So I share this post below from August 2012 with my reflections on Boycotting Christmas. Let’s rage against the commercialism machine and try something different this year!
Am I too late?
You haven’t purchased your Christmas gifts yet, have you?
Well, if you have, I say take them back!
Don’t fall for all that commercial Christmas crap. Really…you don’t have to buy something for everyone you know. You don’t have to get your children or grandchildren, your spouse or girlfriend or boyfriend or partner everything they want.
Every year I am overwhelmed and saddened with the intense marketing of Christmas. Remember when you didn’t see any signs of the Christmas season until after Thanksgiving? What a sacred practice. These days it seems like pushing Christmas purchases is fair game shortly after Halloween.
What gets me the most is that Christmas, the Holy Day (of celebrating the birth of Christ) has become overshadowed by the crazy frenzy known as Christmas, the Holiday.
I’m not one to routinely tout “Keep Christ in Christ-mas” but I do long to reclaim the holy significance of the day and separate it from the consumer madness of the holiday. (I love the fact that many countries exchange gifts at other times. When I lived in the Netherlands my Junior year in high school, we exchanged gifts on the eve of December 6. Each person got ONE gift, given anonymously by another family member. Sweet and simple.)
To practice what I preach, I’m boycotting the commercial Christmas this year. My family was informed this summer, so as to ease the shock, that they should not expect any gifts this year for Christmas. We have always kept the gift-giving to a minimum, but this December 25 we are going to a big fat ZERO. Zip. Nada. Zilch.
Now, I know. I am probably sounding a bit Grinch-like right now.
But consider this:
If you are a Christian, how do the ways you celebrate Christmas, the Holiday, help you to grow in your faith?
Are you and your family and friends able to exchange gifts without any disappointment, jealously, envy, stress (in finding the right gift), or pressure (in not leaving anyone out)?
Is the money spent on gifts from your financial surplus or do you go deeper into debt because of your purchases?
What expectations arise in celebrating Christmas? How are those expectations typically met or dashed?
I am so tired of our society’s over consumption this time of year. And I cringe at the environmental impact of the useless junk sold in the name of Christmas, the Holiday.
Every year I meet far too many people during and after the holiday season who seem drained and disheartened—myself included.
Instead of glowing with the promise of the Christ Child, spirits are dimmed with overexertion and disappointments.
So here is my challenge to you.
Remove the commercialism from this year’s Christmas season.
Avoid buying Christmas gifts!
Instead, spend time with family, reach out to the needy, gather with friends.
In fact, do it today!
Don’t wait until December to support your favorite charity, visit and comfort shut-ins or serve a meal at a local homeless shelter.
If you want to do something special for your loved ones, surprise them long before the Holiday season.
Give small, meaningful gifts throughout the year. Better yet, give the gift of yourself. Offer your time and show your love to family, friends, and even strangers each and every day.
Spend the Season of Advent (the four weeks before Christmas) contemplating what the arrival of the Christ Child means to you as a Christian.
And when December 25th finally rolls around, allow yourself to be absorbed in Christmas, the Holy Day.
On that special day, take time to consider the difference being a follower of Jesus has made in your life…