Thursday, 4 December 2008

Thoughts at Christmas

This is a copy of an e-mail I have sent to all my friends and family. It is not my intention to be a kill-joy, or a grumpy old man, but I just can't escape the thought that our commercialism has taken us too far down the wrong road...


In UK, we send about 1 billion Christmas cards each year, equating to more than 300,000 trees.

We use ½ billion drink cans, 3000 tonnes of aluminium foil, 83 of wrapping paper, 8 million Christmas trees which generate 12,000 tonnes of rubbish, 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging....

I am conscious that most of this high volume of consumption is brought about by commercial interests and associated advertising, and increasingly I have the feeling that I am a statistic being manipulated by marketing organisations which, if we are honest, are responsible for our current economical stress.

I hope therefore that you will all understand my decision to jump off this particular merry-go-round. I propose to send no cards or presents to any adults this year (and probably subsequent years as well!). Children may well get a token offering, because I certainly don’t want to hurt tender feelings.

Anyone who chooses to send me a card (which I would discourage) can be assured that it will be recycled, and the good wishes implied will be gratefully received and treasured. Presents are definitely not expected!

Everyone to whom I might have sent Christmas cards will of course be in my thoughts – as they are for the rest of the year. My good wishes go to everyone, because I value family and friendship above everything, and this doesn’t alter even if you don’t hear from me in December!

So have a great Christmas, everyone, and may your life be good!!


PS It seems I am not alone in this line of thinking!


Rebecca Taunton said...

Wow. I don't think I'd be brave enough to send something like that...but you do have a good point. If it wasn't for commercialism, we'd have a lot less waste at Christmas.
I have to say that, for me, the best part of the Christmas experience is being able to give gifts to people I love, however I hold the opinion that they don't need to be wrapped (that's just a waste of paper), and they don't need to be expensive (it is the thought that counts, after all). Too many people fall into the money trap because they feel that they have to.

timx said...

Well... you don't have to wait for Christmas to give someone a present, and if it hasn't been prompted by the marketing machine, think how much more it means!!

Anne said...

Funny we must be thinking at the same level : Heres mine....
I hope you are all well. I just wanted to write as it is this time of the year again and I am hoping to make life a lot easier for you with a drastic suggestion.

1. This year we will not be sending Christmas cards but will give an overall donation to charity. We know you know us and we wish you all the very best in these difficult times, so instead of helping Royal Mail out, recycling the cards etc, we have decided to make a donation to the Sam Sherwin Fund.

2. As adults we have decided that we are quite happy without presents so please do not feel obliged to buy us anything,. We love you and we know that you love us too. We will however make a commitment to spend time together in January..... We hope to be better at seeing you in the next year.

3. If you want to give anything to the children, please feel free but you are under no obligation. Our boys have everything they could possibly want in life but will be happy to see you next year and if you can help them with work towards their goals that would be great too. Working away from home is so much nicer than in a home business.Overall the last 5 years have taught us that we want to invest in our health and relationships. Happy Christmas to you all.