The holiday season kicks in full-swing at Thanksgiving every year and comes to an end after the New Year’s Day festivities have commenced.
Christmas, in particular, is arguably the most festive out of all the third-quarter national holidays. A great deal of money is spent on exchanging gifts and other activities associated with celebration. Children are a major focus during the holiday season because of the need to prioritize how they are taken care of in the midst of all the hustle and bustle.
Unfortunately, professional research studies have proven that the holiday season is disproportionately hard on the youth. Valerie Strauss, a senior education correspondent for the Washington Post wrote a column, which the national newspaper published online this past Christmas Eve (December 24th).
In Strauss’ news article, she discussed the high rates of depression and suicide among the young and old during the holiday season. Strauss brought an increased level of reference about how the youth are specifically dealing with emotional adversity around the holiday season. She explained one of the causes stating the following:
“It is, however, undeniably true that for many young people, especially those who see their schools are safe havens and the source of most of their food, the holidays can be especially stressful. Furthermore, this stress affects kids in a way that is different from adults.” (The Washington Post)
Children and adolescents who attend public schools are typically out of school for extended periods of time during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. For public school children who live in low-income households, the reason for stress that Strauss explains in her article is a definite reality.
Lori Russell-Chapin, is a professor of education and an award-winning teacher and researcher at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. Russell-Chapin conducted an exclusive Washington Post interview with Straus and explained some things families can do to relieve stress on children during the holiday season.
“If you can’t buy every present you want, write a personalized note instead,” Russell-Chapin suggested.
“Have the entire family volunteer doing something that is not about buying presents. Shovel someone’s walk. Deliver food to shut-ins. Have fun that doesn’t cost money,” she continued.