buy nothing christmas '03
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Posters

New study kit for youth

Christmas Carols

Mini Song Cards/Info Sheets

Link to us

Comments and ideas from readers

For further reading

Information Kit

3-Session Christmas Study Guide

COUPONS

Give your love and affection this Christmas.

Use this ready-to-print set of 3 coupons for desserts, child care or back massages.

Download 32K jpg
or 108K pdf
(the pdf prints nicer)

 

MINI SONG CARDS/INFO SHEETS

Download the PDF here:
(To Download: Right click and choose the "Save Target As" option)

BND Song Cards.pdf
(PDF 402 KB)

POSTERS

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3-SESSION CHRISTMAS STUDY GUIDE

Download the Study Guides here:
(To Download: Right click and choose the "Save Target As" option)

Session 1: EXAMINING THE STORY OF CHRIST'S BIRTH (Word Doc 22 KB)

Session 2: THE CELEBRATION OF CHRISTMAS (Word Doc 24 KB)

Session 3: CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO CONSUMERISM (Word Doc 25 KB)

FOR FURTHER READING

If you have any other reading suggestions or resources on how to practice a Buy Nothing Christmas, please let us know.

Bill McKibben, Hundred Dollar Holiday (Simon & Shuster, 1998). See his article on the Simplify the Holidays website, www.newdream.org/holiday/home.html.

Sallie McFague, Life Abundant: Rethinking Theology and Economy for a Planet in Peril (Fortress, 2001). Wow.

Herman E. Daly and John B. Cobb, Jr. in For the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy Toward Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable Future (Beacon Press, 1994). Thick

Trek: Venture into a World of Enough, a resource packet available from Mennonite Central Committee (www.mcc.org).

Doris Janzen Longacre, Living More With Less (Herald Press, 1980).

SEE ALSO:

Alternatives for Simple Living A 30-year-old, non-profit organization that equips people of faith to challenge consumerism, live justly and celebrate responsibly.


LINK TO buynothingchristmas.org

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COMMENTS AND IDEAS FROM READERS

Here are some ideas and other feedback we've received from other readers. You are welcome to submit your comments or ideas as well.

Collect for other families
Our extended family used to exchange names for Christmas. We'd make wish lists for each other to try to cut down on the drudgery of shopping. A few years ago someone got the idea of collecting money for needy families instead of shopping for each other. Usually we give the money to someone that one of our family's knows or has some connection to.

This way of sharing Christmas cheer is much more satisfactory than spending money on each other. The tearful "thank yous" that we have received are better than the "I wonder if I spent as much money as my sister-n-law?" concerns that we used to experience. The generosity is probably exceeded as well.

—Bev Short and Reimar Goetzke, Fort Langley, British Columbia

Foot massages
When I was a diagnostician with children, I asked one lad what he wanted as a reward for reading to his mother for fifteen minutes each night. His reply was that he really wanted her to "just be with him to chat a bit." This insight made me realize that we could drastically change our gift giving.

On the next "gift" occasion John gave me a coupon book to be redeemed before the year was up. Imagine the delight when I looked at the colourful drawings and wee "ads" for everything from a foot massage (when asked), to making me a cup of hot drink on request. Going for a leisurely walk when desired was also very special, or looking at photos of places we had visited.

So if people want high quality time on request, a coupon book with desirable sharing experiences is our wee contribution to your Christmas tree of less commercial goodies.

—Sally and John Guggenheimer, Abbotsford, British Columbia

School kits
Last year at Christmas, we put together MCC School Kits with my husband's extended family instead of exchanging gifts. Each family unit was responsible for purchasing items that went into the kit. For example, my husband and I bought all of the notebooks. When the family all gathered together at Christmas, each person held a bag and the children circled the room dropping items into each bag. The children enjoyed this activity and responsibility, and it provided a meaningful, gift-giving ritual for the family.

—Tracy Wideman, Langley, British Columbia

Already doing it
I don't think I'll participate for several reasons. I love to give presents. I don't buy something for the sake of buying something, and I don't try to keep up with the Joneses. If I read a book that I think another would like, I pass it on or buy another (sometimes several). It's a way of saying I love you.
We have tried at various times to get our family to give up on turkey, etc., but they won't go for it. Maybe in a world of change something that doesn't change is reassuring?

I admire the people who give away only what they've made, and I do a lot of that, but I give so much time away that there's a limit to how much I can make at home. I do try to give (fairly-traded) gifts from UNICEF or Ten Thousand Villages or books like Nation to Nation that have a social justice component.

I have on occasion given to charities like UNICEF and given the proof of the gift, a card, a certificate, to various people. They always seem to appreciate it, but I get the receipt, which doesn't seem fair. I am going to ask that people not give to me, but spend the money on donations to MCC for Iraq or Pakistan, etc. That way they get the receipt, and maybe increase their giving a bit, or give in a new direction.

—Donna Stewart, North Vancouver, British Columbia

Push the alternatives
Thanks for your information on Buy Nothing Christmas. Just a few thoughts. Could the "alternatives" be pushed a bit more. For people who don't have the web, do they have access?

Also, if there are extra funds, could they be distributed to people even outside of Canada and the US? Using MCC channels, etc. Spirit's power to you and love.

—Hedy Sawadsky, Vineland, Ontario