Shopping in Morrisons for vegetables with my son John on Saturday, I asked him to point out anyone in the supermartket he saw smiling or who looked happy – I wanted to reinforce my arguments that for the majority of people Christmas is not a time of cheerfulness. The place was packed, thrice the usual Saturday crowd, and most shoppers had trolleys that were overflowing, full of produce meant to make them happy. The queues at the till were predictably long and it was staggering to see just how much yer average shopper was spending. The couple in front of me spent £230.00 and looking at what they packed their bags with you just knew that most of that would be binned – unless they were intending on feeding the street. Neither did they look joyous or in festive mood.
Needless to say, we saw no smiling customers; not even the staff on the tills who looked quite pissed off with their lot and were no doubt wishing they were elsewhere. We went from there to
“Nobody looks happy,” he said, at last.
I looked at him and smiled. We both agreed it was one huge wallet-emptying charade with the only ones really smiling, bar the wee bairns opening the presents on Xmas day, being the profit mongers who were clearly raking it in.
Just came across these facts and figures. They’re a bit dated – scven years old – but they say much about the festive (or should that be ‘fetid’) season.
* This Christmas the
* Royal Mail delivers around 150 million cards and packets during the pre-Christmas period. It is estimated that up to 1 billion Christmas cards (17 for every man, woman and child) could end up afterwards in bins across the
* Over six million trees were bought last Christmas in the
* It is estimated that over Christmas as much as 83 sq km of wrapping paper will end up in
* The waste created in
* Around 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging are thrown away over Christmas - that's the equivalent weight of more than 50,000 festive polar bears!!! When buying gifts, try to avoid items that are excessively packaged (15).
* Around 4,200 tonnes of aluminium foil gets thrown away in the Source (like I said, these stats are a bit dated, but I doubt there's been much improvement):
Source (like I said, these stats are a bit dated, but I doubt there's been much improvement):
1 Guardian Unlimited,
2 Research Machines plc and based on an average jumbo jet take-off weight of approx 400 tonnes,i.e. 1875 jumbo jets
3 Guardian Unlimited
4 Guardian Unlimited
5 Waste Watch
7 British Glass
8 Waste Watch
9 Waste Watch
12 Waste Watch
13 Friends of the Earth
14 Recycle For
The Downside of Christmas
Christmas pressures mean divorce in January
A study has shown that January 8th is the busiest day of the year for divorce lawyers when up to one in five couples will enquire about divorce after the pressures of Christmas. The enforced intimacy of Christmas, coupled with the start of a new year is thought to be the main trigger. The other peak in the year is after the summer holidays. Adultery, lack of sex, abuse and boredom were the main causes of divorce enquiries. Studies show that fewer than 40% of those who divorce will be happier.
Reported in the Daily Telegraph
The cost of Christmas
The average Briton spends around £600 on presents alone at Christmas, much of that going on a credit card or loan. Around 10,000 people were predicted to end up bankrupt and insolvent in the three months following Christmas due to their spending over Christmas and the New Year. Recently, record levels of debt and those in serious financial trouble have been registered with 110,000 falling into insolvency in 2006, the first time the figure has topped 100,000.
Reported in the Daily Mail