

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It’s a common task that almost everyone has to conquer at some point in their life: the task of finding a job. The reality of hunting for a job, going through numerous searches, and updating your resume and cover letters can be daunting. Then, add in your experience level, and unfortunately, your age, and things might get tricky. Some like to say that finding a job is a full-time job in itself. If you are in the market for a new job, here are some tips to help ease your stress and make your search a little easier, no matter your age.

In Your Twenties: 

You are fresh out of school and ready to take on the world with a new career. But you might come across a few problems, such as your age and experience level. To overcome this, start with polishing up your resume. You may not have much job experience at this stage in your life. To help fill your resume, list any jobs, internships, volunteer positions, honors, skills, and coursework. Be sure to tailor your resume to each position you are applying for and make it relevant to what qualifications the job requires. That way you are highlighting what you could bring to the job. Also, always proofread and correct any typos. Employers usually discard any resumes or cover letters with grammar and spelling mistakes. Lastly, continue learning new skills. The more abilities you have, the more hirable you’ll become. Part of finding a job is getting your foot in the door and networking, especially for the job searchers in their twenties. Bring your resume to various career and networking events held by your college or university, or in your community. Starting to build those professional relationships at the beginning of your hunt will help you secure a position when the time is right.

In Your Thirties and Forties: 

At this point in a person’s life, there are many reasons why someone would be looking for a new job. The first step in your job search in your thirties and forties is determining your strengths and in what career they would be beneficial. Think about what interests you, and what type of career would make you happy. Then, find professionals in that field and network. If you can, complete an internship or “job shadow” a leader in that position to get exposure to the company and job. Another option is to volunteer with a nonprofit in that career field. This opportunity allows you to network with employers, and vice versa, so they will get to know you, which can be helpful when a position in that organization or field opens up. An advantage of exploring a career field while applying for jobs gives you a chance to see if you need to further your education or get qualified for a certain occupation. There are many options available for continuing your studies while working, such as online classes offered through colleges and universities. One downfall to this part of the job search is the time an internship, networking, and job shadowing takes. Be sure to attend different events in your community where you’ll have the chance to network. Also, think about your family and friends. Do they have a professional connection that would help you? It never hurts to ask.

In Your Fifties and Sixties: 

It is a harsh reality that finding a job later in life can be tough and age discrimination does occur in the job search. Some employers view people in their fifties and sixties as being too expensive or not wanting to work or stay for long in an entry-level position. However, this is not true. People in this life stage can offer professionalism and usually have a strong work ethic earned through their maturity. A person 50 or older will automatically have more experience and knowledge, perhaps in a variety of fields. During a job search, this is a quality to highlight on your resume and in your cover letters. Emphasize your accomplishments and where you have been a leader in various occupations. However, you do need to explain in your cover letter any gaps in employment, or why you are applying for a job for which it may seem you are overqualified. Leave off years from your education and shorten your resume to focus on jobs held within the last ten years. Along with your abilities already acquired, show off your skills and interests in current news and events, and how to navigate technology. Try to stop thinking about your age as a burden in the job search, but instead, as an advantage you can bring to the job.

No matter what your age is, all of these tips can be useful in a job search. Be confident in your abilities, skills, and experience, and before you know it, you’ll find the perfect profession for you.

xoxo,

Megan

Can I Get an Amen?

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There are some times in life where the struggle is too real. I mean the moments where you thought you were already tough and you get tougher. Well, this has week has been filled with them.

You see just before midnight on Friday, October 13th, my dog of 17 years passed away (more about that in a later post). Since then, I have been trying to adjust to a new “normal.” In the mist of that, my grandmother is recovering from a stroke and had a bone marrow biopsy. The biopsy was to determine whether or not she had cancer, because of high platelets. This past Thursday, we received the results and while it is still “cancer,” it is the type where she can take a chemotherapy pill each day for the rest of her life and be fine. However, between the 13th and now, I have been on edge (great for my anxiety, great right?) and in constant worry about what else will my family go through? Haven’t we had an enough? I’ve told God many times, “if you are trying to make us strong, I think we’re strong enough.” Then, it hit me.

This. Is. Life. Life is a constant battle of finding beauty, laughter, and love, through the pain and struggle. I have become tougher during these past two weeks and I hope I continue to become tougher. This fall has been a challenge yet I have discovered more about myself and where I want my life to go. As hard as it has been, I don’t regret anything, because I know more about the person I am meant to become. Everybody has these moments and once there are all said and done, you’ll scream a loud “amen, I made it!” These times only make you stronger, tougher, and more grateful for the sweeter moments in life.

xoxo,

Megan

To Inspire and Motivate

I have always been a big component of learning from others and being inspired by them. To motivate other human beings is a big task, one that not may people achieve.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word “inspire” as to make someone want to do something and to cause something to happen or be created. Looking at this definition, I realize how many people I look up to and want to make my actions and life be like theirs. Of course, some of our role models are celebrities, world leaders, and athletes, but what about our family and friends? They inspire and motivate us as well.

Over the next few posts, I’ll look at my biggest motivators, who had the courage to help make the world a better place. I hope you join me on this journey. After all, you never know who will inspire you and who YOU will inspire.

“Work for a cause, not applause. Live life to express, not impress.”

xoxo,

Megan

 

My Travel To-Do List

We all have bucket lists. Lists of things we want to do before our last day on Earth. But, I don’t like calling them “bucket lists.” Sounds as if you are counting down the days. So, instead, lets call them “to-do lists.” My to-do lists consist of making memories, spending time with loved ones, and traveling. Here is my travel to-do list.

  • Visit all 7 continents
  • Visit all 50 states
  • Go on a Route 66 road-trip
  • Visit and hike Machu Picchu
  • Hike Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Camp under the Northern Lights
  • Visit Brazil during Carnival.
  • Dive through the Great Barrier Reef in Australia
  • Walk across the Trift Bridge in the Swiss Alps
  • Swim in Iceland’s Blue Lagoon
  • Kayak through Caddo Lake in Texas
  • Go on a hot-air balloon ride in Turkey
  • Go fly-fishing in Montana’s Glacier National Park
  • See the floating lanterns in Thailand
  • Watch the Changing of the Guards in London
  • See the Fairy Pools in Scotland
  • Tickle whales in Mexico
  • Walk the Great Wall of China
  • Helicopter over a volcano in Hawaii
  • Hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon

Dreaming a little big, aren’t I? That’s the fun of it- dream and LIVE big!

What is on your travel to-do list?

xoxo,

Megan

Just 20 Seconds

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One of my favorite quotes is pictured above. For many things in life, all we need is just 20 seconds of insane courage. Whether that be the courage to speak up, correct a wrong, apply for a job, or go on an adventure, 20 seconds can go far.

Try taking time everyday to do something new and something brave. You never know what will come of it.

xoxo,

Megan

Giving Thanks

Tomorrow, family and friends will gather and give thanks for everything in their lives. In addition, we will eat until our hearts’ are content. But, why does giving thanks have to happen only on Thanksgiving, one day year? Why not the other 364 days? Why do people only post what they are thankful for on Facebook during November?

Let’s make it a goal to be thankful for at least one thing per day for the next 365 days. Write it down, say it aloud, make it a family event. Whatever you do, give thanks all year long. As the saying goes, the things you are thankful for, someone else is praying for them.

Happy Thanksgiving!

xoxo,

Megan

Playing Catch-Up

Have you ever been so busy that you didn’t have time for things, such as blogging (in my case)? Busy to where you have to play catch-up? As I cover my eyes in shame, I admit that is me right now and I apologize.

Sometimes life can be so busy that you have organize your responsibilities. Prioritize your time to where it is spent effectively and efficiently. Do the hard stuff first and end on an easy note. Make a to-do list, buy a planner, do whatever you have to, to make sure you stay on top of things. But, to be realistic, there are times when staying up to date isn’t enough and you will fall behind. Never fear, though, because you will catch up on everything and become that over-organized person once again.

One thing to remember when prioritizing- never sacrifice time with your loved ones.

xoxo,

Megan

Throwback Thursday

Happy throwback Thursday! I’m throwing it back to one of my previous posts, “When Goodbyes are Hard to Do.”

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“I’m not scared of hello. I’m scared of goodbye.” -Anonymous

Saying goodbye scares the daylights out of me. I’m not fond of change. So when a person goes out of my life for a time being and I don’t know when or if I will see them again, I’m frightened.

There have been enough goodbyes during my lifetime; goodbyes from either moving, graduating school, or just life. Yes, saying goodbye is a part of life, but does it really have to be?

For me, the most suspenseful moments in life are the ones when you just said “goodbye” to someone and walk away. A thousand thoughts race through my head. “Will I see them again?” “Talk to them?” “Cross their path again?”

My advice-if you care about someone, make time for them. Hopefully, they will make time for you. Some goodbyes don’t have to be permanent ones.

xoxo,

Megan

My Fall Bucket List

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Fall- my favorite season of them all! We are TWO days away from the start of the season and every year, there are several things I MUST do before it ends, so here is my fall bucket list:

  • Tailgate at a football game.
  • Go apple picking.
  • Buy school supplies.
  • Watch Halloween movies.
  • Decorate with tons of pumpkins and DIY fall crafts.
  • Travel through the mountains to see the leaves.
  • Visit the county fair.
  • Carve a pumpkin.
  • Make an apple pie, apple butter, apple pie, and homemade apple sauce. (Can you tell I like apples…alot?)
  • Stuff myself during the holidays.
  • Go on a hayride.
  • Eat s’mores at a bonfire.
  • Wear a hoodie, while snuggling up with a cup of hot chocolate.

It’s fall, y’all!

xoxo,

Megan