A wise person over at Kuro5hin has made a superb recommendation: a No-Shopping Christmas. His sentiment is far less wacky and anarchist than Buy Nothing Day. This is a cogently-written, short piece about alternatives to the shopping hell that is the Christmas season:
No Shopping Christmas is a simple, yet heavy concept: buy no gifts for Christmas out of obligation, and inform others of your intent so that they do not feel obligated to buy you gifts in return. Don’t waste money on lame decorations, and thank you kindly for not killing the trees. Spend time with your family and friends instead of spending money on them. Participate in the traditions of your religion of choice. Or not. Accept Christmas as a time for rest, relaxation, and spending time with people outside of shopping malls.
It may have to do with my bizarre, extremely-broad family tree, but I loathe Christmas and most of what it represents. I particularly hate Christmas shopping, and so make it a policy to never enter a store without knowing what I’m buying.
On a more ascetic level, I have so much stuff already. So does everybody else in my family (with the exception, perhaps, of my more ascetic brother, and he doesn’t want anything). I have more difficulty creating a wishlist for myself than I do choosing gifts for other people (with the exception, perhaps, of the aforementioned Spartan brother). This isn’t humility on my part, it’s just a lack of wanting things. Particularly things that I don’t choose for myself. I suppose I should just ask everyone to give me vouchers for travelling. Hmm…that’s not a bad idea.
One of the comments following the Kuro5hin piece is spot-on: ‘On average, all Christmas amounts to is a bunch of people getting in a circle and everyone handing each other $50. What’s the point of that?’