Short story by Neil Kitching, guest blogger at Low Carbon Warwickshire Network and author of Carbon Choices.
‘Whoa!’ Santa shouted. His reindeer obediently pulled up beneath the canopy of a towering oak tree which stood bare and stark against the starlit sky. Santa jumped, as a voice from above asked ‘why have you stopped here?’ He looked up in surprise to see the outline of an owl perched on a branch. ‘I’m just giving the reindeer a rest,’ explained Santa, ‘as my sleigh’s heavy this year.
‘No surprise there,’ said the Owl.
‘Why do you say that?’ Santa looked puzzled.
‘Because each year I see you give the children more and more parcels. Larger, heavier parcels, and you use more and more packaging too.'
'But, but … everyone wants a big parcel, don’t they?’ said Santa. ‘I’m going there,’ he pointed to a farmhouse. ‘A boy and girl live there, all excited about Christmas.’
Owl shook his feathers and looked down. ‘Just take a minute to think, Santa,’ he said. ‘Your presents might be big, but do they help the children to be happier, healthier, or more content?’
Santa, thought for a moment, wondering what to say.
‘What’s in that parcel?’ asked Owl, pointing with his wing.
‘It’s an electronic fish to hang on a wall. When you walk into the room it sings a song. It’s very clever, it uses a motion sensor. It’s for their 9-year-old boy.’
Owl frowned. 'That's for a 9-year old boy?'
Read the rest of the story on the LCWN blog.