The Christmas commercialization questioner chorus
Tom Watson on
Dec. 10, 2011
At this time of year, ads to buy stuff are flooding the airwaves, filling the newspapers, popping up on websites, invading our e-mail and even sneaking on to our cell phones. In the interest of fair play, today let's give some exposure to a few organizations that have a different (maybe even revolutionary) take on Christmas:
1) Occupy Christmas
This is probably less a cohesive movement than a great, catchy name attached to a timely concept by various groups. An Oregon Public Broadcasting story a couple days ago mentioned an Occupy Christmas crafting project at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Ashland, Oregon.
2) Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping
One part self-promoting lunatic but probably a much bigger part a brilliant, equality-minded rabble-rouser, performance artist Reverend Billy and his cohorts like to raise havoc during the holiday season, usually in New York City and sometimes right in the middle of a big retail chain store.
3) Adbusters/Buy Nothing Day
The "Adbusters Media Foundation" is the Vancouver, BC-based anti-consumerism group founded by Kalle Lasn that was the spark-plug behind the Occupy Wall Street movement taking off this year. For years, Adbusters has promoted the Friday after Thanksgiving, traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year in North America, as "Buy Nothing Day."
4) Buy Nothing Christmas
Not that surprisingly, many church groups (such as the one mentioned above) love the "Christmas-should-be-about-more-than-just-stuff" concept, and a group of Mennonites in British Columbia (is there something in the water up there?) launched their Buy Nothing Christmas website in 2001. I'm not sure this effort has been as active lately as it was a few years ago, but this site still has lots of fun resources including posters and songs.
Got any more? Let me know! And as Reverend Billy says, "Earthalujah!"