Buy Nothing: Thoughts on Holiday Season Spending

"Buy Nothing Day" graphic with price tag and dollar sign

[Insert quote’s on Page 20 of Acting out Culture textbook…]

[Insert prompt —]

Make Your Own Rules:
Jesus is the Reason to Rethink the Season

Christmas package wrapped in red and green with text,

No two words incite emotion reminiscent of post-traumatic stress syndrome like “holiday shopping.” While giddy shoppers may enter Christmas-themed store aisles in July, those still immersed in the madness by November may not escape the “Scrooge Effect” that is sure to ensue.

To address both perspectives on holiday shopping, I am definitely a “rule breaker” versus a “rule maker.” A mediating Santa graphic appears in our textbook above the words, “Buy Nothing Christmas: Rethink the Season” (p. 21). While this is certainly the side of the argument with which I most identify, I assert the theme of this year’s holiday shopping season be the rewritten version I’ve created as follows:

“Jesus paid it all.
So, skip the mall
lest in debt you fall.”

I think this would be a healthy perspective to employee, but the slogan, Thank Jesus for being the reason for this ‘Buy Nothing Holiday Season’, would certainly not be nearly as catchy as advertisers would hope. Ironically, any company selling ‘Buy Nothing Holiday Season’ T-shirts or souvenirs would likely find success in a marketplace devoid of “holiday shopping.” Further, the concept is promotionally golden. Any company (especially churches and religious institutions) could create all kinds of free promotional items to giveaway in coordination with the premise while pushing out information, etc.

Knowing what each of us believes is vital to getting a glimpse at our ‘true selves’, the goal of a majority of college-adged students. Our textbook notes that “holiday shopping is as much a part of our beliefs as the holidays we’re shopping for” (p. 20). Upon first reading this statement, I vehemently disagreed because I thought it belittled the gravity of the reason each holiday is celebrated. However, after further contemplation, I see a great deal of truth in the statement. Expanding from an individualistic view, a company could fulfill an impressive amount of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) requirements by involving itself in this idealized remixed holiday season.

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