It’s been a while! I’ve been so incredibly busy all of December, and I’m lookig forward to at least getting out of school tomorrow! I haven’t had much time to write or do anything relaxing at all really, it’s mostly just been preparations and school and wonderful times spent with awesome people. The way December should be.
But yes, that’s what I wanted to talk about, and I think it’s also something that the boys of SNOW are passionate about. Fictional characters as they may be, they have strong opinions, and experiences that all come from reality.
I, along with them, would like to take this moment to talk about something that goes on in Norway at the moment. It’s a campaign sponsored by Juba, Juvente and 1OGT; organizations that share the common divider that they’re all focused on alcohol and substance abuse, and the reduction and prevention of these, among other things.
The campaign is called ‘Hvit Jul’ (‘White Christmas’), and has been created for the sake of spreading awareness and giving support to the thousands of children that are exposed to alcoholism, or even more moderate cases of drinking.
In Norway, over 12 000 children live in homes where alcohol is being abused. And the numbers rise even higher when one adds the amount of children in relatively moderate households where festivities are celebrated with alcohol.
I, myself am completely against drinking. That’s how I’ve always felt. And I might be a bit of an extremeist. I have come to realize that I can’t force my beliefs onto other people, but I still feel like I have the right to spread awareness and make people think a little.
This won’t be a morally charged entry though. I want to stay focused on the matter at hand.
Children should never have to be exposed to the uncertainty and fear that might come with experiencing the adults around them taking a few drinks and then changing in behaviour. It doesn’t have to be change in a violent or otherwise frightening manner, but children are sensitive. They will notice easily if a person has changed over a short period of time. Even if this change is one that is happy and jubilant, the child might still be frightened, because it’s not a behaviour they recognize.
‘Hvit Jul’ asks you to think about this, and sign the petition they have on their website, to promise to stay alcohol-free during the holidays.
I realize that most of my readers are young, and without children, or perhaps not of legal age to be drinking anyway. But even so, I want to spread the word, because it’s such an important matter.
I could talk about peer pressure, and doing something you might not want to, or feel ready for just to be accepted.
I could talk about taking a stand against this kind of thing, only to be picked on, looked down on and treated as a freak.
I could talk about the damage alcohol can inflict on a person’s body, and relations for that matter.
But I won’t. Not in this entry.
But I am asking people to think about this, perhaps share it with people who have children, and a custom of bringing stronger beverages into the holiday celebration.
Whether you drink a little, a lot or not at all, be reasonable and aware of your actions and those around you.
Christmas should be a happy season, it should be a season for family.
It’s the Children’s holiday in many ways, so let’s all participate in making it a safer one.
For Norwegians, make sure to check out Hvitjul.no and sign the petition.
For the rest of you, check around where you live, and try to see if there are any arrangements or similar campaigns going on. This is an issue that’s just as important no matter where in the world you are. Sadly, it’s also something that’s very common all around the world, so take a stand against it.
Of course, these are things that should be considered all year around, not just during Christmas and other holiday seasons.
Wishing for a white Christmas,
Caroline, Maaya & Aki.