Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bah Humbug

This week seems like the lull before the storm. You know what storm I'm speaking about ----- the Christmas Holidays. I know that Christmas decorations were up before Halloween was over in some local stores. In fact, I was grocery shopping at Kroger's the other day and they were playing Christmas music.

Our society has turned Christmas into the biggest consumer event of the year. We feel guilty if we don't buy everyone we know a gift or, God forbid, we forget to send out Christmas cards to everyone in our address book.Instead of focusing on the holiness of the holiday, we have let our culture turn it into the most stressful time of the year.

As I continue to study Benedictine spirituality, where we are taught to listen for the voice of God and that material things can interfere with your Christian journey, I am trying to swim against the current cultural stream. It is really hard and it makes me feel guilty but I won't buy everyone I know a gift and I might not send out Christmas cards (that one is really hard). I won't go into debt to buy Ryss everything that commercials say she needs to be a happy teenager.

You are all invited to join me on this protest against the commercialization of Christmas. I'm still trying to figure out the right way to do this without seeming like "The Grinch".


DogBlogger said...

Part of how I handle it is to give through and in honor of people, and let that be what I give to them.

jo(e) said...

Oh, I like DogBlogger's idea!

My kids always give my parents "chore coupons" as presents -- little slips of paper their grandparents can use to call them up and ask them to do some kind of work. When the kids were little, my parents would just have them do token chores, like raking leaves or something, and it was mostly about the kids spending time with their grandparents. But now that my parents are elderly and my kids are adult-sized, the chore coupons have become much more valuable. My oldest son, for example, helped my father put a new roof on their camp for one coupon and set up the modem for their computer for another. Having the coupons makes my parents much more willing to ask for the help they need ...

Rev.Dulce said...

I have decided to the Heifer International donation. That way I know that it is going to a good cause and I don't have to worry about that tit-for-tat aspect of Christmas.