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  • Nick Hague and Paul Hague

Let’s get rid of Christmas and anything else we enjoy

We need to be a bit careful with today's blog. It is the season of good cheer when everyone involved in customer experience should be celebrating. What other time of the year offers such positive experiences as Christmas? Bah humbug. It appears that not everybody is in a celebratory mood.


There are those among us who can be critical of anything and everything. We should stop flying around the world because it is using up the world's resources. We should stop entertaining and eating and drinking too much for the same reasons. And what about all that waste that has taken place over Christmas. What would Scrooge say is most distasteful about Christmas festivities? Would it be the outside lights that nobody is looking at, the Christmas cards that are ripped open with barely a glance, the trees that drop their spines on the lounge carpet, or the extra travel that we indulge in over the two weeks we're not working. Scrooge could claim that these are all carbon costs we could reduce if we did away with the celebrations. However, they pale into insignificance when figuring out the waste that takes place over Christmas. The biggest cost is unwanted gifts.


Apparently badly chosen presents account for two thirds of the Christmas season's carbon footprint. The Financial Times has calculated that for every household, 171 kg of CO2 is wasted at Christmas on unwanted presents. This calculation is based on the estimate that gifts account for two thirds of the festive season's carbon footprint and that between 10% and a third, by value, are wasted.


If you have read this far you will be wondering about this esoteric argument. Quite rightly so. We are going to see more and more joyless people criticising what we make and what we do, arguing that it is a waste of the world's resources. For sure, everything we do consumes resources - but whether it is wasteful is a matter of opinion. If someone wants to enjoy Christmas with a bountiful table, a Christmas tree, sparkling lights and a sack full of presents, surely they should be allowed to do so.


In the world of customer experience we are going to have to get used to Scrooges, wokes and everyone who wants to pretend that their company is a leading light in environmental, social and governance criteria (ESG). Customer experience doesn't have to be socially, economically and environmentally irresponsible but there are times when we need to balance these pressures against things that give us enjoyment. We know that Christmas can be a difficult time for some people and we know that for others it brings the danger of overindulgence. Let us remember that great experiences can have a cost and it would be a sad world if Scrooge's disposition spills into our world of customer experience. Happy New Year everyone. Enjoy it and remember your responsibility - make it enjoyable for others.

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