Unwanted gifts

You may at this point in the year have one or two gifts that are neither use nor ornament. Sending these to landfill is the quick and easy option that adds to the obscenity of waste we collectively create over the festive period.

Give it away. Take it to a charity shop. Find your local freecycle or freegle group. Sell it on ebay.

Then, if you’re feeling brave and radical, talk to the people who give you gifts that you don’t really want or need. Talk to them about consumerism, and waste, and the environment. Talk about how less can be more, and you’d rather they didn’t spend their money on things you don’t want and can’t use.

This of course means risking offending people. They meant well, and you probably don’t want to hurt their feelings. Except that this kind of well meaning behaviour supports our consumerist, capitalist society. If we’re all too worried about each other’s feelings to talk about how much pointless tat floats about each midwinter, we’ll keep pillaging the world for the raw materials, making that into the useless tat – using energy, buying said useless tat, wrapping it in paper, giving it to each other and finally throwing it away. Profits are made for some, and the costs to the environment are huge.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

4 responses to “Unwanted gifts

  • TPWard

    In my perfect world I won’t receive gifts from anyone who feels the need to ask for suggestions. It’s really okay if you don’t know me that well, as I am a private person. If you need a list then you’re just supporting consumerism.

  • neptunesdolphins

    My family give each other a sum of money, and buy our own “gifts.”

    Asking people about what they actually want is such a radical idea! I have a friend who regularly sends underwear and socks to her family of ranchers for gifts. She tells me that that is what they want.

  • Mary Jo

    I am proud of our adult daughter. She called to ask which charity she could donate to in our name. She watched us do that when she was little, and it seems the lesson stuck. My husband and I generally give homemade goodies of jams or jellies if we don’t donate in their name.

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