It’s that season when Halloween ends and the familiar panic of the Christmas season begins to set in. This year, the panic will only be increased by the knowledge that school doesn’t let out until the 22 of December, a meager three days before Christmas day. How on earth all the shopping, baking, wrapping, panicking and generally lazing around that usually takes place in the leisurely week before Christmas is supposed to be squished into three short days is a question no one has been able to answer.

It has been suggested that, since we are in fact in the 21 century, online shopping is a thing that can be done now; all your Christmas shopping needs can be met with the touch of a button. But it’s not as easy as it seems. In order to purchase whatever it is you’re trying to buy, most websites force you to undergo a ten minute procedure to sign up for their website, often ending in tears and frustration. Not only that, but by the time you’ve finished swearing at your computer, you’ve spent just as much time there as you would have at the mall. Depending on what you’re shopping for, shipping from or within Canada can cost just as much as the product itself, if not more.

On top of all of this, the actual shipping can take anywhere from two days to five weeks, and in extreme cases, several months. Let’s be honest here, everyone procrastinates. We won’t be thinking about Christmas shopping in October or early November, we think about shopping in December. Most of us would much rather grab a few friends and wander down to Coquitlam Center to do our shopping, maybe have some lunch and chatter excitedly about the upcoming break. Now that our break has been delayed until the 22, everyone will be so busy panicking that none of that will be possible.

In truth, how many students will actually attend school for that last week before Christmas? Most teachers will probably be facing nearly empty classrooms, while their students are almost certainly not off “sick”. What is the point of having a class full of distracted teenagers for a week?

It is not as if we get a shorter break though, the week we usually get before Christmas has been moved to after New Year’s. What are we supposed to do for the week after Christmas? Stress? We will all be bored witless, lounging around doing nothing in particular. It has been argued that it gives students a chance to wind down after the excitement of the holidays, and calm down before going back to school. Surely, most parents would be happier to have us hanging around the house before Christmas, when there is Christmassy stuff to be done, than hanging around afterwards with nothing to do. Before Christmas, there are a multitude of Christmas plays, concerts and light displays to visit as a family. There is baking to do, preparations to make and presents to wrap. After Christmas there is nothing to do except lounge around and generally be nuisances. We won’t wind down, just wind up bored.

The late start date of the break this year puts a wrench in everyone’s plans and only adds to the usual holiday stress.

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