THe following is a letter I just sent to the local paper to run sometime in November (the paper may be full of election news for the next couple of weeks).
Now that Halloween is behind us it will soon be time to ramp up the preparations for Christmas, including Christmas shopping.
The excesses of Christmas always present a difficulty for me. I know it is great to buy gifts for loved ones (and receiving them isn’t bad either). But I also believe that we have too much stuff as it is. So I am issuing a threefold challenge this Christmas season.
One is to consider not buying as much this year, not because of budget but because we don’t need to buy as much (see http://www.buynothingchristmas.org/ for more on this idea)
Another is to buy what we do buy here in town as much as possible. This way our Christmas celebrations enrich the economy of Atikokan rather than the US head office of Wal-Mart or the merchants of Thunder Bay or Dryden.
Finally, I pledge to donate an amount equal to at least half of what we spend on gifts for Sarah, Devyn and Miriam to a charity in their name. I challenge all of you do the same.
Christmas, it’s about more than buying presents.