Christmas lights illuminating the empty, icy pavements evoke a wide range of emotions: joy, happiness, gratefulness, love, loneliness, grief… The overhyped festive time of Christmas is not so joyous for everyone, many people who are working through their personal problems don’t find it as merry and no number of decorations or carefully wrapped presents could change that. It is easy to block out the darker side of Christmas; after all, in this not so happy world we strive to see the positive in all that we could. But in doing so, it is important to not forget about the less fortunate who struggle to find peace during this time of celebration.
Christmas struggles can be seen in a variety of forms: loneliness, lack of a place to stay and celebrate or financial limitations. The homelessness issue is particularly important; many that live on the street find Christmas extremely stressful as they don’t have the opportunity to hide from the cold temperatures and often have no one to sit down at the Christmas table with.
Christmas struggles can be seen in a variety of forms: loneliness, lack of a place to stay and celebrate or financial limitations.
The statistics are worrying, according to a 2018 survey, during the winter holidays 17% of people felt significantly lonelier. Touching on another problem, the charity that specialises in housing, Shelter, has revealed that 139,000 children would be celebrating without a save home this year. Viewing Christmas through this lens, it can be a daunting and tiring experience, the opposite of jolly representations seen on TV and in shops.
Crisis at Christmas, a charity that was started in 1967, has been aiming to combat homelessness by helping those in need. Rough sleeping has increased in England from last year by 26% and the charity has made an effort to open the doors of 4 Lodon hotels to people who would have nowhere to sleep otherwise. This initiative helps to spread the message of love and understanding in these difficult times. You can find out more about it on their official website.
Crisis at Christmas, a charity that was started in 1967, has been aiming to combat homelessness by helping those in need.
But a problem that can be more relatable for an average university student, especially an international one, is anxiety that stems from planning the holidays, maneuvering spending time with family, completing all assignments on time and social life. Especially when young, the social pressure associated with Christmas time requires everything to be perfect and amusing, and when otherwise, it can be very discouraging and depressing. However, de-romanticising Christmas and planning your time realistically can help with unneeded stress. Taking a step back and remembering that Christmas is just like any other time of the year can eliminate the unrealistic expectations and allow you to take a deep breath and enjoy your life as it is.