Consumerism and Christmas

It seems that the popular thing to do today is criticize Christmas for its consumerism driven nature. I think the people who make Christmas about consumerism and the people who criticize Christmas for being strictly about presents and shopping and things are missing the point behind Christmas.

Do we call Birthdays a consumer holiday? I don’t think so.

Now, I’m not saying that there are not some misguided people who make Christmas all about consumerism. I’m talking about the people who skip Thanksgiving to go shopping, or the people who trample each other for the best deal. That is where the critics are correct. These people are focused on WHAT to buy not WHO they are buying for.

To break this trend we need to focus on the spirit of giving. Especially with kids, they tend to love whatever they get. That is what Christmas is about: giving and receiving. The important thing to note here the difference between giving and receiving, and giving and receiving THINGS. We need to remind our kids and remember ourselves that it doesn’t matter what you receive, it matters that you receive. Be glad for whatever you get.

Some suggest that the answer is to give donations to charity instead of gifts. And for some people that is the best thing you can do. It is a great gift and helps to improve the world as a whole. But something has to be said for that moment when you see something as you shop around and think “Yes! That’s perfect.” And your face lights up when you think of how their face will light up.

It’s about the meaning and intention behind the gift more than it is about the physical gift. We need to remember that and teach our kids that idea: being thankful that the giver thought of them during the holidays.

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