Giving Gifts In The Era Of ‘Climate Change’ Has A Nasty Underbelly

Of course, remember, in Climate Cultist World, it is only Bad when Other People receive gifts. If you are a Cultist, you are excused from feeling bad because you have climavirtue signaled correctly

Gifts are a love language. But in the era of climate change, what are we really saying?

Each holiday season, we trudge out (or this year, go online) to try to choose gifts that communicate our love for friends and family. Each year, businesses look with anxious eyes and oft-updated spreadsheets to predict whether a season will be “robust” or “healthy,” i.e., selling more than the previous year – no matter what. These pressures, to find perfect gifts and to “grow” sales, inevitably results in other kinds of growth as well: growth in feelings of being overwhelmed, growth in clutter, and growth of credit card debt – not to mention growth in greenhouse gas emissions, growth in unfair labor practices, and growth in landfill tonnage. In this topsy turvy world of 2020, before we click “buy,” we have an opportunity to rethink what we really want to say this holiday season.

Gifts are a critical form of communication, helping to express emotions, kinship ties, obligations, status, and more in cultures around the world. Anthropologist Yunxiang Yan writes that, “according to the Maori, to receive a gift is also to receive a part of the gift-giver’s own spiritual essence.” Or, as Gary Chapman, who created the concept of “love languages,” argues: “Gifts are visual symbols of love.”

Given this cultural and emotional weight, it’s not easy to point out the nasty underbelly of holiday gift giving without sounding like a total grinch. But I’ll go there: the holidays are the most extreme seasonal expression of a generally broken and bloated American pattern of consumption. That pattern of consumption is implicated in human rights abuses like Rana Plaza, the deadliest garment-factory accident in history, a plastic soup in the Pacific bigger than Texas, and up to 45% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

For one, there is the increasing trend towards giving “experiences” rather than gifts. This is one way to fill someone’s heart and their life (and their calendar) without filling a landfill. It’s possible to give the gift of quality time or service (Chapman again), like arranging a date or a walk with a loved one, or when my husband repairs his mother’s broken cabinets. There are donations to charity on someone’s behalf. These are all wonderful ways to express love. But, for many people they don’t quite scratch the “gift exchange” itch. We still like to give objects, things – stuff wrapped with a bow.

There are a few simple steps to giving stuff without giving a whole lot of unpleasant and unintentional impacts. First, if you buy something new, make sure you pay attention to where it is made, and who made it. Buying new items should be rare,…..

These people never want to mind their own business, eh? Always telling Everyone Else what to do.

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5 Responses to “Giving Gifts In The Era Of ‘Climate Change’ Has A Nasty Underbelly”

  1. Hairy says:

    Mind your own business?
    You mean like abortion?
    Or ? Attacking other counties Like Iraq?

  2. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    LOL. The last thing conservatives do is “mind their own business”!

    Same-sex marriage, what a transgendered person prefers to be called, bathroom access, women’s rights, civil rights, religious rights and on and on.

  3. Jl says:

    What a transgendered person prefers or be called is their own matter. If others prefer to call them by their biological gender, that’s their business and their right. “Women’s rights” -you mean American citizens rights? What do civil rights and religious rights have to do with minding one’s business?

    • Elwood P. Dowd says:

      So name-calling is ok, dickbreath jil? Got it.

      Dickbreath jil, Ms Dana and VietKong Kye have that belief in common.

  4. Jl says:

    “Name Calling”.. Funny-so saying “Mr” Ed Jones or “Ms” Janice Jones would be…..name calling? And the Olympic Gold medal for lack of self-awareness goes to J, who practices name-calling here almost daily, be it with Trump or another commenter. Sorry J, due back on planet earth now…

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