What is it about?

Santa should phase out coal as punishment in Christmas stockings to save the environment and children’s well-being. As Greta Thunberg says, children "can't save the world by playing by the rules," so these children deserve to be on the nice—not naughty—list, suggest the authors. So as alternatives to punitive coal, the authors suggest recycled/upcycled gifts, plant-based foods, walks and bike rides in nature, inspiring novels, or even a stick insect.

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Why is it important?

Coal is an outdated practice that send the wrong message to children.


There are many YouTube videos of children receiving coal at Xmas. There are better alternatives that can be placed in stockings at Xmas instead that support well-being, mental health and the environment.

Dr Tamsin Mary Holland Brown
Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust & Cambridge University Hospitals

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The gift that won’t keep on giving: ban coal as punishment at Christmas, BMJ, December 2022, BMJ,
DOI: 10.1136/bmj.o2970.
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