Opinion

WATER COOLER: What happened to our simple family Christmas?

Letter to the Editor from Eloise Row of Tannum Sands in Queensland.

What happened to us?

"BACK in the day", when life was simpler, slower, uncomplicated and more secure, people were basically happier; content with very little and genuinely caring for one another. What happened?

With no technology, PCs, iPhones, iPads, mobile phones or credit cards, Christmas was a generous and hearty family meal, a game of cricket on the grass or beach and maybe a present each for the children.

With no stress over who to impress, no January credit-card debts to repay and only five-and-a-half days to shop, people organised their few days off around the family get-together.

What happened?

It is now a nightmare for all families, competing with friends and the media, to have elaborate meals costing a fortune, shopping with maxed-out cards (plus GST), and running on short fuses for the month leading up to the weekend.

Domestic violence is escalated, with many children not enjoying the season because of antagonism between warring parents.

Increased homelessness, addictions and violence only add misery to already over-commercialised Christmas expectations, at supposedly a time of peace and goodwill. Far from it for some!

DO YOU THINK CHRISTMAS IS TOO OVER-THE-TOP THESE DAYS?

JOIN OUR WATERCOOLER CONVERSATION TODAY BY LEAVING YOUR COMMENTS BELOW

Once, water and power were charged on consumption only.

Costs were minimal. Water and power were run by local councils and responsible state governments, kept within the family budget, usually running on one income.

Governments showed restraint and worked within their budgets.

Come 2000, GST added insult to injury, of 10% of a majority of goods and services, creating revenue for governments which failed to live within their means.

Additional daily access and supply charges, inflicted because of over-investment in gold-plating infrastructure and the need for maintenance of the old and ailing networks, exacerbate the pain of utilities for families, forcing women to leave their homes and families into workplaces to survive financially, often incongruent with family responsibilities. The prohibitive cost of child care only exacerbates the strain.

The new government representatives, created by the State Labor Government, supposedly because the portfolios of its prior-elected crew were too large to handle, will not endear the government to those footing the bill for extra politicians.

Families and individuals, many of whom are already on the brink financially, don't need this last-minute, costly decision. We need a conscionable, leaner, transparent and accountable government, displaying restraint and reduction in waste, leading by example.

Topics:  christmas, editors picks, letter




Magistrate sends man's 'serious' sex act case to district court

FILE PHOTO: Gladstone Courthouse, Yarroon St.

Sex intruder case 'serious', goes to District Court

Busy Gladstone facility to receive $3m revamp

Community and youth development officer Bec Frost is really happy about the new funding for the PCYC. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer

The expansion will boost jobs too, with a "locals first” focus.

Bail refused for man accused of having 7.6g ice in car

FILE PHOTO: A drug analysis has yet to be completed but Gladstone man David Johnson has been charged with having 7.6g of ice.

Bail refused for fencer after police find ice in his car

Latest deals and offers

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

TELEVISION: New show is a Survivor, for now

Jonathan LaPaglia hosts the TV series Australian Survivor.

WHAT happens when a new show with a big budget flops?

Rachel Weisz understands celebrity gossip fascination

Actor Rachel Weisz

Weisz says mystery is good for an actor

Gina Rodriguez relished dramatic change for new film

Jane the Virgin lead Gina Rodriguez

TV star shaved her hair for movie role

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Gladstone landlords in trouble with Bechtel job losses

"If a big project was announced tomorrow I wouldn't want to see it"