All I want for Christmas is respect, consideration and kindness
Giving presents on Christmas Day follows the tradition of the Three Wise Men who followed a guiding star and arrived upon the stable in Bethlehem where they found the baby Jesus with Mary and Joseph and offered him gold, frankincense and myrrh. The birth of Jesus on 25 December, is celebrated in most Christian based countries by giving presents to family and friends.
According to Investopedia, the Christmas spending spree sees the USA citizens spending an average of USD 900 per person on Christmas gifts, in the UK the equivalent of USD 321, Spain USD 231, Poland USD 107 and Russia USD115. Research from the global accounting firm Deloitte in 2016 estimated that holiday sales in 2016 globally would exceed USD 1 trillion.
I wonder how many recipients of those Christmas gifts need the shiny baubles they get and how long they stay grateful for these gifts?
If given a choice I wonder how many spouses, children and friends of the Giver of such presents would prefer to be respected, show consideration and kindness from one Christmas day to the next by the Giver of such shiny baubles.
It is easy to spend a trillion dollars globally on shiny Christmas presents and continue spousal and child abuse with impunity. It is a lot more difficult to show restraint of one’s temper and ensure that you treat your family and friends with respect, consideration and kindness for one day, let alone from one Christmas Day to the following one, 365 days later.
According to The National Study of Domestic Abuse for 2005 in the USA, one in seven women and one in sixteen men were victims of severe physical abuse, severe emotional abuse, or sexual abuse at some point in their lives.
According to a more recent CDC National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, nearly one in four women and one in seven men suffered from such physical or emotional sexual abuse in their lifetime, and no doubt one or more of these abuses.
Whichever report is correct the figures are alarmingly high for the world’s wealthiest economy.
According to the International Journal of Culture and Mental Health, vol 10, 2017, some 22.6% of children globally are maltreated through child abuse and neglect, and this impacts both neurologically and psychologically on their development.
That is nearly one child in four suffering from child abuse globally.
The Spirit of Christmas just got tainted for me when I think that of the four children getting excited opening their Christmas gifts, one of them will know child abuse, of some form or other, inflicting likely permanent emotional and traumatic consequences upon them.
Maybe its time for a global movement to request that instead of traditional Christmas presents the Givers should rather pledge in public to respect, show consideration and kindness to their family and friends from one Christmas Day to the next and leave the shiny baubles aside as presents.