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December 2015 - page 2

He Said; She Said: Christmas vs. Thanksgiving

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He Said:

by Will Harper

Christmas is widely referred to as the most wonderful time of the year for a reason. For those of you who are not familiar with superlatives, this means that it is the absolute best part of the year, and no other time is better. Therefore, Christmas is better than Thanksgiving, and that’s all there is to it.

Well… I suppose I can expound a little bit. Barring the resurrection, Christmas represents the most miraculous and joyful event in the history of the world. Never mind the fact that Christmas is ridden with historical inaccuracy, superficiality and greed. It really is a beautiful occasion. Though I am a firm believer that this glorious holiday is in need of a little reform, I am still confident that Christmas is a truly wonderful thing. Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus. Though we often lose sight of this among the wrapping paper, it is amazing when we slow down to recognize the original purpose of our favorite holiday. Christmas brings unity unlike any other occurrence in so many ways. Christmas brings families together from across the country. It unites strangers in public with the simple phrase “Merry Christmas.” Christmas brings together the Church and encourages generosity. On top of the more meaningful benefits of Christmas, it also provides familiar festivities that fill people of all ages with excitement. Christmas trees, hot chocolate, mall Santa, Christmas movies, stockings, reindeer, lights, music and more create an atmosphere at Christmas time that cannot be beat.

Thanksgiving, on the other hand, is a real bummy holiday. Who cares about the pilgrims and Native Americans? All that Thanksgiving really has to offer is a good meal. Christmas is so much more. Christmas completely transforms the entire month of December. Turkey Day has a cute parade and some cranberry sauce. I’m not knocking Thanksgiving, and in fact, I thoroughly enjoy the food, football and naps. That being said, it is absolutely ridiculous to compare any holiday to the wonders of Christmas.



She Said:

by Emma Parrish

Turkey, ham, gravy, stuffing, pie, family, friends, these are just some of the few wonderful facets of the greatest American holiday of the year: Thanksgiving. Christmas is one of the last breaks before the long winter sets in and Thanksgiving gets the holiday festivities started.
During Thanksgiving, the leaves are still falling and one can still enjoy the crisp fall air. From as early as five-years-old, you begin to learn about the pilgrims settling on Plymouth Rock and having the first original Thanksgiving. You aren’t taught about Christmas in school, are you now? First of all, on Thanksgiving, you have no pressure to give gifts and are relieved of the stress of buying them and coordinating them for every friend and family member. During Christmas season people spend hours in crowded shopping malls spending thousands on gifts. After Thanksgiving, Black Friday rolls around and all hell breaks loose. We’ve all seen it on the news, people being trampled in Walmart trying to get the latest and greatest electronic, and even some waiting in lines or camping out in front of stores just to ensure they get the gift they need. Now how ridiculous is that? According to Marshall Jones, “Thanksgiving promotes gratitude. Instead of asking people what they want or got for Christmas, you get to ask what people are thankful for. And that, by itself, is a reason to be thankful. And love it.” Most importantly, Thanksgiving is a holiday where you have an excuse to eat as much food as you want for an entire day. There is no shame in feeling guilty about it because everyone else is doing it too. But wait, it gets even better: naps. The endearing food coma you slip into after you have eaten your own weight for both lunch and dinner ends the day on a high note. You have a valid excuse to be as lazy as you want for an entire day. The Christmas excitement ends in the morning once you’ve opened all your gifts. The Thanksgiving excitement lasts you for days on end because you will have more leftovers than you can imagine.

It is clear that Thanksgiving has many more perks than Christmas so you may want to rethink your answer the next time you tell someone Christmas is even somewhat better.

Boys’ Basketball Team Ready for a Successful Season

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The boys’ basketball team has players with a wide range of experience. According to Coach Ryan Hodges, the key players this season are Jason Morrison, Banks Ramsey, Christian McLean, Cedric Lynch, Grant Frerking, Jack Greer, Jalen Hodges, Jordan Argilagos, Harrison Cook and Sean McDonough.

Senior Jason Morrison during a 2014-15 basketball game.
Senior Jason Morrison during a 2014-15 basketball game.

Argilagos played as a sophomore, but took off for his junior year in order to focus on football. When asked about when he decided to come back and play basketball for his senior season, Argilagos said, “I found myself bored just working out all the time during the winter; I actually really enjoy basketball, so I wanted to play again.” Now that Argilagos can go to college for football, he can spend time on the court and be a stellar multi-sport athlete.

Senior Jack Greer during the 2014-15 season.
Senior Jack Greer during the 2014-15 season.

There are many big games to look out for this season. When asked about them, Coach Hodges said, “All region games are big for us. The GAC, Pace, and Holy Innocents games should be fun to watch.” Those teams will be some of the biggest competition that Wesleyan faces this season along with Lovett and Hapeville. The boys’ basketball team is also playing in a Christmas Tournament in Asheville, NC.

This team has an interesting dynamic with many experienced seniors like Greer, J. Hodges, Morrison, and Lynch and a few fresh faces like seniors Tucker Cannon and Argilagos. The Wolves had a great summer where the seniors showed their leadership. The seniors’ leadership, Coach Hodges said, “helps tremendously with the team’s chemistry.”

The Wolves are expected to have a great season with much support from Wesleyan students, families and faculty. When asked about how the Wolves plan on being successful this season, Coach Hodges said, “We look forward to playing an exciting brand of basketball this season by applying more pressure defense and traps while running out on the fast break to create easy scoring opportunities for us.”

Celebrate Christmas with a Spirit of Generosity

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year. As a child, Christmas means one thing: presents. Of course there are a lot of exciting festivities surrounding the presents, but ripping the paper off a new Xbox is really the main event. Society has taken the holy concept of celebrating our Savior’s birth and reformed it into a celebration of greed laden with irony. At what point did people start to make Christmas less about Jesus and more about us? I’m not here to point fingers, nor will I assert that I am not guilty of going about Christmas the wrong way, but maybe it would be worth-while to rethink one of our favorite holidays.

According to ABC News, each year, Americans spend approximately $465 billion on Christmas. All that money is for Jesus, right? Giving gifts is not intrinsically bad, but it becomes a problem when we take advantage of  one of the most glorious events in human history as an excuse to cultivate our lust for material things. Not only is it wasteful and greedy to make Christmas so focused on ourselves and our free stuff, but it also sends a controversial message.

Scripture is pretty clear on these two things among others. Avarice is bad, and Jesus is good. If this is true, and Christians seek to adhere to the Word of God, then why do Christians see Christmas as a chance to glorify avarice and subdue the gospel. Obviously, no one actually enters the holiday season with such malicious intent, but if someone who had never heard of Christmas saw the way we go about celebrating the birth of Jesus, he or she would likely be overwhelmed and confused.

I am not suggesting that we stop giving gifts or going to sit on Santa’s lap, but perhaps we could consider a more modest holiday. Can you imagine the positive impact that $465 billion could have if it were devoted to charitable causes? If we’re not careful, children will be more enticed by Santa’s offer of a Red Ryder BB gun than Jesus’ offer of salvation.

The importancChristmas Fireplacee of approaching the Christmas season with the right attitude and heart cannot be underestimated, and this is an area where many of us need to reconsider our favorite holiday, but there is still a lot of good left in Christmas. While we often over-do it, gift giving is at its core a very beautiful, selfless thing.

In addition to the generosity we often express toward our family and friends during the holidays, Christmas also encourages a lot of generosity focused towards people in need. I’m not just talking about the Salvation Army guy ringing his bell outside Target. A lot of soup kitchens, shelters and the like make an extra effort to be generous during Christmas. With so much extra joy to go around during the holidays, people are often more willing to seek out opportunities to help others.

Furthermore, Christmas also encourages unparalleled family bonding time. Late December is one of the busiest travelling times of the year for a reason. People are willing to put forth a lot of energy, time and money to be with family during this special time. Families come together from all across the country and even the world to celebrate the birth of a savior with praise and generosity.

Clearly, the concept of Christmas is a beautiful thing, but it is far too easy to twist things around and make the holidays about us. If Christians really made an effort to approach Christmas with a selfless attitude, the impact could be enormous. Christmas is still a season centered around hope, and I have not lost hope for what remains my favorite holiday, but I am confident that Christmas could improve tremendously with a shift in thinking. By turning our focus away from ourselves and towards the real reason for Christmas, we can transform a time of greed into a true celebration of Jesus.

Wesleyan’s Top Five Biggest Fans

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Number 5: Bailey Renfroe

At number five sits a devoted but controversial fan: Bailey Renfroe. Bailey may not be the loudest fan, but he sure does have a lot of spirit points.

Number 4: Chris Cleveland

In fourth place is our beloved headmaster, Chris Cleveland. Mr. Cleveland is knowledgeable, enthusiastic and devoted. We couldn’t put him at spot number one though because, after-all, it is sort of his job.

Number 3: Heidi Lloyd

Third place goes to our high school counselor, Heidi Lloyd. Not only does Mrs. Lloyd go out of her way to attend many sporting events, but she also brings the noise.

Number 2: Zach Young

Our runner up has been around for a long time, and he’s made it clear that he’s not going anywhere. Zach Young, Wesleyan’s former headmaster, can be spotted in Crocs and a visor at just about any Wesleyan event. Mr. Young always goes out of his way to congratulate athletes and is very well liked by students.

Number 1: STEVE

Finally, the number one best Wesleyan sports fan of all time is the one and only, Steve. Steve works at the local Ingles and truly loves Wesleyan sports. He goes to every Wesleyan football game no matter how far away it may be, and he can also be found at baseball and basketball games. “Steve is a legend,” said senior Cole Mannion. “Steve is no bandwagon fan. He sticks with the Wolves through thick and thin,” said senior Jake McCleskey.

Christian Life Theme of the Month

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Continuing on the quest of Christian identity, the Christian life theme for the months of November to December have changed to even more specific Christian traits. The theme for November is “you are a new creation.” The theme for December is “you are a temple of the Holy Spirit.”

The verses for November are 2 Corinthians 5:17, 2 Corinthians 4:16, and Revelation chapter 21. 2 Corinthians 5:17 states, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 4:16 states, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” Revelation chapter 21 talks about the new heaven and new earth. All of these verses relate to Christians being new creations.

The verses for December’s theme of “you are a temple of the Holy Spirit” are 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, and 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 states, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 states, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.”

When asked about the relevance to the themes of the year as a whole, Christian Life director, Greg Lisson said, “As you cross over into somebody who is follower of Christ, now there are some new things that are part of your identity. One, you are a new creation. Next, a pretty well-known one is you are a temple of the Holy Spirit. We are trying to build on what it looks like to be a follower of Christ.” When asked how December’s theme relates to Christmas, Lisson said “I did choose this theme on purpose because when you talk about God dwelling in you, it also reminds me of God dwelling among us which is what the incarnation of God is.” While not a direct relation, it still reminds Christians that God came to earth as a man so that we could gain salvation.

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