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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Poverty Never Takes A Holiday

Taken from Nancy's Burns' article written Dec. 10, 2013 for United Way's Alberta Capital Region.

In December, festive gatherings and gift giving is the norm for many people. The hype and advertising for the holiday season depict a joyous time of perfect presents, delicious meals and extravagant social visits.
However, for many individuals and families in our community, the holiday season is very stressful. People in poverty struggle all year to make ends meet. The decision to either buy food or pay the rent becomes even more challenging with the additional pressure of the holidays. A festive turkey dinner and a beautiful tree with plenty of presents may be a far-fetched dream for some families. The holiday traditions that supposedly contribute to the perfect family Christmas are unrealistic for people in poverty.
Sometimes the stress of not having enough money during the holiday season can lead to or accelerate domestic violence. Suicide rates increase. More people experience depression. Individuals who struggle with addictions can be tempted to slip back into old habits.
Loneliness is also more prevalent for people during holiday times, especially for seniors in poverty...read more.