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Tis' the Season

With the holidays around the corner, the time of joy and happiness that comes from giving is here as well. This is the time of year where people tend to be happier all around, seeing holiday decorations up, listening to Christmas music, watching holiday movies and celebrating others. The time to be with family and surround yourself with loved ones can add stress, but around Christmas it is a happier stress. It is like all year long people look forward to Thanksgiving because they know that Christmas is coming right behind it. Not to mention the wonderful store sales that go on during this time of year. Christmas itself is its own form of social control. This holiday is in complete control of how individuals act during November and December, and for the children who believe in Santa Claus, Christmas can control how they act throughout the whole year because they know that if they are “bad”, Santa will know and they won’t get any presents.

It is fascinating how the thought of Christmas can make the majority of people who celebrate it instantly happy, no matter what time of year it is. I have heard people say in June, “Oh I cannot wait until I get to listen to Christmas music and sit and watch Christmas movies. It’s the happiest time of the year!” Is Christmas time really the happiest time of the year, or is it just what we have been conditioned to think? Why can’t we be as happy we are in December in April or August?

A way that Christmas is a form a social control is the traditions that come with it. The first is how people decorate their houses during this time. It is typically filled with snowmen, elves, reindeer, Santa Claus, the colors red and green, and a wide array of lights. There will be at least one Christmas tree up in the house with ornaments and lights on it. Even the shopping and sales that stores have around this time are based around Christmas, and knowing that this time of year, people will be getting gifts for others. This season of shopping is typically kicked off with Black Friday, beginning the night of Thanksgiving and typically goes through the day after. Another tradition is the routine that families do on Christmas eve and on Christmas day; what time they open presents, which family members they go see or who they have come to their house.

However, 2020 has brought a lot of unexpected situations and circumstances with the COVID pandemic. In a year where we have been limited in how often we are seeing family and close friends, what does that mean for the holidays? During a time where it seems that we are constantly around others and enjoying the company of our loved ones, this year it will have to be a little different. With the number of COVID diagnoses and death continuing to rise, there are two ways that people can approach holidays during a pandemic. The first is that people will ignore the rules and regulations and carry on their usual traditions with their holiday parties surrounded by people. Or, people can follow the rules and create a safer and socially distant holidays.

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