There are good things about Christmas, like family, fun and friendship. There are also things we could do without, like gluttonously full stomach and festive hangover. Another category of unwelcome stuff is Christmas crap; this includes presents broken within a day, piles of unnecessary wrapping and items of no discernible use ‒ except to raise a smile for the moment after opening.
This is not the way it would be for a sustainable Christmas. We have transformed a religious festival into a display of conspicuous consumption, like the house down the road festooned with lights flashing ‘Merry Christmas’ above an illuminated model of Santa and his reindeers. More show, more power, more stuff, more crap. My Christmas crap includes a pair of socks that play the tune ‘Jingle Bells’. They raised a snigger, but I am no better or no worse a person because I own such a pair of socks. If the tune was less Christmassy then I could wear them for more than one day per year, and therefore be marginally more useful, but musical socks are intrinsically useless and an ideal example of Christmas rubbish.
For a sustainable Christmas, we could attempt to ban Christmas crap, but one person’s rubbish could be another person’s proud possession. A better idea would be rules that insisted retailers sell only two categories of item. First, there are quality long-life products which people actually find useful and serve a real purpose. Second, everything else is made to be fully biodegradable; it does not matter how frivolous or ridiculous these are, they can be burnt for power, or composted, as soon as the novelty wears off.
I suggest we all gather together our Christmas rubbish and take it into the shops. No need to discover where it was bought, as the idea is to cause disruption and inflict cost across retail. Let’s take our unwanted Christmas stuff and put it back where it came from, piled up by the tills to give the shops the problem of what do with so much junk.