A very Guardian Christmas: decorate a tree branch

A very Guardian Christmas: decorate a tree branch
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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!

    Written bySteerpike

    Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from London and beyond. Email tips to