What if we did without presents this Christmas?
No new sneakers, new mobile phones, books, perfumes, no new gadgets.
Extreme. Boring. Silly.
After all, Christmas is about spoiling your beloved ones, isn’t it?
But to be honest: does spoiling your beloved ones necessarily mean consumption?
What we celebrate at Christmas now is actually a feast of consumption. A feast which boosts the economy and the yearly profit of numerous companies. In Germany, a fifth of retails‘s overall yearly profit is made with Christmas business.
An estimated worth of 112 billion US Dollar. Only in Germany. That’s the estimation of a well-respected data bank for statistics (statista).
Awesome! More sales, more profit, economic growth, perfect! Or isn’t it?
If one thinks in the logic of the current economic system, it is.
If one wants to stop climate change and reach the 1.5 °C degree goal, it isn’t.
That’s because continuous economic growth is incompatible with sustainability. The planetary boundaries are known. Boundaries mean: there is no going beyond. And how can restricted resources make unrestricted growth possible? By increase of efficiency and new technologies. By decoupling economic growth from the ecological footprint. Sounds good.
But can the limited make the unlimited possible?
Darüber gibt es Diskussionen. Fest steht: möchten wir das Klimaziel erreichen, müssen wir unseren Fußabdruck verringern. Drastisch. Klimagesetze werden das nicht richten. This is currently being discussed. What is certain for now is: if we want to meet the climate goals, we have to decrease our ecological footprint. Drastically. Laws for climate protection won’t make that happen.
It’s us, the consumers, who need to start acting, to be creative and to start a debate about our economic system by changing our consumption habits.
Und wie können wir kreativ aktiv werden und ein Zeichen setzen?
With Christmas for Future!
This Christmas we say no to consumption.
We say no to presents. To Christmas trees. To tons of cheap chocolate.
Originally, we celebrate Christmas in awe of the birth of a child which changed the world or at least our culture. Now it’s up to us: let’s change the world a little this Christmas. For our future.
Who doesn’t like the thought of no presents at all: what about small, homemade gifts? Or a voucher for a homemade cooked menu? Second-hand bought clothes? It’s not about strict abstinence, it’s about not taking part in the combat of consumption. Who knows, maybe aunt and uncle are relieved when we tell them they don’t need to wrack their brains to find the right present for us and the other ten nieces and nephews?
And if grandma is not to be argued out of an expensive present? Then we think of an organisation or a sustainable money investment where our money can do good. There are enough people in the world who are not taking part in Christmas consumption at all but are suffering from it. (Who for example supplied all the cheap cocoa for the 145 million chocolate Santas produced 2018 in Germany?).
You get the message, right?
This Christmas we go beyond the strikes at school, university or work.
We reinforce that we are serious with our demand.
By changing a tradition. This will hurt a little at first.
But then less will become more.
There are so many benefits: no being stressed out by buying presents shortly before Christmas, no high expenses and no feeling of guilt because we haven’t found the right present. More time to think about a wonderful Christmas celebration together with family and friends. A contemplative Christmas time which is not so much about presents but maybe more about how we can continue to act towards a sustainable future in 2020.
LET’S DO IT.