Artwork by Samantha Esparza

Tis’ the season to be jolly

December 15, 2020

The holidays are back in town and that can only mean one thing: holiday cheer and many festivities. Although it is filled with cheer and joy, the holiday season can also bring a lot of chaos and hardships. It seems like such a fun time of year but there is also a lot that happens behind the scenes. 

For parents, this time of year can be tough and this is especially true this holiday season. Many families have been affected very negatively by COVID-19 and many people have even lost their jobs. Some parents may not have enough money to get special gifts for their children or even buy the food necessary to make a holiday dinner. These holiday months can serve as a reminder of all the hardship that many families have had to go through, especially hardships that were unforeseen and unprepared for. 

As a teenager, the struggles parents experience can be overlooked. Many young people tend to want to play video games, be on social media or partake in other leisure activities that can cost money. The lifestyle teens may want may not always be what parents can afford. So instead of focusing on the materialistic side of the holiday, it is time to remember that what really matters is spending time with one another and focusing on those less fortunate.

“People tend to not realize that the holidays are meant to bring people together … Holidays aren’t about gifts [even though they are] a nice gesture. We have to remember that there are people who don’t have anyone to celebrate with [and there are] those who can’t afford to celebrate the holiday. As teens sometimes we can forget this and focus on the materialistic parts but the best gift of all is love and joy from those around you,” says senior Danielle Siojo.

Another issue that is faced during this time can be depression. This can become a time of loneliness for people. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, a mixture of feeling pressured to meet expectations, high stress and loneliness can result in what they call the “Holiday Blues.” This could start during the month of November and last into the new year. For example, families may remember their loved ones who are no longer with them or young children and teens may not have a family to go to as they may be in foster care or homeless. These instances can cause a feeling of loneliness to take over. As a community, others can help by feeding the homeless and maybe even buying a gift for someone who is less fortunate. Simply dedicating time to others in need of companionship can bring a smile to someone’s face. Many don’t know that it’s the little things that can make all the difference in someone else’s life.

“Taking in foster youth and helping the homeless is critical during the holidays because these people don’t receive the warmth and love that others do given their situation. Whether it is something as simple as donating toys or old clothes, an act of giving will always be appreciated,” said anonymous. 

The holidays come with both positive and negative aspects. Although many are faced with hardships, it is important to lean on one another during these times. No matter what situations many are in or what obstacles they have to face, people must help each other through thick and thin. At the end of this all, the holidays are about being around family and friends and making memorable moments that one can think back on and enjoy.