Christmas is Bad for the Environment

When this recession (which is now officially over) got into full swing, I had a lot of hope that people would rebuke the consumerism of yesteryear and cut back. I am an optimist at heart (which is usually the cause of most of my disappointment) and I actually believed that people would look at their spending habits and reconsider purchasing useless stuff. I thought that the recession would have a hugely positive impact on our wallets and on our environment.

Now, as we head into the holiday season, with Black Friday just two days away, my hopes are dashed. I have seen a dozen Facebook status updates today about the long shopping lists people have for Friday, what time they plan to wake up to hit the malls, and all the debt they will be in come Saturday morning. I’m dumbfounded.

I hate when people buy my son Christmas gifts. I actually feel repulsed by those boxes wrapped in flashy paper and dripping with ribbons and bows. (Household waste increases by 25% between Thanksgiving and Christmas… as if we need to waste MORE.) Whatever is in the box, my son does not need and I would rather he not have. With the recession still a painful memory or devastating reality for so many, I had imagined this Christmas would be different than Christmases past. I imagined a new frugality, a return to the humility that I assume Christmas was intended to represent. Apparently, it was all a fantasy.

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