When American Research Group asked 1100 potential holiday shoppers, "What do you think you will spend on gifts this Christmas?", the average amount came to $861 dollars, up 8% over last year's anticipated spending. That figure is down from the peak in 2001 of $1053 dollars.
How did spending a bunch of money on competitive gift giving become associated with our winter celebrations?
If one is celebrating the birth of Christ this time of year, then the presents should be for him. But I don't remember anywhere saying that he requested $861 dollars worth of presents on Christmas. I think all he wanted was for us to be good to each other and the planet. Is that a gift we can handle?
If not celebrating a birthday, perhaps a pagan pre-Christmas winter solstice celebration is more to your liking. There are several from which to choose.
For festivities like Saturnalia or Yule you don't need to go shopping at all. You just need a bonfire and/or a log to burn in the hearth. Family, friends and feasting are good too, as are singing and dancing together.
Regardless of how you choose to celebrate - love, forgiveness, peace, and new beginnings are what we need to keep in mind. Not things. Or stuff. Or crap.
Happy Buy Nothing Xmas.