So here we are in 2016. As with every year we ask ourselves the question above. Loads of money blown, we have eaten till we explode and the kids are already getting bored with that present they couldn’t live without. It will probably be at the back of the garage by next year.

And now all pretence is gone, we no longer pretend to be spiritual, your neighbours are once more strangers. The companies that tried to convince us they were somehow, suddenly the spirit of kindness and benevolence before Christmas are now showing characteristic naked greed in the war that is the New Year sales. We are once more customers to be fooled. We must be convinced that consumer goods are our only route to salvation. I have personally ceased this ridiculous need to be surrounded by hundreds of the latest DVD’s, my car is old but reliable. Books and my computer are all I need aside from the essentials.

Then there is the New year resolution. The idea that you will somehow become a better person is noble, but it is a standing joke that most are broken by the first week of the new year. I gave up smoking years ago and I rarely drink. The weight issue is one which needs attention but I do not pretend that it will be sorted in the early part of this new year. I certainly know that starving myself will not work.

This is all very cynical but I do look forward to the New year, I merely ask you to remember the feeling before Christmas when we all try to be better and that Yule tradition of reaching out to our fellow man. I will talk to anyone, all year round. Sometimes I am rebuffed but not often. Oh yes, and why not ask if you really need that new TV that costs much more but is only marginally more functional. When you want to change your car, do you NEED to. If so, do you need a massive, gas guzzling 4×4 to do shopping trips and the school run. All these things contribute to the usage of declining resources and we are slowly destroying our planet in the drive to own the best. Let’s not forget you do not own these things, you cannot take them with you. You may even be shortening your life by placing pressure to keep  up on your shoulders. Lastly a cremation urn is the same size for all. It might be gold plated but you will still be in it and your possessions will mean nothing.

So give yourself a break. You may want, but do you need. You need to eat but do you need a 10lb joint of meat for 4 people? You may be happy with the weight you are but will it cause you misery in your later years?

You should enjoy life but ask yourself if you need all these toys and if you really need to buy to excess as evidence that you provide for your family. You can commit nearly all of the 7 deadly sins in an effort to show how good your life is. So this year, give yourself, the planet and it’s people a break. Stop trying so hard and look around you at your fellow men. Maybe that guy in the supermarket just needs someone to talk to him to make his day or even his year. There may be friends out there you will never meet because they aren’t your sort of person and you never speak to them.

So have a happy new year but, if you must resolve to do something, make a resolution to examine your life and see how it can be improved spiritually rather than materially.