As always, views expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of your editors. We’re publishing this one month out from Christmas, but there are other commercialised holidays.

Christmas gifts

By Bill Clague

Given that Christmas is now being advertised, and has been for the last month, I feel it is time for me to finally address an issue that has been bugging me for the last 30 or more years.

I find this focus on commercial holidays to be obscene. Christmas, for example, is not about the Christian festival it was supposed to celebrate .It’s more about spending money, buying gifts and the joy of Rudolph and Santa Claus, both inventions of the Coca Cola Company. [Coca-Cola did not create the legend of Santa Claus, but its advertising in 1931 did play a big role in shaping the jolly character we know today. —Eds]

So, my decision is to no longer support, in any way, this and other commercial holidays. For me these are Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter Bunny day and so forth. It does not mean my friends or family should follow suit. It is obviously their own decision. 

For those of you addicted to such man-made festivals, I would like to ask you to consider instead donating the money you would have spent on me to a charity of your choice.  Please note that I will not buy you a goat and then send you the card that the organisation produces to assure you that I am thinking of you, thus making me feel good and proving I am wealthy enough to do so.

Have a people focus

I appreciate that there are those that will insist on sending me cards, underwear, chocolates and a host of sentimental and other useless items. With the above thoughts in mind, cards will go unopened to the recycle yard and gifts (usually wrapped in polluting plastic) will be passed on to whichever charity can best use them.

None of the above means I will ignore this end of the year. Instead, I will spend a quiet time reflecting on friends and family, both here and those gone forever.

Finding a worthy cause

I do intend, at Christmas, to give something to a worthy cause. The Salvation Army or Doctors and Nurses in war torn countries would be my first choice.

My holiday season donation will be to the Wonder Boy Trust in memory of Elijah North, my grandson who passed away last month. (See this post.) The Trust has been set up to provide funds for those that have disabled children and are unable to afford getting their children to NAPA (Neurological and Physical Abilities) centres. Their treatment made a tremendous difference for Elijah during his brief life.