Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Sunday Reflections: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

We are very excited to share with you the first post by new TLT contributor Elliot in this Sunday Reflections. If you feel so inclined, please consider leaving them a comment below. Don’t know who Elliot is? Check out the bio at the end of this post. Elliot is a senior in high school who wants to major in journalism so they’re joining us here at TLT.

tltbutton5

The holidays may be known as “the most wonderful time of the year,” however that statement is not true for everyone. People everywhere struggle with debt, abuse, depression and so much more during this time of the year. The issues surrounding this wintery time are often overlooked and I would like to bring them to light.


To start off with, there are a tremendous amount of unspoken “requirements” for people to have a good holiday. Most of what is expected of people during the holiday times require a mountainous amount of money. Houses in poverty often can’t afford extravagant decorations, a feast fit for a king, clothes to protect them from winter’s frosty bite, or the stacks of presents that this time of year is often associated with. While some families are buying a new Nintendo Switch or a fancy little Apple Watch, other families are worrying whether or not they’re going to be able to even afford their December rent and food let alone presents or decorations. Workers will take on a ridiculous workload in order to even just attempt to reach their holiday goals. The holidays focus far too greatly on money and gifts rather than truly having a happy holiday.


Elliot


For some families, the gifts and the money are all just a disguise, an excuse to cover up the dark truth in their homes. Abuse doesn’t just magically vanish during these “happy holidays.” In fact, according to national domestic abuse studies, the recorded incidents of abuse actually spike during the holiday seasons. Some explanations for why abuse might worsen over the holidays is an increase in stress, increased alcohol consumption, and more time for the abuser to be home with the victim. Abusers often feel as though they can cover up their abuse with presents and saying “I do/get so much for you.” However, the holiday presents can never cover up the scars that abuse can leave.


The holidays are obviously not always as joyful as the cheesy T.V. commercials make them seem. This season is often the most difficult time of year for those with mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety. Culturally, people are pressured to do a lot of work, go to a lot of parties, and be around a lot of people. All of these holiday activities leave people with very little alone time and very little opportunities for self care. This constant activity leaves people drained and unhappy. The holidays make it to where people are expected to be happy, so when people with depression can’t find joy during these times, they often start feeling worse because they aren’t fulfilling society’s expectations for happiness.. It becomes a loop that constantly makes those who suffer from depression feel worse and worse due to the unrealistic expectations of holiday cheer.


The holidays are not always the joyful image that you see in the movies or in magazines. Like everything else, there is a darker side to these joyful times that should be taken into consideration because you never know who is experience the sad side of Christmas.


Meet Elliot, the new regular contributor to TLT:


I am currently a student at [Name redacted for safety reasons] High School who wishes to pursue a career in journalism. I have been an avid writer and a human rights activist for as long as I can remember. My goal in life is to help other people and I believe that one of the best ways to help someone in a bad situation is to share their stories. Sometimes the only thing that a person needs is a voice; however, not everyone has the opportunity for their voice to be heard. I want my writing to be a voice for all of those who are kept silent and I want my writing to make a difference in our slowly declining world. Although times are tough, I believe that there is always hope: you just have to find it.

Comments

  1. thank you, Elliot–there’s a lot to think about here. I wish a warm and safe holiday season to you and to all the people you care about, and may the new year be filled with hope and positive impact.

Speak Your Mind

*