All I want for Christmas is climate action

West Side Story LP

West Side story LP - Credit: Peter Willcox

Peter Willcox of Transition Town Letchworth shares his thoughts on what to give the person who has everything this Christmas.

Wife, offspring, siblings and friends of the family all wanted to know what I want for Christmas this year. Same as last year! I have everything I need, and most things I want, so all I really want is their company. 

One daughter has the privilege of buying me socks each year. I mostly get through a pack of socks each year, and modern socks aren’t really mendable. (I learned how to darn a sock when I was a Wolf Cub, but those were woollen, and, frankly, darned socks aren’t very comfortable). 

Tickets to shows go down well - I love musicals. 

Send a Cow and similar third world charities work by giving a card to me, showing how much has been given to the charity. Great idea, although you don’t really feel you have received a gift (at least I don’t – shame on me?) 

What I don’t want is stuff. My house is full of stuff! I use some of it, but certainly don’t need any more. Even books – book token was a good standby, but not any more. I can’t move for books. 

Besides, even books is “stuff”. They need to be made and distributed, and, when I die, disposed of. (Bad luck offspring) 

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But, giving is such an important part of Christmas. And the most important bit of the giving is the thought that goes into it. 

I received my perfect gift aged 17. I had been to see West Side Story, which blew me away. At Christmas my parents gave me the LP. So, I got a gift I didn’t know I wanted, until I got it. My parents had thought about it! 

I recently looked at my wardrobe, and decided I had enough clothes to last a lifetime. But my jeans wore out. What to do? They certainly weren’t good enough for the charity shop, so I gave them to a friend as scrap material for her craft activism - craftism. And I bought new (to me) jeans from the Hospice shop. Good fit around the waist, but too long. Shortening them will cost more than the secondhand purchase price, but no matter. Success – living lightly on the earth! 

So, what do I really  want for Christmas? Real action to tackle that Climate Emergency!