|You don't have to BUY a gift to GIVE a gift|
As Linus, of Peanuts cartoon fame discovered, "Christmas is not only getting too commercial, it's getting too dangerous!" These days you never know when you might get pepper sprayed by a hyper-competitive super shopper lunging for an Xbox.
But personal safety is not the only reason I am opting out of the commercialized craziness.
Here are a few others:
- 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 dollars a day - participating in a high-consumption Christmas does them an injustice.
- because I believe in counter-culture protest, peace activism, as well as human and ecological rights
- it is one way for me to withdraw my support for a corporate-dominated world - corporations are not kings, and I am not a consumer serf
- it is a way to re-assert my political power and take a meaningful action now
- as a way of addressing poverty - traditional Christmas emphasizes caring for those less fortunate during the holiday season, but does little to implement systematic changes that would eliminate the need for charity
- it brings attention to the national and global imbalance of power and wealth
So maybe as we close in on the holiday season we can engage our friends and family in discussions about free-market consumer capitalism, inequality, human rights, and justice, rather than what we are getting each other for Christmas.
Instead of rushing off to compete for parking spots and bargains - and risking a competitive shopping injury - let us brainstorm solutions for our broken planet.
Love and goodwill will reign when we leave the shopping behind.