Green Lizard's Blog

The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.

The Bare Minimum: Christmas

Spoiler Alert: This post is not for Christmas lovers. You may be irritated or offended.

Apparently a ‘well dressed tree’ is the bare minimum.
‘Sparkle and glamour’ are important too. “The illuminations are essential!”

Have you guessed? I’m watching a TV show about the festive season.

They’ve paid a visit to a decorations laboratory where preparations for Christmas starts in January.

‘Magical modern Christmases’ and festive lights in Regent Street in 1954. City centre lights building anticipation for Christmas.

(…. In anticipation of filling the coffers of the retail trade with cash)

‘Let’s use cable ties to lace everything together. Safe cheap and disposable, to create a moment of unadulterated joy!!!!!!’

It got adulterated when they said cable ties were disposable. They mean you can chuck ’em away! They don’t decompose. They’re unnecessary rubbish.


I need to turn it off. I need to stop.

More cable ties for the battery operated lights.

The essence of what’s wrong with Christmas to me. Superficial, twinkly rubbish.

It also presses my buttons in the reinforcement that this event is all about people being together.

Perfect presenter, body double making beautiful crafts, perfect home, perfect tree, perfect life.

The presenter doesn’t like Christmas cards because they’re untidy yet they represent family too.

So many people spend this time alone.

I can’t bear the way programmes like this tell people what their Christmas has to be like. Yet I’m convinced that instead of helping people to do their preparations they reinforce negatives about real experiences.


It seems that plenty of people are struggling at this time of year and perhaps not interested in cable ties and baubles.

The Samaritans is a UK charity that supports people in crisis. Their website tells a very different Christmas story.

More than 45% of men who responded to a survey* by Samaritans said they felt more worried at Christmas than other times of the year.

The findings come with a reminder that volunteers from the charity’s 201 branches will be available round the clock over the festive period, for anyone who needs to talk.

The online survey found that of the male respondents:

Almost half (48%) feel sad or depressed at Christmas time
45% of men feel that others expect them to be happy at Christmas when they are not
More than a third (37%) of men admitted to feeling lonely at Christmas
30% of men felt stressed or anxious at Christmas time.

With men in the UK three times more likely than women to take their own lives, the charity is encouraging them to seek help and consider calling Samaritans if things are getting to them over the festive period.

Men are also much less likely than women to have a positive view of counselling or therapy, and when they do use these services, it is at the point of crisis.

Last year, Samaritans received around 244,000 calls during the Christmas period from people in the UK and ROI, and relies on kind donations from the public to keep its helpline open every single day of the year.

The Samaritans website

I can’t help but think that the ‘bare minimum‘ for everyone should be to be free of worry and anxiety. Particularly if it’s free of anxiety about big spending and cable ties.

(The views in this post are my own. If you don’t agree or think I’m a Scrooge of a grinch I won’t be listening. )


11 comments on “The Bare Minimum: Christmas

  1. MistressCinder
    December 21, 2014

    I for one love a good decorated tree and some festive lights. I need that during the gloomy short days of winter. Where I live we have had no sun for over two weeks now and all of our snow we got a few weeks ago has melted. I love snow. It keeps everything bright. A brown Christmas is depressing. I wish we could do away with Christmas presents completely, but my family would freak out about it. So, we still do an exchange. My daughter is stressed because she loves her dad but she is not close to him because of her stepmom. She needs to get them a gift but is unsure about what to do. I feel bad about this. It is like after she grew up, he decided she didn’t require any of his time. : ( I myself have to get my daughter a few last minute things she will like. Everyone else is done. 🙂 So I will be braving the mall today… Scary! My biggest issue is right now is what to serve with the ham on Christmas Day. I will want to make everything from scratch and my Mom will want everything from a can like her Mom did. Holidays are always so stress full. 8 [

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kim in Fiji
    December 22, 2014

    You had me with your spoiler alert!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Helen
    December 23, 2014

    Christmas is out of hand! I’ve been given bags and bags of presents but my daughter and I are on our tod. Now, at least we’ve got each other but when you hear the adverts for divorce solicitors spring up on the radio and get emails asking for donations to feed the homeless, you know that society is in bad shape!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lizard100
      December 25, 2014

      Its a very mixed up event. Greed and isolation all in huge amounts. Still its almost done.


      • Helen
        December 25, 2014

        We went out for a walk earlier on and it was nice to see people who smiled at my daughter’s attempts to rollerskate (not present – bought at car boot sale over a year ago). Perhaps if more people just went outside instead if stuffing their faces and gawping at the tv, there would be a lot more bonhomie.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lizard100
        December 25, 2014

        Far better idea! Our foraging the other day was like that too!


      • Helen
        December 25, 2014

        I’d like to do more foraging… Leeds Permaculture Network is having a session on mushrooms next month, so perhaps that will help us know to collect along those lines (I love mushrooms).

        Liked by 1 person

      • lizard100
        December 25, 2014

        Sounds really good!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. John Coleman
    December 26, 2014

    No offense taken in these parts. I appreciate your thoughts. John

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on December 21, 2014 by in environment, Reduce and tagged , , .

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