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A very Guardian Christmas: decorate a tree branch

23 December 2017

5:28 PM

23 December 2017

5:28 PM

Christmas – the season of goodwill, turkey, tinsel and general over-indulgence. Except that is, if you work at the Guardian. With just two days to go until Christmas day, the paper has produced a late contender for most Grauniad article of the year.


Writing for the paper, Saskia Sarginson shares her Christmas dilemma: can one permit traditional indulgences when ‘they seem at odds with the world we live in today’? Sarginson’s environmentally-conscious children have changed her perspective on Christmas traditions:

‘My children have no desire to hark back to something that is gone, and I see their point that traditional indulgences seem at odds with the world we live in today. I will always cherish my memories of Christmases past, but it is a relief not to try to relive them.’

Based on their suggestions, here is a three-point plan to putting on a Guardian-friendly Christmas:

  • Forget tree – decorate a branch
    Given that it is not environmentally friendly to fell a tree ‘for such a frivolous purpose’, you could be forgiven for thinking an artificial tree is the answer. However, you would be wrong. A plastic version would ‘pollute the world’. It follows that the best plan of action is to collect a branch or two and then decorate them (avoiding plastic decorations, natch).
  • Agree all presents in advance
    No-one likes a bad present but there’s another reason to brief each other in advance over what you wish to receive on Christmas day: ending ‘consumer madness’. Only do stocking presents – rather than tree-based – in a bid to clampdown on having things you don’t need. What’s more, for these stocking ‘fillers’, send ‘links to exactly the right things’ – cutting the surprise, but avoiding disappointment.
  • Go vegan
    Although for many eating turkey is synonymous with Christmas, ‘the days of roast and sausage stuffing’ look numbered – along with the cheese board. Sarginson suggests ‘nut roast, roasted vegetables and mushroom gravy’. The big plus is you won’t ‘feel sluggish’ afterwards.

    Merry Christmas one and all!


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