Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

We need to change the culture of Christmas

No real gift in giving: culture of Christmas must change Brisbane Times 19 Dec 17 Christmas, we’re assured, brings out our best selves. We’re full of goodwill to all men (and women). We get together with family and friends – even those we don’t get on with – eat and drink and give each other presents.

We make an effort for the kiddies. Some of us even get a good feeling out of helping ensure the homeless get a decent feed on the day………

there’s a darker, less charitable, more Scrooge-like interpretation of what Christmas has become since A Christmas Carol.

Under the influence of more than a century of relentless advertising and commercialisation – including the soft-drink-company-created Santa – its original significance as a religious holy-day has been submerged beneath an orgy of consumerism, materialism and over-indulgence.

We rush from shop to shop, silently cursing those of our rellos who are hard to buy for. We attend party after party, stuffing ourselves with food and drinking more than we should.

All those children who can’t wait to get up early on Christmas morning and tear open their small mountain of presents are being groomed as the next generation of consumerists. Next, try the joys of retail therapy, sonny.

But the survey also reveals a (growing?) minority of respondents who don’t enjoy the indulgence and wastefulness of Christmas.

A fifth of respondents – more males than females – don’t like buying gifts for people at Christmas. Almost a third expect to get gifts they won’t use and 42 per cent – far more males and females – would prefer others not to buy them gifts…….

Rich people like us need to reduce our demands on the environment to make room for the poorer people of the world to lift their material standard of living without our joint efforts wrecking the planet.

This doesn’t require us to accept a significantly lower standard of living, just move to an economy where our energy comes from renewable sources and our use of natural resources – renewable and non-renewable – is much less profligate.

This is the thinking behind the book Curing Affluenza, by the Australia Institute’s chief economist – and instigator of the survey – Dr Richard Denniss……

the first thing we need is a shift in the culture that makes more of us more conscious of the damage our everyday consumption is doing to the environment. That putting out the recycling once a week ain’t enough.We could start by changing the culture of Christmas. https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/no-real-gift-in-giving-culture-of-christmas-must-change-20171219-h070oc.html

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December 20, 2017 - Posted by | art and culture, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL

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