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Is Christmas Really The Happiest Time of Year?

Christmas is a time when we come together and celebrate. We gather family, friends, and the people closest to us for a time of happiness and cheer. Carols and Christmas tunes are heard all around. There’s a chill in the air and lights twinkling everywhere. Holiday movies fill our hearts. We remember childhood memories that bring smiles to our faces. They always say it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but is it really?

In some instances, yeah, Christmas can be the happiest time of the year. Especially for a child, Christmas definitely is the most magical time of the year. Ironically, though, it’s not like this for most people- and most of them wouldn’t tell you that. 

For a parent, this time of year is filled with stress. The stress of present shopping for children is real. For parents with lots of children, it is hard to buy for all of them, and for parents with jobs, it is hard to find the time to shop, wrap, and hide all the presents. For families with lower incomes, it is hard to buy presents for their children. They want to create this magical experience for them, but it is hard when they feel like they can’t buy presents that are good or expensive enough. 

Christmas is also met with the perils of giving and receiving presents for extended families. It is very hard to pick out gifts for extended family members and to know what they would want. Often, you get the fake smile and the uncomfortable thank you’s, and you know they will be returning it. It’s even worse when you’re the one receiving the bad gift and want to be gracious and thankful, but know you will inevitably just return it. 

There is so much that you have to do during the holiday season, which inevitably just leads to stress. It is very stressful trying to get everything done in time. Some people leave almost everything until the night before and then frantically have to prepare for the big holiday all at once. 

There is a lot of pressure to make this one day perfect, and there is a lot of hype surrounding this holiday. People prepare for days, weeks, and months before and everyone expects the day to be perfect, which is an unrealistic goal. 

Also, Christmas can bring up upsetting memories for certain people. For families who have recently suffered a loss, this time can be sad and upsetting, forcing them to remember that the person is no longer with them. For families who are strained, it is sometimes hard to remember that certain people are no longer in their lives. 

So yeah, Christmas can be a happy time filled with happy memories and the holiday spirit. However, for a large majority, it is a hard time filled with stress, expectations and memories of sad times.

Julianne is a Junior at Adelphi University. She is a mathematics major and in the STEP education program. She is apart of the Her Campus, GSA, and Future Teacher's Association clubs at her university. She likes to write, bake, and travel.
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