Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Church of Stuff- replay

Tomorrow is a holy day of obligation for many consumers. They prepared for their worship of  stuff by checking the ads, reading and comparing the best prices. They have their cell phones charged for communicating with friends who they are shopping with and have prepared their driving schedules to get to all the right stores. Although an hour or two is too much on Sundays for church (too busy), many will wake up before the sun rises to get the best deals on goods most likely made in China or another country that has no employee or environmental protections.

I don't shop on the day after Thanksgiving- or the day after Christmas for that matter. There are many days where I can find 'great deals' on random stuff. It is just too depressing to see all the consumerism in preparation of a holy day where we will  remember a tiny baby- who is God- born in a cave to parents who had almost nothing. On the years where I have ventured out to shop a bit on 'Black Friday,' I see people (not assuming- I know these people) who don't believe in Christ and actually are hostile towards His Church. Why are they charging stuff on a credit card to commemorate a holy day that they despise and scoff at?

Culturally, we love to give gifts for Christmas. We love the excitement of kids running down the stairs to check their stockings. I love that, too. I have great memories as a child of opening gifts. I love to give gifts. But the endless supply of STUFF that we Westerners get from poorer nations at cheap prices is not a way to celebrate Christ's birth.

I am trying to be more intentional in my gift giving. I encourage you to do so as well- Read this post to see where I am coming from on certain aspects of Christmas consumerism-  Let us all avoid being parishioners at the Church of Stuff. I promise to stop writing about this- but it is on my heart right now. But for today- 

I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving day!

A psalm for Thanksgiving
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness; come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord he is God; it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise; be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. (Psalm 100:1-5).


  1. Preoteasa,

    I did not really understand how bad this is, and how serious a problem it is, until I read some accounts of extreme behaviour at these sales.

    Pepper spray!!! It is bad enough that the police have it, but to use it shopping?

    A friend is Dutch and he told me about the St Nicholas tradition that they have in Holland. St Nicholas arrives on a steamship from Spain (where else do Catholic bishops come from??). He rides a white horse on the rooftops and is accompanied by a Moorish servant, Peter.

    Children leave a carrot in their clog for the horse. The present given to children goes into their clog: or if they are naughty children, he leaves a coal in their clog.

    The reason why I like this story is that I think it provides a sense of perspective about what should be given at Christmas - a token that will not distract from the Divine birth.



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