Meaningless crap!

sundaygardensundown 005

perfect for decoration

Apologies for the title but I can’t think of anything else to call it.

It came upon me when I was standing writing this first draft in a damp notebook out in the dusky field, with dripping stems and little creatures settling into night. And I haven’t managed to refine it – the title sums it up too well.

You see, I’ve had a couple of excursions to city lately and it’s a bit of a shock!

I love the city and the contrast of it and had some shopping to do towards Christmas. But I get a bit overwhelmed with the crowds and the crush after this rural solitude, especially as we visited a huge shopping outlet which I would normally recoil from in terror. But I was even more overwhelmed than normal.

Actually, I came away appalled.

It was the amount that did it! The mountains of totally meaningless crap that people are persuaded to buy for those who have everything they need anyway. Most of it disposable meaningless crap that has no doubt cost the planet in resources to produce and will doubly cost the planet when it ends up in landfill after Christmas.

The pointlessness of it! The vulgarity of the amount!

Could we not all take a serious moment to consider this? To consider the cost earth-wise of all this dustbin bound paraphernalia? Of yet another present for a child who probably is inundated with presents to the point of boredom, another ornament or plastic trash for the Christmas house already creaking under the strain?

The earth will certainly be creaking.

More does not mean better. But judging by the amount we buy at Christmas this seems to be the ethos we’re upholding and the lesson we’re teaching our children.

Don’t get me wrong; I like buying gifts – a few. I also like making them, purchasing them second hand, or finding something that’s valued. And I suppose I have my share of meaningless crap too – just not that much – the decoration, wrapping and gifts have been thoughtfully created or reused. Nature has a hand in it too.

But couldn’t we create a more meaningful way of gift giving and enjoying Christmas with loved ones than one which is charged with commercialism, materialism and trashes the planet far worse than the living room floor is trashed  after present opening?

What kind of lies is this telling our kids? That the more we buy the better Christmas is? That the more presents we get the more people love us? That waste or pollution doesn’t matter at Christmas and yet another set of lights or disposables is okay?

I don’t think so.

As the sun sinks itself into its rosy bed for the night and my nose and finger ends start to chill I ponder this. I ponder ways of making Christmas more meaningful than materialistic. With less cost to the purse and the planet. Less commercial hype for the children. And more imbued with a sense of togetherness than a sense of buying.

Meaningful lives cannot be bought. They are made. Meaningful celebrations are the same. And we certainly need to think about the meaning in planetary terms.

The 29th is Buy Nothing Day (check it out) – we need to do it for far more than a day!

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10 thoughts on “Meaningless crap!

  1. Confession! Im afraid to say I purchased some meaningless crap this morning I knew I was doing it. and had an inner battle with myself at the time but bought it anyway. Its the dreaded stocking fillers. I tried to make them things the kids will use, coasters. lip balm in shape of a dog?, bath bombs and little silly plastic game (my husband picked that one up) and I didn’t want to criticise but none of it they need. But I figured this could be the last year the youngest believes in St Nick. I must be stronger next year! In all honesty Id rather put it toward a day trip or show.
    What I found most awful about today though was the Black Friday craziness I woke up to see on the television. Frenzied people rush, crush and walk on each other without a backward glance. I found it really depressing. :o(

    • I don’t really feel that those items come into the ‘meaningless crap’ category Shannon. It was more the mountains of disposables like table decs, serviettes, useless pressies/ornaments that folks buy for a joke and then discarded, non-reused like wrapping and cards, paper party stuff etc. Like you say – your items do at least have a use! Many thanks for taking time to leave your reply – I do appreciate it!

      • Still just more stuff and we have a house full. I think I would like us to live in years gone by although would miss the internet. I think generally people were happier, life was simpler and kids defo had more time to play. its consumer crazy these days.

  2. I so agree with you and so does my aspie son. he cannot understand why my next door neighbour has had their decorations up for 2 weeks or all the crazy antics in shops. We do very little different at Christmas to any other day. If we need or want something we buy it when the time is right for us. We are seem as very odd and have to end up using his aspergers as an excuse which I hate. I like Christmas but for the real reason. We normally spend Christmas in Spain where it is still a religious day (although I am not particularly religiously) so there is not the crazy hype. Happy and peaceful Christmas to all X

    Sent from my iPad

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  3. With you all the way on the Christmas crap, Ross! I detest crowded shopping centres. I rarely visit them; I only go “shopping” when I need something rather than want it.
    I hate the commercialism of Christmas, it is the spirituality (not the “religion”) that I enjoy. My husband is considering writing a parody on Christmas with a title along the lines of “Jesus came to save…the market economy”.
    We only give very small gifts on Christmas Day. The children are given £5 (total each) in November to buy gifts for each other and us. This normally involves charity shops, fruit and nuts i.e. recycled and consumable. Christmas is really about being together as a family and I am over the moon that my grown-up children and my parents will all be in the house over the Christmas holidays – that means more to me than any gift. The fact that they are all clubbing together to by me a combined Christmas and 50th birthday present makes it even more special as I don’t normally want anything. This special gift is an addition to our family that I have wanted (yes, not needed on this occasion) for a very long time – a cat. The new addition arrives when they do and will be welcomed and loved by all the family. This, to me, is the true spirit of Christmas.

  4. We’ve been working towards a minimilastic life for the past couple of years. We’ve been consistently getting rid of our possessions (and not replacing them!). It feels really good.

    This has led us to question many things in life. I too despise crowds and shopping now. I just don’t get it.

    I’ve never liked the madness over Christmas and leading our kids to believe in Santa. So for my younger ones (3 and yet to be born) we are nt doing the whole Santa thing. In addition to this we have decide and consulted with our older kids (9 and 11) with the fact that we want to cancel Christmas. There have been no objections from them, which is great!

    We’ll make up our own rules and celebrations as life progresses.

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