After people spending a manic December buying all sorts of stuff for each other, come 27th December, and it’s like an old-fashioned tape recorder rewinding – or a movie in reverse. People driving, walking BACK to these same shops, returning, swapping….
Has anyone made the calculation of how much time we would save as a nation, if we made a law to only be allowed to give experiences as gifts next Christmas? Just like they in Denmark had “car free Sundays” to make people change behaviour (during the oil crisis in the 70s), moving towards something more sustainable – in every meaning of the word. And today (for many reasons), half of Copenhagen’s population take the bicycle to work/uni.
Back to Christmas. So a Christmas free of physical presents. How much stress would we avoid? How much wrapping paper? How many liters of petrol? How many family arguments? And now add the hassle of returning, swapping, keeping-it-but-not-using-it-and-having-to-pretend-you-use-it-everytime-she-visits? How much emotional pressure would we release?
So next year: Give picnics. Give laughter. Give bike rides. Give kisses. Give joy. Give bush walks. Give hugs. And the stuff that you REALLY want and need…
My husband answered “peace on Earth” every time the girls asked what he wanted for Christmas this year. And then Secret Santa actually made it happen: through a hand painted, little ball where this Santa with great attention to detail had reproduced the Earth in green and blue – with a peace sign glued on. Plan B was creating a shoe box with green peas nicely decorated on some soil. Anyway – be creative. Give what’s most important to you and especially those who receive it.
You know the saying: Treat others like you want to be treated? Do you know what’s even better? Treat others they way THEY want to be treated. And for Christmas, give them what they really want, mix experiences up with books, runners, undies, whatever is on their list – but check the size, and make sure it CAN be returned if it doesn’t float their boat.
So no returns next year.