Gift # 4: The Gift of Moderation.
For many of us the season of Christmas is a season of excess. We spend too much, eat too much, drink too much, waste too much and talk too much. I do not wish to be the Christmas Grinch but these excesses leave a very bitter aftertaste in the lives of many people. Below I share a few statistics from our own beautiful country and these unfortunately are repeated to a greater or lesser extent across the globe.
We spend too much:
Australians rack up billions in credit card debt in the run-up to Christmas each year.
In December 2018 alone, Australians borrowed nearly $30 billion – a bill of roughly $1863 per credit card, according to Finder.com.
It’s a sizeable bill, and one that more than a quarter of shoppers will still be paying off, almost 12 months after the fact.
We eat and drink too much:
Nobody gains weight overnight — it happens gradually, over years or decades. But the rate it creeps on isn’t consistent throughout the year.
It spikes sharply during the Christmas and New Year holiday period, a time when well-meaning family and friends smother us with delicious treats and booze that supply far more calories than our bodies need.
Problem is we don’t ever burn off all those extra calories. People might gain a kilogram, but only manage to lose half of it after the holidays are over, leading to a slow but consistent weight gain over time.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-19/the-christmas-break-makes-us-fat-for-life/9225170 In fact, research shows that more than half of the weight we gain during our lifetime can be explained just by the period between mid-November and mid-January.
We waste too much:
From unwanted gifts to uneaten food, Australia’s Christmas waste facts are hard to swallow.
- Australians are now collectively spending around $11 billion a year on Christmas gifts.2
- Aussies receive over 20 million unwanted gifts at Christmastime.3
- 86% of Aussies find Christmas puts a strain on their finances, with buying Christmas gifts reported as the major cause (66%) of this pressure.3
- Australians use more than 150,000km of wrapping paper during Christmas – enough to wrap around Earth’s equator nearly 4 times.4
- In Australia alone, over 5 million tonnes of food ends up as landfill each year – enough to fill 9,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.5
- Throwing away one burger wastes the same amount of water as a 90-minute shower.5
- 90% of Aussies usually discard over 25% of their food during the festive period (December 1 – January 1).6 https://nationalstorage.com.au/blog/christmas-waste-australia/
We talk too much:
All this over indulgence often leads to people saying and doing things they other wise would not.
The number of domestic violence related calls are expected to surge by 20 per cent during the Christmas-New Year’s break, due to alcohol, stress and a higher frequency of family gatherings.
Calls to 1800 RESPECT spiked by 22 per cent last December and NSW Police reported domestic violence call outs were 40 per cent higher in that month compared with the previous June. The Women’s Community Shelter has reported a 30 per cent increase in demand for beds over the same period. By Eryk Bagshaw December 24, 2018 — 2.35pm
I agree, it is a confronting post! From the bottom of my heart I wish you a very Merry Christmas of moderation, joy and sweetness without the bitter after taste of un-affordable excess.