As we’re all very aware, ‘tis the season to be shopping and while normally I’m dropping hints so big Santa can spot them from the North Pole, this year I find myself feeling a little differently towards the tradition of Christmas gift-giving. Now (take note Santa) that’s not to say I’d say no to a present if someone happens to have one wrapped and waiting for me under their tree (I’d be ever so gracious and also probably also quite overexcited), I’m just feeling a little more conscious these days. Conscious of commercialism, conscious of the waste caused by so much packaging and gift wrapping, conscious of my carbon footprint when ordering things online, conscious of over consumption and of course, conscious of budget.
So when I started to think about writing my Christmas wish list for dear old Santa – and anyone else on the good old world wide web who happens to stumble across it – I realised that all of the things I really wish for right now are things that don’t require any money; things that can’t be wrapped; things that don’t do any harm to the environment; and things that I can’t even take home with me. For a minute there I felt incredibly grown up by knowing the difference between needs and wants at Christmas, but then as I put Pikes’ Sunny’s Christmas Karaoke playlist on repeat for the fifth time today and felt the reindeer ears on my head wobble as I sang along, I realised you don’t have to be a grown up to be able to enjoy the spirit of Christmas AND live more consciously too.
Christmas wish #1: NO STAR WARS SPOILERS PLEASE
I cannot express how much I am staying off social media until Christmas Eve, when the cinema in Ibiza finally (FINALLY! Do you hear me Cine Regio? We deserve it in English on opening night too!) screens Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in its original language version. It is absolutely killing me that there are people out there who know how the saga ends – with previous episodes of the franchise, I have been known to to Barcelona to watch the premiere in English (yes I’m a mega-fan) but this year, some other important commitments kept me in Ibiza so I am waiting with baited breath, buns in hair and special R2D2/C3PO leggings on in anticipation. And I’m blocking my ears, can’t hear a word you’re saying about it, fa la la la la, la la la la laaaaa…
Christmas wish #2: PEACE AND LOVE FOR ALL ANIMALS
Yes, yes, and for all mankind too – but we need to be voices for those who can’t speak. There’s been so much furore in Ibiza recently (and rightly so, I believe) about animals being shipped off to be put to sleep if they haven’t been adopted, and there has been a horrific spate of goat killings in Formentera (don’t Google it if you don’t want your heart to break), not to mention the slaughter of the goats of Es Vedra, and I’ve seen two of the owners of Ibiza’s voluntary animal shelters who are being evicted from their premises who need help. Every single day without fail I see new baby kittens up for adoption on Facebook, ALL of whom have been dumped by owners. WHO are these people? HOW could you throw an animal away like garbage? I really wish a solution can be found before more animals are harmed unnecessarily – I’m not really sure what it is, or even how to help more (I have adopted enough cats, I walk dogs from the shelter and I donate to animal charities), not just in Ibiza but all over the world.
Christmas wish #3: GOODWILL TO ALL PEOPLE
In today’s gender-sensitive climate, I thought it best to be careful not to colloquially say ‘to all men’ anymore! But I digress – if you read my blog last week, you’ll know that we’re all becoming more and more aware that the holidays are a tough time for many many people (and if you didn’t read it, click here to get the scoop). As I sit here writing somewhat tongue-in-cheek wish lists, I’m all too aware of my own privilege and I’m even more grateful for my own happiness. I wish that we could all just get along; I wish everyone knew that they are valued and loved; I wish nobody felt alone or hurt or helpless. I wish we could find a way to end suffering for those who can’t see a way out. I hope we can all strive to be better humans, long after the Christmas warm and fuzzies have passed.
Christmas wish #4: FOR CLIMATE CHANGE TO SLOW DOWN
We’ve been talking about this till we’re blue in the face, but it’s not stopping Australia from burning; from animals (even the most basic koalas that I grew up with! Not to mention more exotic or noble creatures) becoming extinct; from people losing their homes and worse still, their lives. Talking is also not stopping the sea being polluted more than ever before, even though it seems like so many of us are living as consciously as possible. It’s not stopping places like Venice crumbling after more floods; it’s not making the world change its eating habits; it’s not keeping our coral reefs alive; it’s not stopping people from travelling to reduce their carbon footprint. It’s a tragedy that’s unfolding with each new year – now a new decade is upon us and part of me dreads to think what might happen. Which leads me to…
Christmas wish #5: PUT SUPERHEROES IN POLITICS
Now, I’m not one to discuss politics (you know the rules), but things are just getting a bit out of hand now, aren’t they? Given the recent UK election, and today’s announcement that Donald Trump has been impeached, it’s actually kind of hard to stay away from these kinds of conversations. I know we live in a bubble here in Ibiza – well, those of us who are unaffected by Brexit anyway – but it would just be nice if Wonder Woman and Thor could come in and sort everything out with the lasso of truth, plus the mighty hammer. It would be nice to live in a world where the people in power looked after those less fortunate, and that doesn’t seem to be the way we’re headed. Let me just call my friend Chris Hemsworth and see what he can do.
Christmas wish #6: LET IT SNOW IN IBIZA
I’m not talking about the sleet that covers the north of the island on super cold mornings. I’m not even talking about those little pretty snowflakes that float on down to the Balearics every couple of years but melt the second they hit the ground. We need more than a flurry! I would just love to see – even for just one day – our whole island covered in fluffy white powder (no jokes here people) with kids (err, and me) making snowmen and sledding down the Dalt Vila ramp. I’d love to see the Santa Eulalia river rise back up and then freeze again, so we could ice skate along it. As a girl who grew up in the southern hemisphere and spent Christmas in raging heat, I thought moving to Europe would afford me fairytale festive seasons. That’s not to say I don’t love Christmas here in Ibiza, I would just love it even more if it snowed…