Every year, it seems the commercialism of Christmas becomes more extreme: decorations up before Halloween, incessant carols on the radio (if I hear the Chipmunks singing one more time I think I shall go mad!) and of course, rampant consumerism.
The Advent Conspiracy is a movement to try to reduce the consumption, and increase the reflection of this time of waiting. Their slogan is “worship fully, spend less, give more, love all”. Sounds like a fine idea, right?
But over on the Episcopal Cafe, a spirited discussion arose around the idea. Some readers felt that the Advent Conspiracy group was rather condescending towards those with less, who (as Jim Naughton put it) rely on Christmas sales to clothe their kids, and use Christmas as the one time of the year when they CAN be a little extravagant. And of course, the economy and those who Make Stuff really can be helped by our spending.
Naturally, being Episcopalians, there was a call for the via media: finding a middle way that can celebrate Advent and upcoming Christmas joyfully but remain mindful of, well, stewardship. (The Cathedral’s Alternative Gifts Fair is a great way to make every dollar count in multiple ways.)
What are you doing this year to resist the hype, but still plan the celebration? How are you keeping Advent special?