In Excess at Christmas;
With Christmas around the corner, could we just heed an item in the news last week whereby it was forecast that billions will be spent on food but billions of food will also be thrown away. I know, I know; we make this commitment each year to be frugal, when we peer into the garbage bin and see a 5kg still laden ham bone sticking out together with redolent off prawns and tons of potato salads, not forgetting the Danish smoked salmon, the stale cashews and rotting fruit heavy Pavlova. We will be better next time. But are we?
Already the pace in shopping centers is increasing. Some are starting the running of the shoppers early and show a nervous tension as if things could run out at any moment. Yesterday I watched the first pre-Christmas smacking by an overwrought mother of a child who was clinging onto some gold glitter wrapped item without even knowing what was in it. Christmas brings out the worst in us. Give another couple of weeks or so and the sound of slapping will be reverberating around the shopping malls of Australia. Otherwise placid, church going and peaceful mothers will give the two finger salute to other mothers fighting over a parking lot and shopping trolleys will be rammed into the shins of the elderly not quite up to speed shopping. It all becomes so bewildering for them, yet, no mercy.
The PA sound systems will be blaring out the usual “Silent Night-Holy Night” and, time permitting, anxious mothers will put their little ones on a multitude of Santa knees, whom, with all the peados around, are now thankfully mainly females. You can never be careful enough and Santas are not above being shysters as well. A couple of years ago over a hundred Santas were arrested in Ohio being drunk and causing affront, while in Amsterdam 2 females dressed in Santa suits were helping themselves to Ipads and jars of pickled herring. Wasn’t there a Santa who held up a yacht club in Rose Bay a couple of years ago or was that in Fremantle?
While Christmas for some might be about giving and sharing goodness and sweetness, for many it is also a period of high stress and upheaval. The expectations are so overrated, not least by the continuous bombardment of advertising jingles; Noel and Noelll, Noeeeelwell….and…. Noeeeewelll it shrieks on and on. The fake snow on all that plastic and golden glitter, mustn’t forget the Symphony brand toilet paper especially now with all the food and lobsters.
Thank goodness for Rudolf and the relief of a Shiraz red nosed reindeer at the end of another trying day…That’s another area of over-shopping but at least with beverages, they keep and with luck might even improve with age, especially those cheeky and ambitious little numbers that are imbued with improvement as the years go by. Unlike us revelers, who generally don’t improve with getting older. Just as well a beverage comes in liquid form, and thankfully don’t need chewing teeth like the Christmas prosciutto or the tenacious turkey.
We don’t want to be seen as stingy and rather pack in more than less in the trolley, thereby setting up the scene to peer into the garbage bin in a few weeks time staring at all the waste. Why is it that even though we swear in keeping the ‘making amends’ promises each year, to do things better, we fail with those made around the Christmas-New Year period?
We need to calm down and start walking slowly. Stop running. All will come good again. Remember, the shops are only closed for Christmas day and after just two days we can, en masse, return items that we don’t want or were given by those that normally don’t care a hoot but like the sheep we seem to turn into at the festivities, don’t want to be seen as being outside the ‘norm’. As if we haven’t behaved normal to our fellow human beings at other times…
I could be wrong but, thankfully, it seems that giving presents has abated the last few years. For kids perhaps it is still important but presents for adults are being eschewed. It is just not ‘in’ anymore. No wonder the shops are hurting but what can one do?
All my best wishes for you all, but…oh, for a Silent Night- Holy Night with real snow and less plastic.