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The Voice of the Tyrone Area High School

Tyrone Eagle Eye News

The Voice of the Tyrone Area High School

Tyrone Eagle Eye News

‘Tis the Season

Tis+the+Season
Bekah Sprankle

You know birthdays, and spring break, and the New Year, and full moons. Back-to-school, and graduation, and flu season, and “summer’s coming soon!” But do you recall the most exhausting season of all?

With the problems of our modern world so steadily increasing, the holiday season has really begun to take a toll on many people. What is so heavily celebrated as “the most wonderful time of the year” is often littered with illness, stress, and financial woes.

Ah, yes, the month of December: filled with tales of merrily caroling and joy to the world.

The stockings are all hung by the chimney with care, in hopes of hiding the depression that’s there. But even as we deck the halls and wait for St. Nick, does the magic of the holidays stick?

With the problems of our modern world so steadily increasing, the holiday season has really begun to take a toll on many people. What is so heavily celebrated as “the most wonderful time of the year” is often littered with illness, stress, and financial woes.

Sneezing’s Greetings

Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Be warned: the whitest of Christmases may make you feel greener than grandma’s homemade wreath.

Being stuck indoors alone exposes people to easily transmitted viruses, such as influenza and the common cold. Catching dreaded illnesses like these seems almost inevitable to many, which forces the anticipation of Christmas coughing down our already scratchy throats.

To make matters worse, health professionals have recently expressed concern that COVID-19 will have yet another dangerous resurgence. Soon, Rudolph may not be the only one with a red nose, as the CDC predicts that the latest JN. 1 strain of the virus could majorly disrupt much of this holiday season.

You should also be asking ol’ St. Nick for some vitamin D in your stocking this year, because its lack could cause great concern for societal condition.

This vitamin is essential for both physical and emotional well-being, and its deficiency could create a holiday health horror. The human body’s best and most accessible source of vitamin D comes from the shining sun of spring and summer, making the winter months a catastrophic time for mental and emotional balance.

Low vitamin D often can also cause depression-like symptoms, increased anxiety, and problems with mood regulation… the exact opposite of what you would want during the “happiest season of all”.

The festivities that occur as the calendar year comes to a close are commonly marketed with joy and love. Nevertheless, society tends to overlook a hidden dejection wrapped with silver bows and “ho ho ho’s”.

There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays

Not only are humans vastly impacted by the act of staying inside during the frosty festive season, but many families, unfortunately, experience an amplified and detrimental disconnect at this time of the year.

The anxiety faced by a large portion of our society, whether caused by being alone for the holidays or urged to spend unwanted time with potentially toxic relatives, makes these celebrations anything but merry and bright.

This stress is practically inevitable in many cases, majorly removing much of the intended joy of the winter season. Family dynamics are traditionally difficult to escape, and with the expectations of being home for the holidays, far too many individuals could feel trapped within rather unpleasant interactions and emotions.

As sad as it is, in many cases, there is also a significant rise in domestic abuse during the month of December. Overall heightened tensions added to easier access to household members can be a dangerous equation for victims of domestic violence, and this is no secret when looking at statistics.

An estimated 25% increase in domestic abuse reports can be observed during the Christmas season– a jarring and deeply disappointing rate, to say the least.

Factors such as alcoholism, financial stress, damaged relationships, and broken routines can largely contribute to causes of disputes within a household setting, leaving room for frightening confrontations between its members. Abusers, in turn, tend to take advantage of this time of supposed rest and relaxation at home, seeing increased time with family as an easy out for their frustrations. Consequently, whether reported or not, a mass influx of domestic abuse incidents looms over the holiday season in a quiet, but deadly, way.

Unwrapping the Truth

Instead of a mountain of ribbons and bows, too many families face towering bills and empty pockets as a result of the holiday season. The stress of Christmas doesn’t only come with looming illness and familial dread; financial burdens are a major concern for many around this time of giving.

It comes as no surprise that major holiday spending is the pinnacle for economies. Christmas shopping is a weeks-long event that many businesses rely on and consumers take full advantage of. However, for those with already-existing financial tension, the holidays create monumental stress and despair.

The spirit of consumerism strikes the 37 million Americans living below the poverty line painfully during the Christmas season, throwing many families into turmoil as the holidays approach.

Studies have shown that most middle-class American consumers spend $1,530 on average on gifts during the holiday season, with 23% claiming that this cost puts at least minimal strain on their budget. One in four shoppers report feeling the stress of Christmas spending, many citing the pressure to purchase more than what they may be comfortable with.

This data only worsens when it comes to low-income families: over 27% of these individuals highlight that holiday shopping will put them in a place of financial dilemma, with the majority of these people citing being uncomfortable with how much money they feel pressured to spend.

Many low-income households are forced to seek assistance during the holiday season, turning to organizations to provide them with necessities so that they can afford gifts for their children and relatives. The spirit of consumerism strikes the 37 million Americans living below the poverty line painfully during the Christmas season, throwing many families into turmoil as the holidays approach.

So This is Christmas

The festivities that occur as the calendar year comes to a close are commonly marketed with joy and love. Nevertheless, society tends to overlook a hidden dejection wrapped with silver bows and “ho ho ho’s”.

The Christmas spirit is far from perfect, and truth be told, it can often be cluttered with fatigue, anxiety, and strain that make its celebration much harder for many.

In this time of supposed generosity and glad tidings, it is imperative that we, as a society, take better care of one another.

The holiday season is suffering, and only we can keep the flicker of hope burning. Seasonal depression, illness, and overall struggle within the world take a major toll– one that can be majorly influenced by the unity and generosity of those able to gift it.

Take care of one another during the holidays. The time of giving is here, and it desperately calls upon humanity to restore its magic. The Christmas season, though flawed, truly is a wonderful time of the year– just as long as we make it so. With great kindness in our hearts, we can improve the stress here. The strain can subside, the hardship disappear, so that we may all exclaim, as we made the wrongs right: Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

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About the Contributor
Bekah Sprankle
Bekah Sprankle, Editor-In-Chief
Rebekah Sprankle, better known as Bekah or Beks, is a Tyrone senior and Editor-in-Chief of the Eagle Eye staff. She is also the president of POPS Extension and an active member of the Drama Club, NHS, YAN, and Student Council. If you're looking for a way to kill time, just get Bekah to talk about music, breakfast foods, or astrology, and the hours will tick by. In her day-to-day life, Bekah loves to sing, bake, act, listen to music, and write. Bekah hopes to step out of her comfort zone for her senior year. She seeks to express her creativity, insight, and passions in ways that make a difference as a part of the Eagle Eye team and to continue to do so beyond her high school years!

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