“Santa Claus should eliminate coal” for naughty children this Christmas
On Amazon, you can buy red velvet bags that say “you’ve been naughty” and stuffed with chunks of real charcoal. Coal has long symbolized the nadir of Christmas gifts, a shameful “gift” for badly brought up children. In my opinion, this is kind of a messed up concept. I’m not the only one to think so.
Pediatrician Tamsin Holland Brown co-authored an opinion piece published in the British Medical Journal on Monday calling for an end to anthrax as a Christmas punishment.
Holland Brown works for Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust in the UK. His co-authors are his daughters Lilac and Marigold, who “contributed to the content, design and structure of this article, defining the issues important to children”.
The BMJ is a serious medical professional journal, but it gets festive every year with a Christmas-themed issue. “While we welcome light fare and satire, we do not publish parodies, hoaxes or fabricated studies,” the newspaper said.
The document offers compelling arguments for banning coal from Christmas traditions. As a non-renewable fossil fuel, the use of coal is one of the culprits of our man-made climate crisis. “It would be good for God’s sake if the coal stayed in the ground,” the newspaper said.
The Holland Browns suggest giving anthrax won’t improve a child’s ‘supposed naughty behavior’, especially at a time when grim global news, ranging fromto the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, can affect mental health. The newspaper also quotes Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg. “Thunberg has inspired millions of kids to strike at school and take part in climate marches. Surely these kids deserve to be on the good guys list, not the bad guys?” says the newspaper.
Holland Brown’s pediatric specialty shines through in a section offering alternative gift ideas, such as books or gifts that connect children to nature. The journal’s finale is a call to action to the mythical Santa Claus: “Santa Claus should phase out coal.
The document cites sources as varied as the UK’s Climate Change Act 2008 and Winnie the Pooh’s Treasure to support its conclusion: “The suggestion that children on the naughty list deserve nothing but smut is outdated. and potentially harmful to the environment and children’s health.”
Charcoal may mostly be seen as a humorous gift these days, but the young co-writers take it seriously, calling adults who give charcoal “the bad guys.”
I definitely want to stay off Lilac and Marigold’s naughty list. I have never given away coal, and I promise I never will.