Christmas Part 4: Commerce


For all the spending that goes on every Christmas, there seems to be a flurry of editorials dedicated to making you feel bad about said spending. You’re harming the Earth! You’re creating consumer debt! Don’t you know that there’s more to life than material things? It’s the same song and dance year in and year out. Don’t get me wrong, I see their point. There’s more to gift giving than spending a lot of money. We have to do all we can for the environment, because if Copenhagen’s any indication, our government is simply not interested. Still, there’s something missing from the “Buy Nothing” philosophy of Christmas.

The money generated from Christmas essentially pays most retailer salaries for the fiscal year. What would happen to them if Christmas never came? Is it a good thing for those people to be out of work? And how about that Chinese plastic crap they sell? The Chinese don’t need that money. All they’d do is spend it  on education, labor laws, and environmental regulations.

There is no one philosophy that explains everything. Our society is so interconnected that it takes variety of perspectives to figure out what to do. It’s complicated, but if we listen to the people that are affected by our actions, we can come up with actions that will result in some real change.