The true spirit of Christmas
As we edge our way ever closer to that “most” wonderful time of the year a focus upon superlatives and Christmas seems suitably relevant a festive affair valid of inspection and reflection. It is typically the busiest occasion per annum, the costliest jubilee without rival and the dirtiest day of consumptive deification par excellence.
Wait, I hear you ask in a tone awash in anguish, was the last applied adjective accordingly appropriate? No your ears have not deceived you and I feel not the slightest guilt when I reply reassured in the self-assuredness of my own moral principles.
My statement will not be retracted for your merry piece of minds. For in spite of all its adornments, trimmings and bountiful bearings good environmental tidings Christmas time doth not thou bringeth. Cherry and emotionally stirred we may be by the opulence of the glorious Gala of pageantry and pomp lamentably this buoyant day of fetes and festive fornications returns little joy back to a miserably materially stripped Mother Nature.
On the ignoble scales of resource pilfering few can contest the monopoly which the Silly Season has over mankind. Taking possession of our mental faculties like the tides and the moon. Like some form of lycanthropy transforming us into cadeaux seeking mall marching rampaging betes, savages with an insatiable appetite to max out the Visa and shop till we damn well drop.
If the inclination to do so were willing, I could formulate a choo choo train spanning treatise on this mental affliction however I fear that any kind of delving and dabbling towards determining the applicable theorem to this affair would lead me to the potty house. Non, merci, I shall veer far far away from such a perilous path.
Unblemished and untainted from my refrain to be roped in with the other infected lepers I have chosen to err on the side of caution when it comes to being hoodwinked by the tricksters. Let the virtues of prudence and conscientiousness navigate my course. The idea of being lead to water like some equine zombie mastered and manipulated by the nefariously multiple pick and mix assortment of con artists and swindlers out there not fitting well with my dignified view of claiming at least a morsel of free will against what the sages contest.
A buy it now at the steal price blasphemously besieged biblical day of consumptive decadence and debauchery. Would you forgive me for saying Jesus! While I could lambast the moribund meaning of the original Christmas before version 2.0 roared into town a fierce flurry of a tirade is unlikely going to galvanise a turning of the tides in my favour. Nor do I long to be wiped out by my own self exhausting tsunami and the backwash backlash that will inevitably return avec force with my torrent of uppity Tinsel Time rebuke.
As deeply romantic that I am I’m not totally clueless to realise that Christmas as we know it is only set to evolve even further into a monster which makes even Godzilla appear tame in comparison. No, I will not venture down this daunting path only to be mowed down before I can even have the chance to get wound up.
However, before you smarmy bunch cheekily envoy me your naughtiest wink and smirk with glee while proclaiming out loud “back to the bargain hunting” afford me some respite to try and sway you towards modifying if not tempering your faiths.
Why not break the mould and instead of drowning in a golden Xmas you surrender yourself instead to a blissful put your mind at ease Green form instead. There are boundless options for those of you driven to a more eco-empathetic form of seasonal merriment which does not come at the cost shopmania.
Slight and subtle adjustments to your festive plans need not put a dampener on the animated enthusiasm which stems from a satisfying social occasion. After all, without trying to sound like an overpriced sappy Hallmark card, it’s a time for loved ones. Asides from feeling like Captain Planet (he’s a hero, whose gonna take pollution down to zero) you’ll also find that there are health inducing, salubrious and anxiety reducing benefits from not be caught captive by the “conglomerate” Xmas spirit.
Being pilloried because the stone on her ring was too small, because the kids only had 10 gifts each under the tree, you didn’t eat enough chocolates, you forgot to buy and gurgle back more booze, you’re still too skinny, you’re just not in debt enough, why the hell aren’t you running around like a stressed headless chicken?
Indeed a displeasing statistical phenomenon of the season is perturbing rise in domestic violence reported by women. Perhaps what is only worse than these conducted abuses are the ones which go unreported by our justice system. This often proceeds in tandem with the increased inebriation of citizens during this period. What is even more alarming is that women are now a major statistical proportion of the severest cases of alcohol intoxication.
The data would suggest that home aggression, a variety of crimes and drunk driving mortality figures all reflect a correspondence with the nature of the modern Christmas. In my honest assessment, I attribute many of these deplorable travesties to the psychological feelings of inadequacy which the event connotes. Men stressed attempting to secure extra employment to pay the bills while having less time to appreciate being with his family while women are forced to work doubly hard to obligate in fulfilling their “female roles” to cook more, buy more, send out the cards, buy the “right” gifts and serve like a well-trained female slave.
Is it any wonder that this joyous month of mayhem is responsible for some of the highest levels of, depression, isolation loneliness, eating and weight gain and heart attacks throughout the calendar year? I thought one was supposed to feel happy at this period. Instead, they are exiting the season feeling drained, insecure, weathered and downright miserable.
Disturbingly the event seems to be growing in size like a ravenous hamster. Advertising being streamed out to the public and malls all dollied up as early as mid-October. Well, good grief but then I suppose the early bird gets the worm. Then there is the kind of Xmas AFTER Christmas where people go utterly gift Loco. Boxing Day, as is often the standard scenario, is repeatedly busier than even Xmas eve lined with eager beavers hunting a Post-Christmas Perk.
When will this pandemonium end? Why is it that we “Sheeple” (sheep + people) feel so compelled to complete surrender all sense of logic and go totally bonkers? Some psychologists, supported by the research of social and cultural anthropologists, sociologists and other social scientists believe that our crazed frenetic behaviour is induced by our inner need to prove that we have “attained” more than what we had when we first started at the beginning of the year.
Inevitably, it is associated with power, prestige and status and is (provided we have the cash) a facile way to compete tete a tete with our neighbours. We may not be able to have the hot bod of our biggest idols or lack the patience and perseverance to become an MD so buying fills an internal void to say hey I’m doing alright because my wife and I have a new car etc. However, in our present culture of it’s great for the day then throw it away security in objects the theorists would argue is remarkably temporal. So why self-incarcerate ourselves in these soul stripping prisons?
Like that great Freddy Mercury hit it’s time that we hit back at a malevolent culture which plays on our envies and fears, we should really “want to break free” from the auditioned roles which the markets are trying to robe us up in. As in that other extremely relevant song all we should really worry about in life is that we always “wear sunscreen”. In short, your health is your wealth and most other things aside are irrelevant, especially how mod your IPod is how swanky your garbs are or how hip your bling is.
These field specialist surmise that Xmas as a social adhesive seriously needs to be re-evaluated given its modern twist in nature as polarises and fragments the fibres which have historically bonded members together during a national statutory day of R and R.
Far from relaxing and relishing the event, we are incited to become competitive, critical and even jealous when we are out financially “gunned” by our wealthier colleagues who become rivals of our own economic position. In sum, those with less are made to feel bummed about it and this kind of thinking would not normally take place at any other time of the year. Speaking from experience and from the heart I’m thoroughly over playing this rigged little concourse of gambling with the bogus idea that buying will acquire me admiration, friendship and contentedness and warm fuzzy feelings with myself. Ba humbug to the nouveau Noel.
So let me share with you some of the head spinning ways in which a Green Christmas will reignite and rekindle your sense of security while others are shadowed and swallowed whole by this increasingly shallow sham. Keep in mind that Christmas is a time of extravagance and extremely exaggerated efforts.
Just envision all the increased power exploitation just because of your desire to add some razzle and dazzle to adorn the inside and outside of your house. Fear not that a miser is what ye become. Who needs to be a Scrooge when there are solar lights or LED ones if you prefer. It’s also advisable that if you follow this option that you purchase lights with a timer device to respectively regulate your usage of them. Then there is the option of creating ornaments with reflective tapes or paints and if you’re daring you can even get living plants that shimmer when light particles caress their foliage. Whatever lights you invest in don’t forget to store them away to extend their life usage.
Now what about the all-important matter of gift giving? Why not release your inhibitions and give a gift from the heart Made by You instead of Made in China? Often these hazardous products are fabricated in an environment where workers are being mistreated for the sake of filling our stockings. Why not give a green hamper filled with berries, use native flax to make a cute carry bag or purse or use mint and other herbs around the garden as an excuse to have the neighbours around for a refreshing zesty punch or mojito.
The volume of traffic congesting our roads increases exponentially at this time of the year as people drive in circles like carcass seeking vultures bumbling and stumbling from shop to shop. Is there such a purpose behind such a lengthy excursion behind the sacred present pilgrimage? Why not draw up a list before you go out to save you wasting invaluable kms on the odometer? Better still grab some buds and do your Christmas crusade together in one car.
While you can buy online think wisely about the often enormous distance some goods have to travel to land under your Xmas tree. Take the moral high ground and be parochial or patriotic and buy local. Your country folk will love you for it. Christmas can be really fulfilling when you are sharing the magic with more than just your kith and kin.
What can be more memorable than the gift of the “experience”? Yet, again sociological experts have found that people tend to record and associate their lives around milestones and events. On the other hand, when an object has prominence within a memory it is usually due to its firm importance within the recollection of a significant event and a connection often with a special someone.
In my case, it was the out of this world TranzAlpine Train trip that I had with my father the year before he passed away. I was blessed to have an incredibly loving father who doted his two special monkeys. I received many gifts from my father but this one takes the cognitive cake. I would have to be steamrolled by a train to forget it. The snow-capped peaks, the sweet velvety flavour of my sticky gloriously gooey beesting bun and the soft cab sav hued cheeks of my father as snowflakes brushed his cheeks. It was a memory that struck a chord with all my sensory mechanisms.
Try giving cinema tickets, club memberships, gift tokens or something other than gifts that may eventually more than likely find their way to the landfill. Ask people what they want, don’t be Nostradamus about it.
Activities done collaboratively not only often contribute to a reduction in waste, but often make us conscious of the vulgarity of over indulging. After all, when I go to see my friends I go to be with them not to be awestruck by their pantry, there’s cheap and nasty fast food for that scenario if one must fill the grumbling tummy tank.
Lest we forget that other Xmas ill of the wrapping paper frenzy. It’s inevitable perhaps but there are ways to delicately dance around this paradoxical dilemma. Why not by recycled paper, use brown paper or even reuse the paper of gifts previously received?
And don’t forget about those other evil villains the plastic shopping bag. Do your errands with the aid of an eco-friendly alternative. Also try and avoid at all costs serving people food and beverages on paper plates, polystyrene cups and plastic cutlery. Not only are you being an environmental cretin just think of how tackarama (tacky) it looks (at least through my eyes anyhow).
When mulling over how to deal with this potentially environmentally destructive festival keep one word close to your heart “biodegradable”. Use food where scraps can be turned into nutrient rich compost and grow or buy a living Xmas tree which can at the end of its use be conveniently turned into rich and hearty mulch and plant grub (food).
In the Northern Hemisphere where a white Christmas can be savoured, friends in the UK inform me of how they are playing their part by turning down the thermostat by one degree and using it as attempt to reinstate the fun folly of bringing back those crazy zany Christmas themed jumpers back. Come on, you know you will look so retro chic vogue in one.
Por fin, before I fatigue you all any further with my ramblings may I suggest that perhaps the greatest sentiment that comes from Christmas is when you take up the position of the Good Samaritan. The gift of charity is one of the simplest ways in which we can truly do an act which brings biopsychosocial joy to all parties. It could be by way of sponsoring a child, buying a poor family a goat or going down to your local retirement village and hearing some wonderful historical.
To end my point, one incident that rings in my mind was how one man pleading on the streets saw a clearly highly stressed woman pull into a pay and display carpark while she took off undoubtedly trying to remember a million and one tasks to do. Only a woman could do this, so I’ve been told by my highly savvy and sophisticated sister. Yet, the one thing she overlooked was to put some coins in the meter. As the sinister or more appropriately tired and agitated meter man neared his way towards the law breaking vehicle the sooty faced and tatty clothed figure of the impoverished beggar came over and took a dollar out of his cap and placed it in the coin slot. The woman will never know who this dashing hero was nor would she ever believe one if they told. While she slowly slid down the escalator like a finely castes Lladro doll only devoid of a parasol I watched as the charcoal silhouette of the nameless man faded into the horizon. A man who barely sported what one would call a shirt. But out of every man, woman and child I saw at that centre that day, only he was the person who truly had the ‘Happy’ shirt graced upon his battered body. As in that famous Oscar Wilde tale of the Happy Prince, it is surely spirits like these which are the real treasures for you and me to find in this Paradise which we share with one another. So be nice to everyone. They are someone’s child, someone’s wife, someone’s future soul mate and even someone’s hero. May each of you be blessed and that you all find what brings you true and everlasting joy this Christmas.