As Thanksgiving approaches, it is important for us to remember the true meaning of the holiday. For many of us, it is traditionally a time to eat turkey, ham, stuffing, and mashed potatoes with gravy, all while citing the blessings for which we are most thankful; however, our duty as American citizens lies far beyond just verbalizing our thankfulness for friends and family and gathering around the television to watch football during this time of year.
We must recognize that the first Thanksgiving was a time when the Native Americans and British colonists came together to celebrate a plentiful harvest–of food and friendship. Because these two groups came from such different backgrounds and worshiped such different deities, Thanksgiving was also a time to observe these differences in culture and heritage. We must acknowledge the meaning behind this celebration and commit to continuing its legacy in the way those at the first Thanksgiving would want. To do this, we must also lift high the beauty of diversity in our nation–the common thread that weaves us all together as Americans today.
Diversity can be a scary topic to discuss, especially among National Panhellenic Conference sororities with a reputation for not being open to women of all races. We have a long history of segregation (racial, sexual orientation, financial, cultural) within our own groups, but there are certainly ways for us to help promote sororities as places of diversity. After all, it is 2015!
Here is list of ways I came up with (with help from my boyfriend, Rob) to interact with diversity–of all kinds–as sorority women this Thanksgiving on more than just a verbal or theoretical level:
Serving food at a homeless shelter before, on, or after Thanksgiving with your immediate or sorority family and friends.
Hosting a canned food drive to benefit a local soup kitchen or shelter. (This also directly correlates to Sigma Kappa’s value of service.)
Inviting neighbors or friends over to your house on Thanksgiving to celebrate different Thanksgiving traditions. Some families don’t cook traditional Thanksgiving meals, so combining your dishes is a great way to come together.
Hosting an event at your chapter house with a Panhellenic council or Multicultural Greek council to do the same thing. You can all go around and talk about the ways your families or friends celebrate Thanksgiving while chowing down on a potluck dinner!
Saving some of the money from your Black Friday shopping fund and donate it to an organization in your community to which you have never donated. This could be an LGBTQ youth organization, a predominantly black community church or anything else.
And of course, Instagramming, tweeting or posting about your experiences on Thanksgiving–whether they are traditional or not. Our diversity should be celebrated and not hidden!
My favorite part of the year is finally among us! Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas and New Years all happening within 36 days. There are so many great parts that make up this joyous holiday season!
I think we can all agree that THE best part about the holidays is all of the food. From a Thanksgiving turkey to a Christmas ham and all of the sweets in between, ’tis the season for copious amounts of delicious dishes and confections!
The Holidays automatically mean spending time with family especially around the dinner table. It’s the best feeling to get to return home after a long semester to relax and hang out with your family and participate in one’s household holiday traditions.
Thanksgiving means the time for all of the Christmas classics back on the television. The Santa Clause, Home Alone, Christmas Vacation, Elf and so many more are recycled on the channels, but they seem to never get old year after year.
It’s finally acceptable to crank up and sing as loud as you can to “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and “Where Are You Christmas.” We know those specific radio stations dedicated to playing Christmas music and have no shame jamming along to them to help us get in the holiday spirit.
Nothing screams “festive” more than decorated houses and Christmas trees displayed in front windows! It’s amazing the way some houses are decorated with Christmas lights. It’s always entertaining to drive around judging which houses have outdone themselves and have the best decorations up!
What are you favorite parts about the holiday season?
Time is flying by and it is hard to believe that this semester is almost over. This semester has been a whirlwind. I have been to 12 states, gone to 14 campuses and made over 19 chapter visits. Traveling has become my friend this semester and I have realized just how much I love to see the vast country we live in.
For those of you who don’t know there are three jobs you can do as a leadership consultant: you can serve as a new chapter consultant, a traveling consultant and a colony consultant. So far in my LC journey I have been able to check two of these off of my list. Well now it’s time for phase 3. Time to check off being a colony consultant. I am moving to the Hoosier state and taking on Indiana University with Morgan.
Phase 3 is exciting but it also means an end to phase 2. It means I have to break-up with my suitcase. A suitcase that has been there for me all semester. I have tried to decide what to name my suitcase but nothing has stuck. A suitcase that was always a little too close to the 50 pound weight limit. My suitcase has been my home this semester, and I’m sad that we are going to have to part ways.
The end of phase 2 also means the end of my airport time. It might sound crazy to some of you but I have grown to truly enjoy my time in the airport. It has become a norm for me and I will miss the time I get in the many airports I have been to across the country.
Phase 2 meant I got to explore many places, meet new people and cross some states off my bucket list. But phase 3 also means a lot to me. I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to start a chapter of Sigma Kappa. To explore Bloomington, IN and all it has to offer. To bring the sorority experience to new women and see Sigma Kappa change their life, just like it did for me.
Phase 3 I am ready for you and I cannot wait for January.
It’s been amazing traveling as a leadership consultant this year and working with all the women on my team. It blows my mind how close we became, so quickly. I guess that’s one of the incredible things about being Sigma Kappa women, we are truly connected by a bond. From late night dance parties during training to video calls from six different states, we have spent a lot of time getting to know each other. I figured what better way to conclude this blog writing season than to give you all some info about each one of my teammates. And of course I had to do it in a fun way! Please enjoy the nicknames I have created to represent all of their fun, unique, spunky personalities.
Cora, The Cackling Cat Lady
Cora has the most hilarious, distinguishable laugh that and can stop anyone from talking mid-sentence. She is always giggling and can make any situation funny. Whenever I’m with her we crack up until my stomach hurts. She also loves her cats so much that she must FaceTime them, weekly.
Morgan, The Energetic Optimist
Morgan is such a go with the flow ball of energy. She is always on 100% and her battery never dies! She has a positive outlook on life and it will easily rub off on you.
Bri, The Dancing Perfectionist
Don’t know how to hit the quan? Never heard of the thizzle dance? Ask Bri to teach you cause she is a dancing star! She is my go-to dancing partner. I can count on her no matter what; whether it’s for the latest dance moves or proper procedures. She is so knowledgeable and always seems to have everything in check.
Cozy, The Bubbly Vegan
Cozy is the first and only person who has made me think I could live a vegan lifestyle. Her meals are delicious! I wanted to eat everything she made when I was visiting Oregon. Cozy is always upbeat and in a good mood. If you’re in a bad mood and she is around, it won’t last long. She can walk in the room and lift everyone’s spirits up.
Annie, The Open Book
You know that friend that will actually say what everyone was thinking? That is Annie. She’ll also say what everyone wasn’t thinking! TMI (too much information) doesn’t exist in her world. She is down to earth and definitely isn’t afraid to speak her mind. She stays true to herself and it’s so refreshing!
Madison, The Southern Sports Fanatic
Oh Madison! I wish I had an accent like hers. She graduated from Auburn and if we are out anywhere with TVs, the game better be on. I’m pretty sure she’s been going to games since she was two years old, maybe even two days old. It’s like sports are in her blood. If you aren’t rooting for her team you better be prepared for the rivalry because Madison is hardcore.
Britney, The Posh One
Britney walks into a room and what do you notice? Her outfit, of course. She is stylish, trendy and classy and has the personality to match. She always seems ready to take on the world and exudes extreme confidence. She is an independent woman with a little sass.
Dana, The First to Know
Do you need some top secret information? Want to know the inside scoop about something? Dana is your girl! I’d like to think she gets information about things before they even happen. I secretly think she is a spy. She is so resourceful and you can go to her with any question. She will definitely have the answer.
Kate, The Deep Thinker
Sitting around, having casual conversations, we can count on Kate to challenge our minds. She encourages us to talk about something other than work. In fact, she makes us. She loves bringing up controversial topics and getting our opinions on important issues.
Bianca, The Spirited YouTuber
If you didn’t know, Binx (as we call her) is a famous! Look her up, she has a YouTube channel which is so entertaining to watch. A camera is always in her hand to document life’s adventures. Her vlog about Houston football shows how pumped she gets about everything.
Lindy, The Free-Spirit
Do you want to dance, laugh, run in the rain, sing Frozen songs, jump on the bed, go on an adventure, laugh some more? Lindy will do all of that with you and more. She is full of life and nothing is off-limits. Lindy will help you forget about being an adult and bring out your inner child!
Olivia, The Endless Hugger
If you are every feeling down, or even if you aren’t, Olivia will be there to hug it out! She won’t even ask you sometimes, she wants to just throw her arms around you. You just have to embrace it.
Nicole, The Fit Forgetter
Nicole is the kind of person to choose celery over brownies. I know it’s unbelievable to me too! She loves to remind us to fit 30 minute workouts into our busy schedules. However, with our busy schedules Nicole needs a reminder about everything else. If you tell her something, make sure her planner is nearby so she can write it down. If not, she’ll probably ask you to remind her to write it down.
Addison, The Smiley Socialite
Addison’s smile is radiating. She is the person who will always lose the laughing contest. I’d say she’s pretty popular. I mean who wouldn’t be if you were as outgoing and fun as she is. Addison can walk into a group and immediately get along with any and everyone.
Christian, The Collected Engineer
Cool, calm and collected. That would definitely describe Christian. She is so level-headed and always the person who can keep her sanity with our craziness. She is smart, analytical and can think so logically. I feel like she just understands things on another level.
Alyssa, The Hipster Artist
Do you need some creative juice? Alyssa is the one to steal some from. She has a unique talent of seeing things through a different lens. Literally and figuratively. She is an amazing photographer and can add a spin on all sorts of art or even clothing.
I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little bit about each one of us.
November holds many important dates, most notably, Founders’ Day and Thanksgiving. It seems like an appropriate time to give thanks to Sigma Kappa, to Mary, Ida, Louise, Francis, Elizabeth and all the sisters who came before me to create the most incredible organization I will ever be a part of.
Thank you for giving me ritual that encourages me to become my best self every day.
Thank you for having only two Greek letters. That one less letter may not seem like a lot but imagine the difference between going to bed at 3 AM or painting a third letter.
Thank you for instilling in me a spirit of service and for giving me causes to care about so deeply.
Thank you for my big sister, she has taught me that work should not come at the expense of happiness.
Thank you for my little sister, she encourages me to always be bettering myself if only to keep up with her greatness.
Thank you for the lavender and maroon, they are colors a red head can rock.
Thank you for my best friends, I would not have made it through college or life without them. They remind me to be silly, they encourage me to be adventurous, they share a gold heart with me on Snapchat, and they are always the greatest support system I could ever hope for.
Thank you for the opportunities for development, especially this year on the road. I would not be the woman I am or possess the skills that I do if not for Sigma Kappa.
Thank you for all the best apparel because what would I be wearing this very moment if not for Sigma Kappa?
Thank you for giving me the most amazing home to spend my college years in.
Thank you for our alumnae, headquarters staff and volunteers because they remind me that there is always more to give Sigma Kappa in return for all it gave me.
Finally, thank you for my LC team. They have shown me that there are other people in this world as head over heels for Sigma Kappa as I am. They are brilliant. They are hilarious. They are the most amazing women I know.
“In every generation of our lives, the fraternity sorority experience matters.” – Pete Smithhisler
I have a confession to make, I am freezing all the time. So when I am SO cold I dream of all the soups in the world. This occurs often because, surprise, I no longer live in the desert but in the chilly Pacific Northwest. So in my free time I love to look up any and every yummy looking vegan soups possible. I am a regular Pinterest stalker and an avid reader of blogs. I try to educate myself with new recipes to gain more skills and experiences…aka keep my life spicy. Soup seriously just warms the soul, and I am here to share my top five favorites.
Chickpea Stew: Check out this recipe…I make it without the chicken!
In honor of this being my last blog post of 2015, I thought what better to write about than my two favorite things: Christmas and cats. Thus, A Very Meowy Christmas.
During the holiday season, people seem to be happier and laugh a lot more often. I was thinking of the thing that makes me laugh the most and always makes me happy, naturally I thought of my cats. Therefore, I’m doing my civic duty and spreading the holiday cheer by sharing information and fabulous photos of my cats, to encourage the laughter and smiles throughout the rest of the year.
The holidays as told by Lucas and Dexter
The one where you have to pack to visit the family but give up within 5 minutes of trying.
The one where you try to get a little tan so you aren’t the only pale one in the family photo.
The one where you prepare to curl your hair for the awkward family photo.
The one where you have to shower prior to visiting the family.
The one where you have to shower but can no longer fit because of the holiday weight.
The one where you attempt to clean all of the dishes.
The one where you prepare to face the unpredictable weather.
The one where you cuddle up on the couch and watch football all day.
The one where you you hide from your relatives.
The one where you drink way to much eggnog.
With that being said, I hope everyone has a great holiday season!