Christmas & Consumerism
The average household in the UK, spends about £719 on Christmas. This amount is made up of decorations, many un-eaten treats and unwanted gifts. And to make matters worse, much of this Christmas spend has an adverse effect on our landfills.
This excessive waste is coupled with statistics that show that 41% of people in the UK, claim to have got into debt at Christmas. This has to make us wonder why we repeat this mistake annually?
You see, the Christmas buying frenzy has become a habit. We have been coerced into this mindset by clever sales and marketing. And while Christmas brings joy and happiness. It is not the spending & gifts that bring joy, but the time spent with loved ones.
Consumerism has negative effects on our mental health.
Consumerism as reported by Chris Large in an article for the Environmental Funders Network is associated with:
· life satisfaction,
· vitality and
· social cooperation.
· Symptoms of depression,
· racism and
· antisocial behaviour.
However, we are not asking you to boycott Christmas or to give up materials possessions. We suggest that you adopt a simpler lifestyle, one filled with less stuff. We are not asking you to stop buying things – we only suggest that you prioritise the important and the useful things.
You see, we can take control back. Christmas cheer is not about giving gifts but sharing feelings. We suggest that you give up a consumerist Christmas for a Conscious Christmas.
You have heard of conscious consumerism. Conscious consumerism does not mean buying nothing. What it means is making conscious choices about what you are buying. Conscious consumerism means shopping with intention and awareness.
And shopping consciously does not take the joy out of shopping, it, actually adds to the pleasure. We take time to think and plan and decide what we need. And this adds more meaning to the shopping experience.
Therefore, a conscious Christmas can only make Christmas gift giving more meaningful. It may also mean that instead of gifts, we make calls, send cards and share the cheer by spending time with the people we care about.
Why is a Conscious Christmas our only way forward?
You see our planet cannot sustain our consumerist behaviour. Hence, we need to be aware and conscious of what we buy and how we consume. For life to go on as we know it, we need to curb those consumerist tendencies of our culture – and Christmas is the main culprit.
Let share the Joy by committing to a Conscious Christmas.