You’re an Adult, Don’t Buy Christmas Presents
There are over eighty container ships floating around outside the ports of LA. Each contains hundreds of containers of stuff. The same scene is repeated at ports all over the planet. China is actually buying ports in foreign countries to try and control more of the supply chain. It’s out of control.
A lot of the stuff in those containers is junk, crap that people will buy or gift and never use. A huge amount of it is made of plastic and other polymers made from fossil fuels, that will end up in the environment where it will basically last forever. And Americans’ obsession with Christmas presents, which is being exported to the world, is fueling an ever growing mountain of crap.
This has to stop. Adults do not need more stuff. I’m a pretty minimal liver and I still have a lot of crap. When I think about it, it weighs me down. The thought of moving it is almost as bad as thinking about how to get rid of it. But that’s a minor problem compared to what this is doing to our society.
Notice the words I use to describe this stuff: crap and junk. For years I’ve tried to get my siblings to stop the gifting, and during Covid I actually succeeded, except for a few bottles that changed hands. I’m semi-ok with consumables if they are packed in recyclable materials.
Conditions are conspiring this year to make gift giving harder. There is a shortage of cardboard to make boxes. Even if they can get those containers off the boats there are few trucks to get them to their destinations. It’s a massive bottleneck, just one of them. Since Covid, we started buying a lot more stuff online, and shipping companies and the postal service are completely overwhelmed, aided by a Trump era manager appointed in a futile attempt to stop mail in voting.
All of this because we won’t stop buying stuff. Not for kids, I get that. For adults. I mean, grow up! Seriously. This obsession with holiday buying may prop up the economy once a year, but over the long term it is costing us.
My career was in marketing. I did not market consumer goods, I was a business to business marketer, but I know that Christmas shopping is a marketing scam. I’m not a Scrooge, but do you and…