A pile of Christmas gifts in colorful wrapping with ribbons.
A pile of Christmas gifts in colorful wrapping with ribbons. Beata Becla

The sad truth about Christmas gifts

WITH the end of Christmas each year I dread the all too familiar clinking and clanking of bottles as they hit the recycling bin on Boxing Day.

As I slink inside, glancing side ways, I worry about what my wonderful and terribly patient neighbour must think of my Christmas Day festivities. Luckily, the shameful Boxing Day bin noise is now an indignity of the past.

I expect that the onset of the container recycling scheme will result in a scurried frenzy in my home of children squirrelling away bottles and cans to take to the container recycling depots come the new year. Whilst Christmas family gatherings are not without challenges, I have a resolute determination that this year I will not buy gifts that will end up in landfill in a matter of weeks.

The author of the The Barefoot Investor, financial adviser Scott Pape, offers a truly frightening picture of what happens to the money we spend on loved ones at Christmas.

Most of it ends up in landfill within six weeks.

At the risk of sounding as if I would be comfortable lounging in the Grinch's home, I am trying to resist the adrenalin fuelled shopping expeditions and am navigating a path to mindful consumerism by buying locally-made products at locally-owned businesses.

I have never seen rum balls, Christmas puddings, gingerbread men, dried local mango, macadamias, ginger or deliciously gooey handmade fudge go to waste.

Similarly, the gift of family time and shared experience surpasses a proliferation of presents that may be in landfill six weeks from now.

I'll be cheered to discover other readers who are also shopping locally and mindfully.

Merry Christmas!

Edwina Rowan is a Bundaberg solicitor and chair of Edon Place