I love Christmas, but I have much reservation about the notion that, to celebrate Christmas means that you will have to buy something for someone, and subordinate completely to commodity without much thought. Every time I feel like buying something for my friends, I tend to think that I might be adding to:
- Their clutter - excessive wrapper and trimmings on top of gifts that my friends may have no idea what to do with. Do they throw them away? I may feel unappreciated. Do they reuse or recycle them? That may be too much work for them. They may just throw the wrapping paper away, but it’s still an unnecessary contribution to the landfill.
- Their chores - things like flowers, nice. But they would have to get the water changed everyday, and I will worry about what they would do when the flowers are dead. I normally bury them, but I can’t possibly expect all of my friends to do that too.
- Their extreme hassle and guilt as they may have no idea what to say to me - if they totally do not like what I got them.
I have decided that this year, and from this year onwards, I shall give NO FLOWERS, NO GIFTS, and NO CARDS - unless they really want me to. Best thing to do, really, is to send me a wish list clearly stating what they want for Christmas.
For myself, I want absolutely nothing bought for me, from now on. Seriously. However, I am proposing a wish list so that IF anyone still thinks that I deserve something, I am more than happy to accept any (or more) of the following:
- If you want to send me a Christmas card, nothing makes me happier than receiving an E-Card from Care2. Well, any other E-Card that contributes to a charity or ethical business is equally appealing to me.
- If you have to buy me something, buy me anything from GoodGifts and that will make me, and a lot of other people extremely happy. One stone kills many birds.
- If you absolutely have to buy me something physical, then please buy me some in-season (and non-imported) local fruit or vegetable, WITHOUT any packaging (just wrap them in some used newspaper), and that too will make me extremely happy.
- If you really, really, really have to buy me flowers, then PLEASE get me a potted flower plant, or just a pack of seeds or bulbs - so that I can carry on giving life to them, rather than burying them. Or, even better - plant a tree for me on Trees for Life.
- If you really, really, really can’t resist the temptation of buying me something lavish, then please can I have a working holiday from agents such as National Trust?
This is not a joke. I can even be very happy if you just give me a hug and a peck on the cheek, a sincere and caring email or text message. The main purpose of getting someone a Christmas gift is, after all, to make that person feel really happy. Is that not? You may even see my tears of joy. It really is worth the try. Why look elsewhere?
Oh, and to make it easy for my friends, all these apply to birthdays and other celebrations, too.