Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Advent Conspiracy week 2: Spend Less

For a quick summary of Advent Conspiracy please check out my previous post Advent Conspiracy week 1 Worship More

This week's topic is simply spend less. It focuses in on the disturbing trend of the over-commercialization of Christmas.  We always celebrated our Christmas in a Christ-centered way, but I didn't realize I still wasn't getting it! "Keep Christ in Christmas" is insufficient. It has now become a battle to keep over-consumption out of Christmas. I am appalled at the Christmas marketing now that I look at through fresh-eyes, consumerism is poisoning Christmas and us!

Here comes the guilt trip: If you watched the teaser video you were probably as shocked as I was at the sheer numbers of North American greed. To paraphrase: Americans (sorry I am not sure of the Canadian stats) spend $450 million on Christmas this year, but by contrast we could solve world water issues with $20 million. Yes that is about 0.05%. I don't know about you but that makes me feel terribly guilty. We throw all this money into stuff, of which it would only take a infinitesimal portion to save innumerable lives. Why do we need all this stuff! Why do we need so much in general?

The Advent Conspiracy - Spend Less / Give More from Timmy Allen on Vimeo.

Have you ever opened up your mountain of gifts on Christmas morning and then felt that persistent emptiness? Sure it felt nice for a minute, but the glow of stuff probably didn't even make it to the end of the day. Consumer culture tells us that stuff satisfies, have the most and you win! But it is dead wrong! He who has the most stuff should feel guilty! Stuff provides no meaning and only encourages us to think about ourselves and how to better serve ourselves. We instead need to look inward and upward to find that fulfilment that we will never find in any corporal object.

Christmas pleasure can be found in family, friends quality time and most importantly Christ. We do not need excesses of gifts to create pleasure this season. However,  I am not a Christmas scrooge. Presents are a part of Christmas. However let's consider a change in how we gift. Gift should have meaning and be special to the recipient. How do you feel when you get a Walmart gift card for a gift? Special, Considered? No, I doubt it, more like generic, and wondering if they know you at all. Instead of this hyper-consumerism and excess, let's aim this year to give fewer, but more special gifts. Consider the person, not the obligation when you check them off your list. Find that one gift for each person which really says "I Love you for you".

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