Is Christmas Ethical?

Australian shopping malls are packed to the brim with people feverishly buying multiple gifts for family, friends, co-workers, teachers...the list goes on. In one week, many will be cooking large-scale hot meals in the middle of an Australian summer. We've decorated trees, streets, houses and more.

As I wrap presents for my children, this year I ask myself why I am wrapping at all? Why are we so addicted to tradition that we need to wrap gifts that will be torn open and disposed of, and then added to the huge piles of accumulated Christmas day waste?

Why do we adhere to the expectations of gifting to so many people, or to give gifts at all on one particular day?

As a nation, we are emptying our pockets right now and driving retailers, of which I am one, to their highest profits of the year. I too will give gifts to my children and will enjoy their smiles as they run to our Christmas tree at 6 am on Christmas morning, after they have spent weeks excitedly awaiting the arrival of a fat man in a red suit that was invented by CocaCola!

We will also give gifts to those less fortunate which will fill us with joy, make someone else's life better and is an excellent lesson for our children. However, I will struggle with the excess of everything else this holiday season.

I don't mean to be a Grinch but as a nation, we are so wasteful, so spoilt and so driven by tradition at this time of year that I wonder if we have lost the ability to think for ourselves, or the strength to create a more ethical and modern version of our family celebrations. 

We'd love to hear your views on this polarising topic. Do you think Australians do Christmas to excess? How do you have a more ‘ethical’ Christmas in your home? 

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