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A very ethical Christmas

7 January 2012

5:34 PM

7 January 2012

5:34 PM

Here’s another one, part of an occasional series in these parts, of people from
the newspapers who are, for often undefinable reasons, really, really annoying. Not always undefinable, mind.

This is from a feature in the Guardian’s weekend magazine about what people got their kids
for Christmas. First they speak to the parent, then to the kid. It takes a suspension of disbelief to accept that Matilda is a real person and was not instead created by Viz magazine in one of its
more spiteful moments. If there is hope for the world, it surely lies with Dimitri. I have the suspicion that when he unwraps his cooking class, he might well punch mum, in a sustainable way.

Matilda Lee, Dimitri’s mother Being ethical informs my whole worldview. I’m an editor at the Ecologist, I’ve
a book on ethical fashion, we have homemade decorations, buy an ethical tree, eat
locally sourced, organic food. When the children were little, it was easy to buy them green gifts, but now Dimitri’s six, it’s more difficult. He watches TV, he sees adverts, all his friends talk
about what they’re getting for Christmas. He wants stuff.

This year, as well as a stocking full of arts and crafts and a satsuma, and an adopted snow leopard from WWF, I’m afraid he got a Nintendo DS. I am troubled by how it was made, by whom, and what’s going to
happen to it when, inevitably, he finds it uninteresting. Also, I worry about the impact it’ll have on him. We get him outside as much as possible, and the last thing he needs is something to
keep him inside focused on a screen.

We’re in the years when our kids are into the idea of presents under the tree. When Dimitri’s older, I’d like to buy him a day out for Christmas. There’s a place near us that does cooking
classes – he’d love that. If we lived in a like-minded community where everyone bought ethically, it would be perfect, but, for now, I don’t think it would be healthy for him to be very
different from his peers.

Dimitri What did you want for Christmas? A mini car so I can drive to school and a Nintendo DS.

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