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Today marks the beginning of Advent, and a conspiracy.
November 28, 2010 9:26 PM   Subscribe

Advent Conspiracy begins today. In its 4th year, the movement continues to urge Christians to spend less money on Christmas gifts, and asks the question "What if Christmas became a world-changing event again?" Videos here and here. (Youtube)
posted by klausman (36 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is this the Christian equivalent of "Going Galt?"
posted by schmod at 9:29 PM on November 28, 2010


Again?
posted by CarlRossi at 9:34 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I remember hearing sermons against the commercialism of Christmas when I was 10, which was quite a while ago.

I don't think this is really a new movement, per se. Although perhaps with the internet, it can pick up more steam.

Mostly, I'm reminded that Charles Dickens is largely responsible for bringing Christmas back into vogue as a popular holiday.
posted by hippybear at 9:35 PM on November 28, 2010


Santa Claus is way nicer than Jesus ever thought about being.
posted by smcameron at 9:36 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


more plastic and mother boards for the children.
posted by clavdivs at 10:12 PM on November 28, 2010


I conspire with others to bake and eat delicious cookies and breads for Advent. Also, there is fruit and tea.

I think maybe some people are doing it wrong: And when it's all over [...] this empty feeling of missed purpose.

They have not eaten enough cookies if they are feeling empty. Also, they should have some stollen - it is rich and filling.
posted by ssg at 10:14 PM on November 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


posted by klausman

Conflict of interest much?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:59 PM on November 28, 2010 [10 favorites]


ISN'T THERE ANYONE? WHO KNOWS WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT?
posted by infinitewindow at 11:18 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm a non-religious capitalist, and the commercialization of Christmas still gets on my nerves.
posted by Harald74 at 11:35 PM on November 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


it's all just so predictably Christlike
posted by philip-random at 12:24 AM on November 29, 2010


Chri$tma$$
posted by adamvasco at 2:03 AM on November 29, 2010


Yes. Don't spend money on Christmas. Kill retail. Allow people to lose their jobs. Let the recession continue. Be selfish. Or spend money. Help people in retail support their families and children. Share Christmas by spending money, supporting jobs and, incidentally, getting stuff for yourselves and others. Hey, Christmas isn't all about YOU and your smug little attitudes toward materialism.
posted by Faze at 3:26 AM on November 29, 2010


*eyeroll* Much as I want to see the economy improve, I am not going to make myself broke getting everyone new X-Boxes to do it.

There is a middle ground between "wear burlap and give nothing but twigs" and "spend thousands for everyone", Faze. That's all they're saying.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:28 AM on November 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Santa Claus is way nicer than Jesus ever thought about being.


Santa didn't die for my sins.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:38 AM on November 29, 2010


Look, Charlie, let's face it. We all know that Christmas is a big commercial racket. It's run by a big eastern syndicate, you know.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:38 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]



Santa didn't die for my sins.

Maybe not.
But he brings joy to millions of children - unlike Jesus who frightens the hell (lol) out of a lot of adults.
posted by notreally at 4:56 AM on November 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Santa didn't die for my sins.

I can arrange that for you, my dear.
posted by Mister_A at 5:28 AM on November 29, 2010


I am very sorry to have to inform you...
posted by adamvasco at 5:51 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm that crazy guy who only gives books as gifts. For everything. It means I can do all my Christmas shopping in a single location that, potentially, has something for every possible taste or interest on my list. Half-Priced Books when money is tight or perhaps one of the upscale places when I'm flush. Best of all, books are invariably easy to wrap...
posted by jim in austin at 6:05 AM on November 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


they're starting this 2 days after black friday? - that's not what i'd call effective timing
posted by pyramid termite at 6:57 AM on November 29, 2010


unlike Jesus who frightens the hell (lol) out of a lot of adults.

as well He should!

back on topic, the annual orgy of buying won't end, and nobody is trying to end it. the suggestion is to buy less expensive, more meaningful gifts, and put the difference into clean water for people who desperately need it. that ought to make sense to even the most cynical of us.

as for myself, i've observed that my grandchildren really have no need for additional toys/playthings this year. i'm getting them each a Living Water gift card. we'll go online together and they can allocate them as they wish. it's going to be cool!
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 7:11 AM on November 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's not purchasing for the purpose of gift-giving in general that's the problem so much as being obligated to do it at a specific time. I would rather give someone a brand new bicycle in mid-May four days after their old one was stolen and they really need it to get to work... or buy someone a new laptop in late August when they launch their new online editing service and their aging, unstable virus-prone desktop machine is monopolized by their school-age daughter... or slip some cash into an envelope, and then into someone's purse when their back is turned, all because their place of employment just burned down and they still have to make their mortgage payment than month.

Instead, we are expected to buy things for everyone we know at a predetermined time regardless of their actual current needs, so people end up unwrapping piles of useless disposable shit and forcing a twisted grin of mock delight on their face, once a year.

It makes gifting something we loath, instead of love.
posted by CynicalKnight at 8:01 AM on November 29, 2010 [10 favorites]


I like this because more people need to hear the message that it is okay to not buy into the commercialization of the holiday.
posted by dgran at 8:15 AM on November 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Faze: "Hey, Christmas isn't all about YOU and your smug little attitudes toward materialism."

No, I think you've cornered the market on that one. But that made me laugh, anyway.
posted by sneebler at 8:18 AM on November 29, 2010


unlike Jesus who frightens the hell (lol) out of a lot of adults

Is it really Jesus who frightens the adults? I haven't read any of the spinoffs set in the same universe in a while, but from what I recall of the original series was that it's Jesus' narcissistic, abusive father (I mean the Yahweh character, not Mary's cuckolded husband) who was the scary one. Granted, it's a pretty poorly written and confusing drama one way or another, so I might have missed something.
posted by cmonkey at 8:18 AM on November 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


Santa Claus is way nicer than Jesus ever thought about being.

He knows if you are sleeping.
He knows if you're awake.
He knows if you've been bad or good,
So be good for goodness sake.

That ain't Jesus they're singing about.
posted by philip-random at 8:27 AM on November 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yes. Don't spend money on Christmas. Kill retail. Allow people to lose their jobs. Let the recession continue. Be selfish. Or spend money. Help people in retail support their families and children.
Many years ago this was a thriving, happy planet - people, cities, shops, a normal world. Except that on the high streets of these cities there were slightly more shoe shops than one might have thought necessary. And slowly, insidiously, the number of the shoe shops were increasing. It's a well-known economic phenomenon but tragic to see it in operation, for the more shoe shops there were, the more shoes they had to make and the worse and more unwearable they became. And the worse they were to wear, the more people had to buy to keep themselves shod, and the more the shops proliferated, until the whole economy of the place passed what I believe is termed the Shoe Event Horizon, and it became no longer economically possible to build anything other than shoe shops. Result - collapse, ruin and famine. Most of the population died out. Those few who had the right kind of genetic instability mutated into birds who cursed their feet, cursed the ground and vowed that no one should walk on it again.

From Restaurant at the End of the Universe
by Douglas Adams
posted by scalefree at 8:35 AM on November 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Faze: Hey, Christmas isn't all about YOU and your smug little attitudes toward materialism.

It isn't problematic at all that we were reminded on an almost 24/7 basis all throughout the past 4-5 days that OMG Black Friday is here and look at all the pretty shoppers mobbing the malls and trampling one another and buying and buying and buying and did you notice they're saving the economy even though all the jobs their spending is generating are only seasonal jobs that will end as soon as Xmas does and why aren't you out there waiting for the malls to open in sub-freezing temperatures and warming your hands over trash-can fires so you can buy buy buy too?
posted by blucevalo at 8:41 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


"So, what happened? What was once a time to celebrate the birth of a savior has somehow turned into a season of stress, traffic jams, and shopping lists."

There are very strong economic forces shaping our culture.
It's not that humanity wandered down some dark path and fell astray, and you can't honestly expect any kind of widespread, lasting change without actually addressing the forces that compel people to engage in the oft-criticized behavior.
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:26 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


"What if Christmas became a world-changing event again?"

What, like it went back to being the celebration of the birth of Mithras?
posted by FatherDagon at 9:37 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


What, like it went back to being the celebration of the birth of Mithras?

Better yet, a celebration of the birth of Mithrandir. Imagine the marketing possibilities.
posted by saturday_morning at 10:40 AM on November 29, 2010


Merry Mithras!
posted by grubi at 12:31 PM on November 29, 2010


Santa Claus is way nicer than Jesus ever thought about being.

Good is not nice.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:07 PM on November 29, 2010


Santa didn't die for my sins.

Neither did a fig-hating, bear-wielding zombie wizard.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:43 PM on November 29, 2010


I'm that crazy guy who only gives books as gifts. For everything. It means I can do all my Christmas shopping in a single location that, potentially, has something for every possible taste or interest on my list.

..."that crazy guy"? You say that like there's something wrong with books as gifts.

75% of the time I'm giving someone a book, and 85% of the time it's all I want to receive. Yay books!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:08 PM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, Empress, definitely not a bad thing. My wife and I do our shopping together. She picks out all the books she wants and I choose mine. We wrap them up, put them under the tree labeled as though they came from the other and then on Christmas morning each of us gets exactly what we wanted...
posted by jim in austin at 5:55 PM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


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