Now you may be forgiven for thinking I’m an old Scrooge. I am a bit. I do actually like Christmas. I like the break from work and the time to spend with my family. But there are also many things that annoy me about it. There’s all the hard work for starters (I would happily have Christmas on alternate years, rather than every year). Then there is the constant invention of pointless things to make people spend more money on things they don’t need. I had a moan a few years back about Christmas Eve boxes (yes, I still dislike them) and Elf on the Flipping Shelf (ditto). But now I’m feeling all angry about advent calendars with stuff in them. Not chocolates. Expensive stuff. Like beauty products, gin or stationery.
WHY?! Why on earth do we need these things?!
Now of course this is my opinion. You may not agree with it. You are welcome to your opinion and I am welcome to mine. Especially on my own blog.
I dislike these advent calendars for a whole variety of reasons.
First, there’s the expense. Something which should cost a couple of quid costs an absolute fortune. I’ve seen a gin calendar for £100. A HUNDRED QUID!
Just to put that into context, that’s my budget for my kids’ Christmas presents every year. Their Christmas presents, not their advent calendar. The advent calendar is for counting down the days to Christmas (when you receive presents), maybe with the help of a small chocolate every day. It’s not for receiving presents to the value of your entire Christmas budget over the course of December. In my opinion, at least.
John Lewis has got a beauty advent calendar for £150. But it’s OK, because the contents are worth £255.
I was always taught, and it’s a good motto to live by, that a bargain is only a bargain if you need it. Does anyone need all those ‘bargain’ items in that ridiculously expensive advent calendar? I don’t think so!
Because, let’s be honest, most of us have our own preferred skincare and beauty products. So can anyone genuinely, hand on heart, say that they will find a use for everyone single one of those (alleged) £255’s worth of items?!
Which of course brings me onto the most important point of all. Spend your money on what you like, spoil your kids as much as you like, that’s your choice. But fill the world with bits of tat that nobody wants or needs? That’s wrong. We are in the midst of a climate emergency and consumerism is a massive contributor to that.
We are all consumers, of course, we are. I’m a consumer. I get through three pairs of trainers every year because of all the running I do. But I refuse to buy things I don’t need. All of those lovely beauty products or bits of stationery have used energy, water and natural resources to make and transport them. And many of them will simply end up in landfill, where they will sit for thousands of years.
All in the name of a quick hit of happiness on the 7th of December.
So this year, I will be doing a reverse advent calendar for a local food bank. It won’t be anything fancy – just food in a cardboard box, but it’s a small gesture – putting something back at a time of consumerism and greed.
And my kids will enjoy a small chocolate every day from their advent calendars.