OK, I said it, lets boycott Christmas. Now before you go crazy at me for ruining any happiness you have left hear me out…
Right now we are living with some of the biggest fires our country has ever seen. It seems like all of NSW is on fire, not to mention the rest of the country. With no end in sight, we may have to live all summer long with smoke haze worse than Beijing. Firefighters have confirmed they can't contain the blazes; all they can do is protect houses. Which means until the weather changes we are stuck in this awful mess.
Are the politicians doing anything about it? No, they are happy sticking their heads in the sand and sending "thoughts and prayers". Although we are loudly saying enough is enough do something about it! Nothing seems to be getting through.
That brings me to Christmas. Do you know what politicians care about? Money. How much they make from the stock market, how happy they keep their investors, how the economy is performing. Money, money, money. While you may think we have no power over this for we don't have enough money to contradict these big players. We can do something tiny that will make a big impact; Change our spending habits.
This year, don't buy Christmas presents. I am not saying you can't see your family or have an amazing meal or go to church. I am just saying don't buy extra stuff you don't need. Use this Christmas as a time to reflect on how much you cherish those around you and the roof over your heads, as many others are not lucky enough to be in the same position. Use this break to help others, isn't that what Christmas is all about after all?
Avoid the Boxing Day sales and Christmas gifts that 53.1% of people don't actually want. Instead give to charities who are helping those in fire effected areas. Reuse old Christmas decorations or buy second hand from op-shops.
I am telling you now. Politicians don't care if some houses burn down in the bush, or you are advised not to leave the house because the air quality is so bad. But they do care if you don't spend money. That hurts their profit margins, their income revenues and makes a lot of old white investors very cranky.
I hear you say, but what about the children?! To which I say, you have more than one option here. Have you thought about telling your kids what's going on in the world? Kids are incredibly empathetic. If they hear that Santa needs to limit gifts as he is helping save life's they will come to terms with it. Notice I also didn’t say "no presents". Simply being more conscious of how much you buy will make a difference.
And for all us grown-ups perhaps its time to shake off our kiddy shoes and say to everyone, this year instead of presents, please donate to a charity. Let's embrace the true meaning of this season and give to others. And send a big stuff you to the politicians at the same time.
Photos by Lila Marvell of Rural NSW.