I have just seen something which has greatly distressed me. A neighbour’s Christmas Tree, complete with lights, decorations and stand, put out at the side of the road for the refuse collectors to take away. My husband tells me that when he took some stuff to our refuse/recycling centre last week, there were several Christmas Trees there ready to go into a landfill site, in similar condition.
What is wrong with people? Are they really too lazy to dismantle their decorations? Do they really find it so onerous to put their decorations away in boxes and store them in an loft, cellar or garage for the next nine or ten months?
What a colossal waste! The planet is being poisoned by toxic landfill accumulated from billions of items which humanity uses once and then simply discards. As a species, we cannot keep on simply taking from and dumping on the planet in such thoughtless and selfish ways. There is also only a certain amount of raw material with which to manufacture all our consumer-driven needs. One day it will run out. What shall we all do then?
The fact that many decorations are relatively cheap to buy is besides the point. So many people cannot afford to even feed or keep themselves warm. Even a few pounds saved is better than none. And if folk really don’t want to keep something, why throw it away? Why not donate it to charity so that someone less lucky can appreciate it and be heartened by it again next year?
One of my dear friends has chosen to remove all her decorations from her Tree and put it out in her back garden, redecorated with fat balls and feeders for the wild bird population.
We haven’t even finished with our seasonal tree yet. It is still with us in its water oasis , standing in our drawing room. Cut fresh from the local forest, it hasn’t even begun to drop its needles yet, either. As always, we have removed all the coloured decorations and lights from it and redressed it in warm white lights and silver and white decorations, transforming it into a ‘Winter Tree’ which reflects the frost and snow of January. Similarly, our large jugs of evergreenery have had their colourful sparkles replaced with simple white lights. They all look truly chilly but they also cheer us at the same time. January is its own month, quite distinct from December, Midwinter and Christmas. It is lovely to be able to celebrate it and to have some appropriate decorations to brighten the dark days.
We might not even have finished with it at the end of this month – depending on how snowy the weather is in the first half of February, we might swap the silver icicles and glittery frosty baubles for the pink and red heart-shaped baubles we sometimes use to decorate for St. Valentine’s day on the 14th February!
Of course, I hasten to add that I have a rather full and untidy loft… but we have lots of fun, and we don’t need to keep buying new every year, just one or two items each season to refresh what we already have.
Life is for living and enjoying. How might you brighten these dark days and enjoy them? What might you have tucked away that can be repurposed and used for something fresh? Be inventive, use your initiative – give your spontaneity free rein.
And if you don’t want something any more, don’t waste it, pass it on!