I longed to put together something on “Christmas and consumerism,” after watching The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard.
I thought it would be easy to find a slew of sermons and op-eds on the evils of consumerism and commericialism at Christmas out on the Internet. Not so correct. (Granted, the more or less official statements I found came from prestigious sources, like the American Bible Society and Pope Benedict XVI. Maybe I haven’t hit the right key words yet . . .)
Instead, searching on words like “commercialism” and “consumerism” turned up a number of vociferous defenses of Christmas shopping.
Also some Christian-action-oriented sites, like the Rev. Billy’s project, What Would Jesus Buy?, the Advent Conspiracy project of the not-at-all feminist Imago Dei community, and Aiden Enns’ Buy Nothing Christmas.
And on the feminist side of things, Feminist Finance’s highly ambiguous take on the Angel tree phenomenon), some celebration of consumption as a right/rite of feminist identification, and this still-trenchant 2003 reminder from Katha Pollitt on the ever-present possibility of charitable giving as an alternative to unbridled consumer spending.
Even with recession staring the global economy in the face, those with suspicions about the value of stuff and inclinations to seek alternatives to its accumulation seem (to me) to be on the right track.
Like the person who said “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
[The image is from Auntie Kate’s blog]