episode 7

Season's Greetings 2020 - together apart!

What is the best gift you can give to your loved ones? How can we celebrate with fewer environmental impacts and more love?

In this episode we focus on life cycle analysis, beliefs and a bit of reminiscence

We recorded this episode on 6th December. The UK government had given permission for ‘Christmas bubbles’… as you’ll hear, our resident scientist, Sabine, was not convinced….she didn’t think permission meant it was a good idea.  

Now that “Christmas is cancelled in the UK”, it is more important than ever to think about what it is we are meant to celebrate this time of year. 

December festivities celebrate cleansing, re-start, death and re-birth – closely linked to the change of season and nature.  


We talk about the importance of time and love over giftware (like the tat with your name on it); about regifting something you loved and how about the gift of a donation?  The following are some opportunities to donate in the UK:

Choose love that sends presents to refugees – especially good for that person you know who has everything.  

Trussell Trust enables you to donate centrally or find your local food bank – especially if you don’t want to eat when your neighbours go without. 

Woodland Trust – to plant a tree to commemorate 2020? The end of. 

Good Law project – uses law to uphold democracy, protect the environment and ensure no one is left behind – especially if you’re not happy about recent government procurement style.

Xmas trees

Here are loads of info about trees, comparisons and ritual options.

Some of the many December festivals

6 December – is St Nicholas day. St Nicholas was a real person – a Christian Bishop of Greek origin – born near modern day Derme on the Agean coast of Turkey. He was known for his generosity. Legend has it, he once dropped some gold coins into a poor man’s house and the coins landed in the stockings that were hanging to dry.

For the Buddhists there is the Bodhi Day – 8 December – celebrating the day that Buddha experienced enlightenment.

Then there is Hannukah – the Jewish new year – varied days but some time between late Nov and late Dec. It is also known as the Festival of lights and celebrates the re-dedication of the Holy or Second Temple.

Ramadan can be during December – a month of fasting during day light hours and feasting (not too much) and celebrations in the evening. Ashure follows as part of the 3 holy months, Ramadan being one. It requires, amongst other traditions, cooking this lightly sweet jelly consistency desert that involves many ingredients from chickpeas and pinto beans to dried apricots and pomegranate — it sounds disgusting but it is divine. It celebrates everything you can have from Mother Nature.

24-25th December – the birth of Jesus celebrated by Christians.

We didn’t have a guest join us for this episode. But Ece spoke to The Rev’d Canon Nigel Cooper about what to focus on this time of year. We also hear from Prof Bridget Emmett (see our second food episode) about Christmas dinner. 

*** The views we and our guests express in this podcast are our own ***

reference list

Click the links below to find out more

The Carbon Trust said in 2013 

Share your Christmas with as many friends and family members as possible. It is much more energy efficient to cook one meal and heat one home rather than two, three or four.

Buying Artificial or Natural Christmas Trees? In Journal of Forestry by Hunt and Poulsen. – talking about how artificial tree sales are growing but the growth rate is declining. This is in the USA. 

And about Christmas Tree Worms – A Polychaete is Not Just for Christmas