Jesse Shoman pointed me to this quite a few months ago:
For a couple of years now, I’ve really dreaded buying gifts. It’s not that I don’t like giving, because I do. The part I don’t like is giving meaningless gifts just for the sake of giving something.
The story of Christ’s birth is a story of promise, hope, and a revolutionary love.
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.
And when it’s all over, many of us are left with presents to return, looming debt that will take months to pay off, and this empty feeling of missed purpose. Is this what we really want out of Christmas?
What if Christmas became a world-changing event again?
Welcome to Advent Conspiracy.
If you watch the video (which I think is pretty good), they say that American’s spend $450 Billion on Christmas every year. I was a little bit skeptical of that number, but I did some research and for 2008, the National Retail Federation predicts that $470.4 billion will be spent this holiday season1. There’s also a footnote that reads, “NRF defines “holiday sales” as retail industry sales in the months of November and December. Retail industry sales include most traditional retail categories including discounters, department stores, grocery stores, and specialty stores, and exclude sales at automotive dealers, gas stations, and restaurants.”
Personally, I think the $450 Billion number is high, but I believe that the point is still valid.
1 Source: http://www.nrf.com/modules.php?name=News&op=viewlive&sp_id=5730