Lately, I have gotten the Christmas Spirit, but not the ordinary, buy until you drop, ship it via UPS and forget about it type of Christmas Spirit, another kind of Christmas Spirit that I have not felt before. It all started about a week ago, when I got home for the day and was watching a bit of TV with my family. Over the course of an hour, I noticed (or rather blurred out) the typical Christmas season commercials, when I was startled by my five year old’s mindless statement that she uttered after every commercial, which was, “I want that.” I am not sure if she even knew what she was saying. It creeped me out as it seemed like some sort of autonomic, conditioned response to the TV commercials.
Now, we are not the most religious family in the world; I do not regularly attend any services. But to me, the point of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Christ, albeit with pagan symbols and lunar cyclical overtones. Even with all the religious controversy, I have always loved the Christmas season. It seems that we have been brainwashed to accept as normal, the “Black Friday” baloney, as well as all the other rushed, stressed-out, mindless ritualistic, non-stop spending frenzy that the TV and government says is good for us.
On one of my recent radio broadcasts, I tackled this topic. I even went so far as to say that I was contemplating not buying my children Christmas presents this year. I expected a deluge of hate calls, however, all the calls I received were very supportive. During that same show, I also interviewed Klaus Holzapfel of Movie Bakery about his new Video Advent Calendar Project, which shows a profound Christmas related video every day during the month of December.
Though I am truly disgusted about the neo-consumerist pagan propaganda that is deceptively called “Christmas,” I will most likely buy gifts this year for my family. However, I am going to put more thought into it, rather than simply picking up mindless gift cards, or lead-laced plastic junk made in China.
The following two links go to places that have great gift ideas are thoughtful, and help provide meaningful work to entrepreneurs.
www.etsy.com – Is a gallery of handmade gifts for the holidays.
www.KIVA.org – Has gift certificates to provide micro loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries.