The holidays can be very joyful times where we take advantage of our time off to visit and catch up on missed events with our family. Some might live far away or might constantly be working, so getting days off during the holidays can be rewarding for the family, especially for children. I think children are the ones that enjoy the entire get together because they get to see their parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins and so much more family all in one place. They get to meet knew family members and make new friends out of them. For me, Christmas was a great time because my parents and I would always travel to Mexico to see our family. I would always get super excited about my parents having a whole week off from work. What is better for a 6 year old than family, food and Santa Clause.

Unfortunately, things don’t always stay the same. My parents began to drift apart and the fall  of the year I turned 7 my dad left. With now only one source of income and the bills piling up, my mother was forced to work during the holidays and cancel our annual trip to Mexico. To make matters worst, that was the same year that I found out that Santa Clause was not real. I can’t even imagine how difficult it had to be for my mother to tell her only child that this year Santa Clause would not be bringing presents because there was not enough money. Being only 7 I was confused as to why that was a problem for her since she wasn’t the one who had to give me my presents, that was Santa Clauses job. So she had to flat out tell me that Santa Clause was make believe and that parents used him to keep our imaginations alive. According to my mother she was
actually quite surprised at my reaction. I told her everything would be ok and that I didn’t need presents, all I wanted was for her to be home with me on Christmas.

Even though my reaction was not that of a typical child, I know there has to
be other children and parents out there that are going through the same thing.
Broken families can become a huge stressor not just for the parents, but for the children as well. We all think of the holidays as being a beautiful time with
joy and love, but not all families have the same experience. All around the
world there are children who live with only one parent who only makes enough money to barely put food on the table. There are even those children who don’t have parents and must live in foster homes or orphanages. Although I find this extremely saddening, I know that we can all do something to help.

Our organization, B.A.K.E, can be a great help when it comes to children. We can create many fun and festive activities that will get the children and their parent involved. As students and as a community we should be able to help out our neighbors. We might not all know of a family going through a divorce, but we all know there are children that are alone. We can all do a part in helping out by taking toy donations for children in the orphanages, or by getting a close knit community to help out a single parent in need. In my case my god-mother who was also the secretary of my school took donations from the members of our church to not only help out my mother, but also other children who were going through a tough time.  We should all be able to put our heads together and help. If we know someone is struggling we should take initiative and relive the stress they have by inviting them to our homes for dinner. My including them in our festivities we can create a more joyful time for both parent and children. If the parent does not have enough money for presents, we can help keep the spirit of Santa Clause alive by taking donations from the community and labeling them “From: Santa.”

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