Let's Talk About Christmas!


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Let's Talk About Christmas!

How are we going to celebrate Christmas this year?

What is really most meaningful?

Who's going to do what?

Are we willing to spend less on ourselves and help the truly needy?

Ask questions like these. Write down and post your decisions. For help, contact Alternatives. Mark your calendar each year for Let's Talk About Christmas! Day.

"Christmas time is a time when so many peoples' brains seem to get disconnected. For whatever reason - habit, family pressure, guilt about being a bad dad, whatever - people put themselves through incredible stress and end up in big debt," said Gerald Iversen of Simple Living Works! the successor of Alternatives for Simple Living.

"So, mark your calendar now! You decide the date - October 1 is my recommendation - for Let's Talk About Christmas! Day. Instead of assuming that everything will be just the same this year and that everybody will be happy about it, talk to those who will be involved. Instead of gritting your teeth when you see Christmas decorations going up before Halloween, sit down with your family, contact your relatives and friends - those you normally celebrate with - and talk.

"Talk about what each of you really wants at Christmas, talk about expectations, talk about who is going to do what. Maybe the person - usually Mom - who is assumed to do most of the work, isn't really thrilled about doing so much work on top of her regular duties. Maybe she wants help. Maybe it's not worth doing so much again if the people who want it don't help.

"Maybe there's something else that folks really want to do but are afraid to rock the boat. That humble idea may become a great new family tradition. Write down your ideas and post your plan in a central place, whether your celebration is religious or secular.

"Mark your calendar for your own Let's Talk About Christmas! Day. Beat the rush after Thanksgiving. Talk early... like October 1st," Iversen said.

Simple Living Works! is an ecumenical, all volunteer organization that "equips people of faith to challenge consumerism, live justly, and celebrate responsibly." Started in 1973 as a protest against the commercialization of Christmas, it encourages celebrations year-round that reflect conscientious ways of living. Throughout its 40-year history, it has led the movement to live more faithfully by living more simply. The many staff members and volunteers have developed a wide variety of resources, organized an annual Christmas Campaign, held the Best and Worst Christmas Gift Contest, led numerous workshops, and reached countless people with the message of simpler, more responsible living. We emphasizes relationships and traditions over things, and promotes alternative giving - helping the truly needy and spending less on ourselves.

The annual, Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway? provides people with ideas to celebrate responsibly. Each new edition features reflections by well-known authors. Designed for individuals, families and small groups, it includes activities, an Advent-Christmas calendar and suggestions for remembering those in need. All issues of Whose Birthday? are available free at SimpleLivingWorks.org >> Archives.

Other free resources appropriate for reevaluation of Christmas include packets designed for churches and groups - Reclaiming Christmas, Gifts of Peace, and Preparing to Celebrate the Birth of Christ; collections of Christmas stories; and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas on video.

Although Simle Living Works! neither sells anything nor solicits donations, it offers free resources on simple living and related topics, both for Christmas and for year-round use. Other Christmas titles include Unplug the Christmas Machine: A Complete Guide to Putting Love & Joy Back into the Season, plus numerous titles for children.

Other free resources usable year-round include Wedding Alternatives: A Guide to Planning Out-of the Ordinary Celebrations in English or Spanish.

The video Break Forth in Joy!: Beyond a Consumer Lifestyle (45 min.) won a Gold Medal at the Houston International Film Festival.

Visit SimpleLivingWorks.org >> Archives. #####

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This page last updated 2 October 2013 (originally 27 February 2003)

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MISSION: Equipping people of faith to challenge consumerism, live justly and celebrate responsibly // An all volunteer educational organization.