Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Rethinking Christmas (only 70 days to go).



There is no question that Christmas is the most expensive, wasteful, and appallingly polluting, one day festival in the world.

It's annual 24 hr effect on the environment must be equivalent to several months at other times of the year.

The amount of shitty plastic, tape, string, and paper used must be horrendous, and in these more aware times we continue to fell trees and pump oil just to continue this ridiculous over indulgent tradition.

I have nothing against a mid-winter festival were we sing traditional songs, eat the best we can afford, and spend more time with our families, but the extent to which commercialisation has taken over is no less than shocking, and a disgrace; as well as doing unquestioned harm to the planet.

So, what should we all do to improve matters?

Hopefully people will now be more aware of the terrible plastic pollution around the world, and they will avoid buying those ghastly multi-coloured plastic toys, etc.

Every year, as we unwrap our gifts, we end-up with huge piles of torn printed Christmas wrapping paper; this is never considered as pollution, but of course it is, and it must be reduced.

Let's all buy just enough food for a pleasant Christmas lunch/dinner, and not morph into blind siege mentality at the very mention of festive eating. I still hear of people 'binning' the remains of their HUGE Turkeys after the big day; this horrifies me.

And on the question of expense, why don't we all spend sensibly, and refuse to go into debt just so little Johnny can have the latest X Box, or iPhone.

Most of all, let's enjoy the holiday season by singing carols, exchanging small gifts with loved ones, and eating 'reasonably' well; and NOT by leaving the planet on its knees.

We've done enough damage as it is!



51 comments:

  1. Hope Lady M. is not overindulging in London.

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  2. Thanks to the economic crisis we have drastically downsized our Xmas. Still too much food but much more fun. Was discussing it with grandkids . They love papou dressing up in his now raggedy old santa outfit and the pile of now small presents and it is a time when we often pool money and buy someone something they really want but can't afford.
    Joy and laughter more than anything

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    1. I totally agree, it's time we re-considered our whole attitude toward Christmas. Let's all enjoy ourselves simply, rather than by spending.

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  3. We just celebrate Christmas with good food, culinary treats (can't wait to open the pickled walnuts!) and plenty of wine, bubbles and laughter. No expensive gift buying.

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    1. Ours will be like that too. I've finished with excess.

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  4. Pleased to note I'm not the only one who thinks so.

    In recent years we've down-sized Christmas to such an extent that it's become just another day except the super stores are closed.

    My ex wife was a fanatic, always roasted the biggest turkey that would fit in the oven, a good proportion of which ended up in the bin; and spending money we didn't have on things we didn't need and credit card balances that took until next Christmas to clear.

    My son and his wife seem to be continuing in this vein, I'm invited every Christmas morning at 0700 to witness the grand opening of grandsons presents, ages 4 and 11. There's 2 huge heaps of wrapped items, a different colour for each; the ceremony takes about an hour and results in a couple of acres of torn pieces of brightly-coloured paper and a mountain of cardboard boxes. Then 2 smaller heaps of various things most of which I can't identify, usually made of plastic and destined for land-fill by Easter. And probably a hole in the bank account that would pay off the national debt of a small country.
    We're treated to some sustenance for the event, toast and coffee.

    I also refuse to be drawn in to the madness of shopping for enough supplies in the week before Christmas to last well into the New Year. Has nobody told them the store is shut only 1 day?

    Scrooge I sometimes think was a sadly misunderstood man.

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    1. Well, I think you've reiterated perfectly what I'm complaining about. We all love to give presents to our children and grandchildren, but this crazy overkill does them no good. Just one really well-considered gift is far better, and usually far more appreciated.

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  5. Same here with our holidays,some of them.

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    1. I'm sure it's the same throughout the world. We all go overboard!

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  6. Well said! In the entrance to our local supermarket is a wall of tins of chocolates, complete with "buy one get one free/ they won't be here for long/ make Christmas MORE special" signs. Why not just have a small box of really good quality chocolates to enjoy. Is it a nicer xmas if you eat your own weight in Cadburys Roses? The world has gone mad.

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    1. My local supermarket is filled with tatty rubbish for Halloween. The fact that there is so much of it presumably means that people buy it. Very depressing.

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  7. Everybody wants to be like everybody else. Christmas will evolve slowly with the people who are brave enough to jump off the ship and join the small band who were never on it. It will be slow coming though, but it is on its way.

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    1. I also don't like that we're all supposed to be ecstatically HAPPY on the 25th. Luckily I'm always 'happy', so it doesn't affect me, but for many it must be very annoying.

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  8. totally agree Cro..one present each for grandkids...and celebrate the Solstice and Hogmanay!!

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    1. Saturnalia here. I think the one present rule should be adopted by all. Maybe The Arch-Cynic of Canterbury could instruct his flock.

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  9. I hate the way the population is whipped up into a frenzie by the media and the commercial industry. Christmas used to be the highlight of my year. Now, because I realise we've been manipulated into this state, it makes me sick. Good food, good company and a grand old laugh. I'll be happy.

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  10. They put up the Christmas lights outside our house last night as I slept. They will be switched on well before it is decent to do so - i.e. just after Remembrance Day. This year it is 100 years since WW1, so the contrast in emotions is going to be schizophrenically intense.

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    1. I've just received two huge toy catalogues in the post today. They went directly to the 'bin.

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    2. Yes. We're reasonably conscious of recycling; not 100% though.

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  11. I agree totally, Cro! When I remember the Christmases of my childhood, specific presents don't loom large, what I remember is time with family, great meals, treats, making simple crafts at school, etc.

    As for gift giving for children, I read somewhere a rule that I think more parents should consider: 4 Gifts--Something they want, and something they need, something to play with and something to read. :)

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    1. I like your 4 gift rule, although getting many children to actually read a book these days, would be almost impossible.

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  12. Our eldest son and wife have specifically asked that noone buys more than one present each for his 2 girls (our 2 granddaughters) - they're fed up with the stacks of toys yet to be played with! I find this request refreshing!!

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    1. Good for him. Please mention that 'Cro congratulates him'!

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  13. Like many have said, I have downsized Christmas and try and keep it simple. I do buy them gift cards for the movies as it's expensive here.
    I debate every year if I should just not do Xmas cards but I still do a few, mostly for family.

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    1. I now just do one-for-all Email cards, plus my greetings on this page. Lady Magnon sends a few actual cards.

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  14. Easier to ignore Christmas when you are single.

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    1. Not so easy when you have children and grandchildren; but we try!

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  15. We like to give gifts of experiences rather than stuff. One year I took my family to New York, and the past few years I have given ski lift passes to those who enjoy that sport. My son gives us tickets to plays and we give him gift certificates to restaurants. A few of my grandchildren want some kind of watersport equipment, so we are going to share the expense with their parents. Giving memories last longer.

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    1. I've just this minute been told I have to finance a visit to Vesuvius for a grandson; I won't tell you by how much, you'd hardly believe it. The Bank of Grumpy!

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  16. Even when my daughters were children( they are now 30 and 23), we did things our way. Gifts were frequently handmade or second hand. One year I made my elder a Power Ranger outfit. They were the 'in thing' at the time and her friends were very envious. She is now a teacher and only last year took photographs into school so she could show her pupils what I had made for her. Christmas is still handmade and homemade, and I buy/ make very little in the way of 'Christmas' food. We still enjoy a lovely lunch and exchange gifts but it is done on our terms, and not what the masses or the media expect.

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    1. You are in the minority Scarlet. If only everyone was like you!

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  17. Our daughter flies in from Japan, we pay half her ticket , and that's our biggest expense, but Christmas is when we give her presents it's too expensive to mail to Japan.
    It's a lovely day. I mostly use boxes and bags to put gifts in and I reuse them a dozen times.

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    1. I'm one of those skinflints who keeps wrapping paper from one year to the next. No-one knows.

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    2. We always had to do that. It all had to be smoothed out and put in the Christmas bag for next year. I expect everybody did it i the 50s.

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    3. I still do; especially with the fancy stuff, ribbons, etc.

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    4. Oh oh you're a little housemaid.

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    5. Chloe, and you are an arsehole

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    6. And he revels in the fact!!!

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  18. You make an excellent point. It's very difficult to turn a big ship around. The retail establishments PUSH this theory vigorously, and they spend vast amounts of money on the promotions. Wasting food is the worst. Killing living wildlife, be it beef or turkey, etc. is insane ! I have given up all meat and dairy for exactly this reason. I do love the season, the merriment and all the beautiful decorations of one's home or retail/hospitality establishments. Hardly anyone remembers we are supposed to be celebrating the birth of Christ.
    And, as we keep doing this, our children learn and think they must continue. Especially here in the USA. I deplore waste, now up in age as I am, but I must tell you I didn't think of this at all when my children were children. Each one of us can make a BEGINNING to doing LESS.

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    1. Spread the word Marsha. Little by little we'll get there.

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  19. Love your blog today. Perfect !
    When the children were younger I never went overboard. They received the main gift they wanted and other gifts Santa left like paints, colors and paper along with games to play.
    We save the paper, I iron it along with the tissue and ribbons are saved to use again. The fun part was to see who got a favorite paper that they liked and how was it used.
    Now that the children are older, it is handmade or gifts under 10 or 20 dollars at the most. Sometimes we go in together on a gift if it is something bigger.
    We cook together and eat our Christmas Dinner on Christmas Eve when everything is done. Then have a Brunch on Christmas morning and warm up all the leftovers for dinner. It is just a wonderful few days.
    Plus we drive around to look at the Christmas lights.
    Just a nice family celebration.

    cheers, parsnip and badger

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    1. I think limiting the amount of money we spend on each other is a good idea. I've tried to do it, but never yet succeeded. This year I will.

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  20. I couldn't agree more but then I've always been rather bah humbug about Christmas (ever since I grew too old for my Uncle to buy me a Meccano set).

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    1. My mother used to buy second hand Meccano during the year, then wrap it up for Christmas; I had a huge wooden box full.

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  21. I hate Christmas.... as soon as my mom-in-law is gone (she enjoys it) I will be done with it forever!

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