Every year after the passing of Halloween it is like clockwork that the Christmas decorations come out and the shopping begins. People run to the stores, overload their credit cards to buy things they don’t need and impress people they don’t care about. Many people re-gift presents or the intelligent pro-planning consumer may buy things throughout the year when they go on sale. As well, some may purchase their next’s years gifts on Boxing Day; it’s like the snake is eating its own tail. Before it ends, it`s already begun. The vicious cycle of consumption flows on, while the destruction of our environment continues because of toys and useless items we could do without.
I use to love Christmas time when I was a child for all the family moments, chocolates, Christmas carols and of course the gifts. However, it was only after I got older and had to buy presents did I realize the amount of guilt involved and the ‘Con of Christmas’. It is no longer about Jesus, God or even generosity. It’s become a race, just like the rat race; but now to the end of your wallet. While corporations, credit cards companies are busting in the cash and laughing till the North Pole ( or should I say South.. have a nice vacation? ) It seems the whole idea of this holiday is to scam the working class. Thinking that by owning, they will be closer to happiness and yet the happiness fades as the bills roll in. It’s an intelligent scheme that they even created films to make one feel guilty if they do not participate in the madness. Ever been called a Grinch? And oh noo you wouldn’t want to be a scrooge! As well, you wouldn’t want your children to cry on Christmas Day when they didn’t get the game or toy you can’t even figure out how to work.
It’s all been monetized, and when I go to the malls I don’t feel Christmas cheer, I feel stress. I see parents running like chickens with their heads cut off trying to get all the gifts in time. Yes, there are still beautiful moments at Christmas but my issue is not with Christmas, it’s with CONSUMASS.
This time of the year is about getting together with family, celebrating, and reflecting on what one wishes for the New Year. The focus should be on gratitude, on appreciating sacrifice and connecting with the divine. Dec 25th is the death of the old sun and makes way for the new sun and the new year. It is a great time for reflection and rebirth of ideas, goals and ourselves.
Even people that are not catholic are participating in Consumass, but they are not participating in Christmas ( the idea of what is supposed to be- generosity, celebration love: these are all general ideas and concepts that any religion can follow regardless if they do not celebrate the birth of Christ)
We can all celebrate Christmas but the pressure of shopping has to be put a side. If other religions are practicing Consumass, it shows how contagious this shopping diease has become. However, other religions should instead use this time to connect with their form of the Divine as well. As a society we need to reflect on this day and what was given. We were given the opportunity to be forgiven, to let go of wrong doings and to celebrate rebirth.
All religions are one, their goal is to be a better person, to honour the life force and to choose morality. It doesn’t matter if you are muslim, hindu, christian, jewish, jain, buddhist; all of us can use the month of December as a time of reflection, inner journeys and to see what we no longer wish to carry and what instead we wish to create for the new year.
Make this Christmas different. Focus not on what you can get, not even what you can give, but what you can SHARE. Most of us have more than we need materially, but our souls are in need of refreshment.
Share laughter, music, food, experience.. the list is endless and if you must show it in a material way create something. We have so many talents we could use and it whens we dive into our own creativity that we give an authentic gift from the heart.
This Christmas instead of buying, I am making. Instead of shopping, I am creating. Make gifts for your love ones; show them how you care in other ways than just shopping. The heart knows how to express itself it just needs to be given a chance. Think of how you can spend time with your loved ones instead of buying things.
If your family comments on your choice to not participate in the consumerist aspect of this holiday then explain why and I am sure they will agree with you. There is more to the Birth of God than emptying our wallets, and I am sure God would agree. Jesus did not preach a religion of money, but of love. As quoted in the bible you cannot worship money and God at the same time.
So what will it be Christmas or Consumass?