Christmas, consumers, gifts and gratitude

For a blog that is supposed to have a focus on consumerism and generosity it’s been a while since I posted on the subject. However, I have been stacking up a substantial backlog of posts that I’ve noticed but not quite managed to write about it. This post both clears the decks and gives plenty of food for thought.

If you hadn’t noticed it’s nearly Christmas, that time of year where we go slightly loco with money and stuff, and it’s a unique event. Rampant consumerism and the celebration of the birth of Christ in a stable, and it was combining those two things that led to this very clever advert. Of course in the race to condemn all this excess we may kill all the fun or so thinks Sarah Dunn. This chart shows Christmas spending by country.

Unsurprisingly, in America despite not having the most money they will spend nearly the most on gifts. This is because, as Eugene Peterson says in this short video, the most materialistic we have ever known and shows how to handle wealth! (Ht: Mark Meynell)

It was following a drive through America that Tim Challies began to seriously think about the issue of money. He found this prayer on stuff and contentment and then ways to think wrongly about money. He then asks the questions do I have to give? And if so how much do I give? 

This all goes to show that we live in a consumer age and it’s a pressure not evenly felt. By that I mean, as this post says, ‘UK parents seem to find themselves under tremendous pressure to purchase a surfeit of material goods for their children. This compulsive consumption was almost completely absent in both Spain and Sweden.’ A thesis that our personal experience can anecdotally support.

The best antidote is to be generous and to cultivate gratitude and that takes some thought. It’s worth thinking about.



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One Thought to “Christmas, consumers, gifts and gratitude”

  1. Luke

    Interesting ‘other side’ of perspective on western materialism:

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