buy noyhing christmas toolkit
Think of the gift you could give to yourself this Christmas if you just bought nothing. No mall madness. No long waits in crowded shopping lines for checkout. No more feeling like you just cannot get in the car again. No Christmas Eve desperate shoppping at Walgreen's.
Yes, join the anti-consumer protest against excess and BUY NOTHING this CHRISTMAS. Keep Jesus' birthday sacred, holy, meaningful and calm. You won't have to feel like throwing up in January when Christmas' credit card bills come.
Why Buy Nothing Christmas?
We all know we live in a culture of excess. Shop, shop, until you drop, right?
Wrong. The gap between the rich and the poor grows wider all the time. Pope Francis compares this hurtful gap to killing and uses the Thou Shalt Not Kill commandment against it.
Buy Nothing Christmas was started by the Canadian Mennonite Group. This religion has a long history of taking action to help those in need and working for peace and justice. It is a way of acknowledging the crisis in the global economy.
Can you admit that spending money, money, money is a false way of living that keeps us from authentic lives? Does your spouse really need or even want another sweater, bottle of cologne, or newest technologic gasket?
This Christmas Gifts From the Heart
Here are some alternative gift ideas from the info kit of the Buy Nothing Christmas organizers and from other activist orgs who are supporting this boycott. Check out these simple, free and low-cost alternative suggestions. I particularly like, and plan to make, poems for loved ones, Linux (it is free or under $3.00--go here: and personalized calandars. Naturally I wilso browse at my favorite thrift store for used books, Christmas aprons and table decorations, or maybe a wonderful ornament. And here are more ideas:
really like the notion of creating homemade collages for loved ones. I made some for my children and it was a creation that came from a heart full of love.
Here's how to make this mindful gift:
Turn out the lights and listen to the silence as you think of someone you would like to give a collage to. What qualities does this person have? Why do love them? What are their hobbies, interests, passions and issues they care about? Meditate on this and wait for intuitive ideas.
Now go through the house and gather magazines. If you don't have any, you can buy them at most thrift stores for about a dime each. Then get a cup of coffee oor other favorite beverage, put on some Christmas music or music that reminds you of the person you are making this for and begin. Go through each magazine and rip out any art, pictures, photos, or words that remind you of your gift receiver.
When you have a big pile of torn pieces, get a large posterboard or even a piece of cardboard, some white glue, maybe some paint, stickers, little decorations like stick-on stars or hearts, markers, and anything else that seems to fit. Get a pair of scissors and begin to trim your pictures. Crazy scissors from art supply stores are fun here. When everything is neatly trimmed, spread some of it out on your posterboard and begin thinking of your design. What do you want to put where? Do you want to glue some of them to colored paper backgrounds. Do you want to paint some or all of your work surface?
Go wild. Ideas will begin to get you excited. What do you want to say to the person you're giving it to about who you think they are, the things that turn them on, the special positive qualities they have. etc. Maybe you want to go through some of your own photos and use a baby picture or a recent shot that really shows something about who they are.
There's more. How about something from the Buy Nothing Catalog. Go ahead and use that picture of a hug.
Or maybe they would like to get into the spirit of this new holiday tradition with a Buy Nothing Christmas poster.
Further reading about geting out of the consumer culture to sanity and reverence for life.
Become an activist against consumerism. Go here to get started.