Dec 14, 2006

Dyslexic and waiting for Satan

Christmas time in Athens. The shops are calling out to us with their bright lights and fancy window displays, luring us into the 'giving' spirit, whilst a slow thumping of "buy, buy, buy" merrily beats in our ears. Once upon a time, you could seek refuge from the unremitting holiday spirit by heading back home, to quiet, low/middle class suburbia, my neighborhood. But... what's this? What's with ALL the exterior decorations and multi-colored twinkling lights everywhere?

For the past several years, the Greek market has been flooded with -formerly unaccustomed- outdoor Christmas decorations, creating a merchandising illusion that it's expected of us to expand the festive cheer outside our home's threshold.

Sadly, Greek customers have taken the bait and what was once customary for Greek homes to have a frugal main entrance decoration -a sparing wreath or new-year talisman- has now turned into a show of flaunting Christmas lights and gaudy holiday figurines. Look up at the stacked apartment buildings and witness denizens' efforts to bring on the Christmas cheer with bulb-streamers draping the balconies and Santa Clauses hanging for dear life on the verandas.

Personally, I see no need for energy-wasting exterior lights and tawdry ornaments. Why squander natural resources (and money, for that matter) for something that is well,... useless?

I'm old-fashioned (and globally warmed). We've hung the fabric wreath Daughter#1 made in kindergarten for us on the main entrance. I'll let Mother Nature take care of the rest of the outdoor decorations if she decides to snow in our part of the world.

Since it's the holiday season in many parts of the world and a time to reflect about Peace ON Earth, and Peace WITH the Earth, read Greenpeace's 12 steps to a greener holiday season.