The approach of the Christmas season is heralded by signs no less consistent than those foretelling the approach of the Wet season. Emails from the Red Cross, the Wilderness Society and other charities arrive in our inboxes, reminding us that not everyone can afford the Christmas they want and that we should help where we can; banner headlines announce that Aussies will spend X billion dollars before Christmas and celebrate/lament the growth/slump since last year; paper catalogues land in our letterboxes, sometimes in spite of our “No Junk Mail” stickers; and every shop in the city is festooned with glittery red, green and white decorations and “Pre-Christmas Sale” signs.
Where, in all this, is Christ? MIA, apparently, either smothered under a heap of Santa costumes or sitting quietly in a corner lamenting our thoughtless, selfish materialism.
I’m not quite so angry about it all as the American gentleman above (thanks to FB for the image) but each year since I began this blog I have written about how not to lose sight of our common sense and decency in the commercial maelstrom. Give Twice for Christmas (2012) is as relevant as ever and I would encourage you to click through to it if you haven’t already read it, but here are some more suggestions by way of an update on it:
- Kiva now allows people to set up a gift register if they would like gifts to them to become loans to Kiva borrowers. (Don’t know Kiva? Start here.)
- A blogger whose focus is simple living has created a worthwhile list of non-toy gifts for children; scroll down and you will find similar lists for other family members.
- Sustainable Table, a not-for-profit organisation which focuses on food sustainability, has put together a similar guide to Christmas shopping. The Energy Collective has done the same.
Whatever you do, try to have a good Christmas – good as in ethical, ethical as in sustainable – as well as a happy one.