Friday, November 7, 2008

Consumption ... The Holidays

Since we were on the subject of TRASH and CONSUMPTION (see Wednesday's post) ... What will you do this year for the holidays? We celebrate Christmas and have had our fair share of over-consumption to put it mildly. Just how did we get so far off base in celebrating the birth of Jesus? The more you think on it, the more embarrassing it becomes. And the irony is, if you read through the New Testament I just don't see anywhere where Jesus would be in favor of such a display of excess, waste and gluttony. Surely we have bought onto a lie. The sad thing is, so often in our society shopping for Christmas has become a chore. Something is purchased just to cross it off the list of "to do's". We more than likely aren't filling a need. Toys upon more toys, clothes upon more clothes, widgets upon more widgets. Ugh. If we were to truly celebrate the life of Jesus, we would save all year long, and at the end of the year we would give away what we had collected to the poor, the hungry, and the homeless. Perhaps this is too radical for us all. Maybe a "green" Christmas would include recycling gifts (toys that your kids have outgrown, but are still perfectly OK), purchasing gifts from thrift shops, consignment shops or antique shops, or hand making gifts. Maybe a "green" Christmas is an old fashioned Christmas, where you received an orange in the foot of your stocking, some underwear and socks. Maybe it's making more of a committment to non-gift oriented traditions with family and friends. We have made big improvements as a family over the past five years, but it's like beating back bramble in a forest. It takes committment and discipline on all sides. What will you do for the holidays? Will you make any changes? What do you think of this pickle we've gotten ourselves into? Or, are you OK with it this one time a year?

1 comment:

a. borealis said...

I totally agree. The older I get, the more offended I am by the Christmas gluttony. It is a marketed machine and our culture buys into it hook, line, and sinker.

I buy pretty much all the Christmas gifts we give from thrift stores. I am fortunate in the fact that both sides of our families are thrift-store kind of people (except my mom) but I would probably be doing it nevertheless. It helps that most of the gifts we give are books. Who doesn't love books?!

We don't buy a Christmas Tree either - and this is so fun - because we have a 6 foot tall Norfolk Island Pine that we decorate every year. All gifts are given in gift bags that I sewed myself. I sewed them each Christmas for every gift we gave and now we have enough circulating throughout the families that wrapping paper is not used with the exception of an oddly-shaped or overly-large gift.

What else? We don't give gifts to adults (except little and thoughtful tidbits).

Etc. etc.

The baby woke up...
Good topic!