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The holidays are here: Check out our calendar, fun ideas and help is always near

The holidays are here.
 
What holidays are you most looking forward to celebrating? There's plenty to celebrate in December, and we encourage you to check out the new Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Calendar of Holidays & Observances to learn more about the holidays you know, and discover the ones you don't. 

We’d love to hear your stories about which holidays you celebrate, and how you celebrate them. Our UNT World is a diverse and vibrant community of people from all kinds of backgrounds. Learning about each other’s beliefs and festivities is a fun part of our collective Equity, Diversity and Inclusion journey. Share your story with us: edi@untsystem.edu and, if you're on social media, share it with @untsystem and include the hashtag: #IamEDI.
 
From trimming the Christmas tree, lighting bonfires for Winter Solstice, feasting at the end of Kwanzaa, lighting the menorah during Hanukkah and eating black-eyed peas for prosperity on New Year’s Day (just to name a few), there are numerous traditions to celebrate, tasty treats to enjoy and time to savor with loved ones. Whether giving gifts, donating to charities close to your heart or taking time to focus on what means the most to you, we will all take some special time during the winter holiday season to celebrate and enjoy. Share with family and friends these fun PBS videos about winter holidays, fun virtual ideas, tips and games to play during your break.
 
Help during the holidays
It’s important to remember that the holidays can be a difficult time for many people. Stress, separation from family, financial and emotional issues can be hard to deal with during this time of the year – and especially now during this pandemic. It's important to know that you are not alone. Resources are available to you as a UNT World employee, including free counseling sessions through your Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Learn more about what this free and confidential program has to offer, including the Safe Ride program and other helpful benefits. 
 
And, during this time of social distancing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, there are still ways to connect and celebrate with friends and family through technology, like videoconferencing or just reaching out by phone or email (even old-fashioned snail mail) to those who we can’t be close to this season. Find tips to help with the holiday blues here, as well as ideas for celebrating the season during this difficult time. Find more tips for coping with the stress of the pandemic here.

Are you struggling financially or facing food insecurity? The 211 is a comprehensive resource with information on community programs in the DFW area that are available to help. There are many resources available to help you cope with difficulties during the holidays. We hope you will reach out if you need help, or contact HRBenefits@untsystem.edu if you need information or have questions about your employee benefits, including the Employee Assistance Program.

May your holidays be a special time of celebration and comfort.