Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas & Consumption

I don't think anyone considers their Christmas to be all about presents, but gift-giving remains a time-honored tradition that people around the world look forward to each year. I love giving (and receiving!) Christmas gifts too, but the article below is a great reminder to give only things that the recipient will actually use - don't just give for the sake of giving.

The article entitled The Gift of Death by George Monbiot is pessimistic, but enlightening:

"But many of the products we buy, especially for Christmas, cannot become obsolescent. The term implies a loss of utility, but they had no utility in the first place. An electronic drum-machine t-shirt; a Darth Vader talking piggy bank; an ear-shaped i-phone case; an individual beer can chiller; an electronic wine breather; a sonic screwdriver remote control; bacon toothpaste; a dancing dog: no one is expected to use them, or even look at them, after Christmas Day. They are designed to elicit thanks, perhaps a snigger or two, and then be thrown away."

 So, in the words of Monbiot, this Christmas try something more long-lasting, homemade, or meaningful:

"Bake them a cake, write them a poem, give them a kiss, tell them a joke, but for god’s sake stop trashing the planet to tell someone you care. All it shows is that you don’t."

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