Who says people can’t and don’t change? The proportion of people smoking has more or less halved since the 1950s; most of us have learned to respect the limits associated with alcohol and driving; and in no more than five years our attitudes towards consumption have altered significantly. Mindless is out, conscious and careful is in.
The way we celebrate this special time of the year is changing too – either forced on us by economic necessity or because we’ve begun to stop and think what will make for a truly happiness-inducing event on “the Day” and in the weeks following. I’ve heard more and more people say that they’re not sending Christmas cards but donating to a charity and, instead of buying “stuff” as presents, they are wrapping up offers to spend time with a cherished recipient doing something together or sharing a skill.
It’s no coincidence that we share Christmas with a more ancient practice of celebrating the Winter Solstice – that time of the year when light and life seem to have retreated for good and when, just at that moment of despair there are fragile signs that the cycle of life will continue to turn; Spring will follow winter. I think that’s what the Mayans understood but they had a much grander view of time, possessing an ability to look at cycles measured in thousands of years. Their calendar wasn’t about endings; but all about new beginnings.
So I simply want to say thank you to all of you who have supported me over the past couple of years – especially those who hosted me on my travels; but also my readers of this blog who have justified my effort, and especially those of you who have commented or subscribed.
I hope you are warm and safe this week and about to spend time with those you love. I hope too that , in the months ahead, we can explore ways of making tourism better for all of its participants.
I am not able to send cards this year but am taking the liberty of recycling an image created by an organisation in New Zealand I very much admire – Consciousconsumers.org.nz. I am sure they will not mind my sharing their Christmas tree image , especially if you take a peak at their web site and see what good work they are doing!