Those of you in the know will, of course, recognise the title from an episode of South Park.
So, it’s christmas time again. Or, for me, and the 7,500 other Jews in NZ, Hannukah time (December 8th – 15th to be exact).
But I’m not here to talk about the festival of lights. Rather, I’m here to pass judgement on the festival of consumerism.
Cal posted over at Musical on a similar note, and I have to quote a quick passage which I fully agree with.
lately I’ve been really questioning the way my family (and many other families) spends Christmas. We spend so much money on thing we don’t really need, we wrap them up in copious amounts of wrapping and packaging. We spend hours in sterile shopping malls, standing in queues, stressing about how much we still have to do
There are better ways to spend Christmas.
move towards a ‘give to people who need it more than we do’ Christmas. There are heaps of ways to do this, like:
Using the Oxfam site to buy goats and chickens etc for people who need stuff way more than we do. And it’s useful stuff too.
Pick a family member each and choose a charity that you think they’d support. Make a donation to it in their name.
Put all your money together that you would have spent on Christmas presents and sponsor a child (or 2, or 3) for the year.
Give the money to a local charity that works with families in poverty
Send the money to someone you know someone working overseas in a developing country.
The important thing is that this is not a way to be a cheapskate. The idea is that you donate as much as you would have spent on Christmas presents
Personally, I’ve never celebrated christmas. Sure, I enjoy presents as much as anyone, but I would much rather get a letter from a friend than a bland, meaningless music voucher. I would much rather get breakfast in bed than some new socks. Christmas has always struck me as just another way to keep people in or on the verge of debt, to surround people with crap they don’t need and never knew they even wanted.
So, take this suggestion. This christmas, tell someone you love them. Tell a friend how much you value your connection. Make breakfast in bed for your parents. And, if you do feel an urge to spend some money, or if you have some spare and aren’t already in debt, then please, give it to a worthy cause.