What is your ideal Christmas?

Christmas should be the season of happiness and forgiveness, selflessness and wonder. People of all kinds gather to celebrate this holiday; families that have been torn apart by distance and responsibility come together during this magical season. Christmas is a time of giving; it’s a time to share one’s bountiful blessings. Christmas is loaded with presents – lots and lots of presents! It’s a time kids (and kids at heart *wink*) strongly anticipate. They look forward to it very much that by the time September hits; they count the days down till Christmas.

Truly, Christmas is a jolly season. It’s one of the most iconic and traditional holidays ever known to man. It fills people with feelings of love, generosity, and kindness. Or at least, that’s what it should be. Christmas should be all those things and it is all those things – for the most part.

Flipping the coin to the other side, Christmas is also a season of destruction. And this time, no metaphors are needed.

The vision of Christmas is good – great even. I mean, what’s wrong with people coming together preaching peace, prosperity, and goodness right? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the ideals of Christmas. How it’s carried out, however, is what makes the problem. We celebrate Christmas for all the right reasons but in counterproductive ways. For instance, let’s take a moment to reflect on these things:

Christmas doesn’t eradicate the reality of hunger and famine. And yet, during Christmas, we prepare too much in excess. We forget that resources are scarce in some areas and food becomes a privilege of the wealthy. Instead of extending a helping hand in the truest spirit of Christmas, we prepare bountiful feasts for people who can’t appreciate another bite. We end up with loads of spoiled leftovers the very next day and we end up throwing precious food away. According to this infographic, that’s 230,000 tons of food in the UK alone. It’s okay to be a little extra during Christmas but make it extra in quality – not quantity. Prepare enough for the family and expected visitors and focus on improving flavor than number. This way, you’ll have happy bellies minus the festive waste.

Another harsh reality can be seen in our gravely damaged environment. Christmas should not be something enjoyed by humans alone; we must inculcate joy in each and every living thing on Earth. This includes animals, plants, marine life, and forests. Our decorating and excessive use of laminated plastic gift wrappers during the yuletide season is not helping improve the state of our environment – not one bit.

I’m saying this as early as now but this year, why don’t we try to do better? Why use gift wrappers if you can hand a gift directly to the receiver? Why over-prepare food when you can use the extra money to help bigger causes? This year, think bigger and better. Celebrate responsibly. Show concern for others. And you know that I’m not just talking about people but everyone and everything else in general.