Many progressives eschew greasing the corporate machinery during the holiday season, choosing instead to avoid the stores during the after-Thanksgiving frenzy (Buy Nothing Day, which was Nov. 28 in the US and Nov. 29 in the UK) and throughout the Christmas/Chanukah shopping season. From the Buy Nothing Christmas site:
This Christmas we’ll be swamped with offers, ads and invitations to buy more stuff. But now there’s a way to say “enough” and join a movement dedicated to reviving the original meaning of Christmas giving.
Buy Nothing Christmas is a national initiative started by Canadian Mennonites but open to everyone with a thirst for change and a desire for action.
Buy Nothing Christmas is a stress-reliever, and more people need to hear about it. You can change your world by simply putting up one of the posters (or make your own) in your church, place of worship, home or work. Be sneaky about it if you have to. The point is to get people thinking. It’s an idea whose time has come, so get out there and make a difference!
Do what you want with your money and time, of course. But why not give this idea some consideration? There is no law that you have to spend holiday-planning time at the mall. Spend time instead volunteering for do-gooder groups or visiting your friends and family members. Make handmade gifts from treasures you find around the house. Bake loved ones cakes or cookies as presents. Offer services such as babysitting or lawn care to those you love. Write a song or poem for that special someone. Or donate to your favorite progressive organizations and charitable efforts in the names of loved ones.
Christmas is supposed to be about peace, goodwill, and the birth of a child. Chanukah is supposed to celebrate a miracle and honor faith. Nowhere in the accompanying documents is there any mention of mandated shopping. So give a thought to trying something different this holiday season — it may end up making this most wonderful time of the year more special and more wonderful for you.