Christmas is a time of year when families get together to eat, drink and be merry. Merry, of course, could mean partaking in more than a few alcoholic drinks over the December period! While everyone is encouraged to have fun over the holiday season, there is of course always that further message to suggest that moderation be exercised. According to Independent.ie, fresh warnings from experts suggest that even the greetings cards we send to one another during the festivities could be considered too encouraging as far as the odd tipple or two is concerned.
Reporting in the British Medical Journal and recent warnings from health experts suggest that boozy greetings and sozzled characters are doing more harm than good when it comes to encouraging sensible, responsible cheer during Christmas. Professor Joe Barry of Dublin’s Trinity College suggested, particularly with regard to greetings cards shared across Ireland, that alcohol continues to be depicted as something which can be freely abused across a plethora of greetings cards throughout the year.
“Norms are reinforced,” Prof Barry advised. “This means that issues such as public drunkenness are more tolerated.”
“It would be good to have other national symbols to lessen the exposure of our citizens to alcohol marketing, branding and product placement.”
Concerns over the prolific nature of alcohol being marketed in such a way are not new – however, it seems that the issues have been getting more and more pronounced over the years, with greetings cards in particular failing to lead the way with a responsible example. For instance – many birthday and Christmas cards alike suggest that drinking to excess can be seen as a fun activity – whether in the form of humorous jokes, verses or illustrations.
This may well be an issue which many have failed to notice fly under the radar in years gone by. After all, how many of us have sent cards like this which suggest that being merry and having a good time could involve alcohol consumption? With binge drinking and alcohol culture still being rife in a number of global communities such as those in the Republic of Ireland, concerns being raised are perhaps more prescient than ever before.
Therefore, if you are concerned about drink culture, it may be worth checking carefully to see which cards you send out year after year – be careful of the messages you might be sending!