Behind the Scenes of the Holidays

When most people think of the holidays, there’s holiday cheer, gifts, decorations, and food a plenty involved. If the holidays were a movie, it would come in with a bang, and gather many people, with many different preferences. Then they would go on to see the bloopers, and behind the scenes, where their favorite actors gave them a tour of the set. Sadly, the reality seems to be far from that. It’s the things off camera, out of the public eye, what people don’t see. Those are the startling things. While the movie shows holiday cheer, gifts, decorations, and food a plenty. The reality for some people is anxiousness, a giftless year, sparsely decorated spaces, and a measly meal. But that’s not uncommon. Some of Irving’s very own students are undergoing this reality. This off camera scene, of different movie.   


The current minimum wage in Nebraska is $9.00 per hour. The average hours people work per day, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics study, was 8.8 hours to 9.4 hours after a 2014 Gallup poll. The average hours between those two is 9.1 hours per day. Therefore, you could make $81.90 per day if you work 9.1 hours on minimum wage. That’s $409.50 on a work week if you worked the same amount of hours consistently each day of the week. Overall, that’s just enough to pay rent at the end of the month and feed you and possibly one other person. Families who work minimum wage jobs do not have enough income to be able to provide enough food for their families, buying presents isn’t really a priority in those circumstances. 


In a random sample survey of fifty people, ninety-six percent (forty-eight people) said that their family celebrates Christmas, and the other four percent (to people) didn’t celebrate any of the provided answers. (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa.) Ninety-six percent of people also said that they receive gifts during the holiday season, two percent said they didn’t, and two percent said sometimes. Thirty-eight people (80.9%) said that they didn’t have any problems during the holiday season. (i.e. divorce, money problems, etc.) Nine people said that they did have some problems over the holiday season. The most common ones overall are divorce and money problems in the family.

At the end of the survey, we came to the conclusion that while plenty of people do just fine during the holidays, there are still people out there who have a hard time, or don’t even celebrate the “classic” holidays during the season. Two percent of people don’t receive gifts during the holiday season. That’s only out of fifty people. Imagine what those numbers would be like with five hundred people, how about one thousand. Or the entire United States? With the exception of people who don’t celebrate holidays at this time of year where gift giving is a custom, it’s a surprisingly large amount.

What makes you happy around the holidays? Share traditions and joy with those around you so they can experience somewhat the same thing that you do. Make this holiday, and every holiday after it, a five star movie, not a one star show. Make every year have something worth remembering.