Maybe this theme should be all seasons for murder, but it does seem worse at Christmas when spirits run high with excitement and everything looks festive with lights while sugar plum fairies dance in our heads. While I mulled over this theme, it dawned on me how little I knew about what caused a person to inflict harm on another (except in the books I write), or how much the season mattered. So I turned to the Internet.
The happiest season can be the deadliest. Violence involving weapons tended to be higher in the summer than during the winter and spring. Unintentional shootings spike during the holidays and are more likely to occur than at any other time of the year, mainly Christmas Eve through New Years. Half of the shootings are self-inflicted and occur at home. Some victims kill themselves while playing with a gun, which I think is a good case against having guns in the home where children are present. Sometimes it’s innocent fun and the victim was clowning around when the gun went off. Guns are not toys. I once had a friend who lost a relative in a holiday shooting, and the season was never again the same for her.
During the holidays, most people are thinking of baking cookies and entertaining. Yet, this time of year can be devastating for a lot of people. It’s lonely for those who have few friends or family members. The hustle and bustle on the streets and in the malls is at its peak in December, but if you have no money to purchase gifts or to travel, it will soon become a bleak season. The Livermore, California police department volunteers put up a Christmas tree in the lobby and tie nametags for low-income families and seniors to the branches. One thing I do as a police volunteer is to help wrap and distribute gifts to seniors. The first time I did this, the bleakness and loneliness of some of those homes was sad to see, but we were always greeted at the door with smiles on their faces. I didn't know their frame of mind, but just knowing we were coming and the interaction with others is enough to lift depression.
If all the year were playing holidays, to sport would be as tedious as work.
-William Shakespeare, King Henry IV