What’s your favourite part about Christmas? You know what most kids would tell you: presents! Hey, presents are cool. But now that Black Friday is here and there are probably ten times as many sales during the holiday season as there are candlelight Christmas services, it makes me wonder if shopping is now the utmost priority for most people celebrating Christmas. If we are honest with ourselves, we know that this isn’t what Christmas is about. Christmas is about Jesus. It is about family, peace and goodwill.
It’s supposed to be a time for celebrating and reflecting. I think it’s sad that we spend most of this time not celebrating – certainly not reflecting – but stressing trying to figure out what to buy difficult Uncle Phil and what to make for Christmas dinner that is peanut-free, gluten-free and vegan. Not to mention buying gifts or cards from everyone you are on a first-name basis with, out of a false sense of obligation.
A group of Canadian mennonites recently made a radical, yet refreshing, suggestion: make it a buy-nothing Christmas. To many, it sounds like severe deprivation. It’s not. It only seems that way because it’s not the philosophy we’re used to. We’re being led the completely opposite direction by advertising. I tried to talk my mom into a buy-nothing Christmas and instead exchange homemade gifts that come from the heart (and everyone in my family is crafty in one way or another). But it was a no-go. “It’s depriving yourself,” she said.
Twenty-four more days. I’ll convince her yet.
While there’s still time, check out www.buynothingchristmas.org.