21 November 2013

Reflections on Pre-Holiday Shopping

While relaxing at home, quilting some fabric while watching Sleepy Hollow on Hulu.com, I came across a series of commercials in preparation for Black Friday and the "Pre-Holiday" shopping insanity that has overtaken the United States and, arguably, the world.

I wonder how many times we see commercials likes this and are told about the effects of buying into such a system. Yes, you will have items that look vaguely similar to the items in the commercial, at prices that, if you are working a job making $30,000 a year and spending less than 20% of your income on Pre Holiday fashions, gifts for nephews and nieces, and a new bag every month for yourself, you could certainly afford it. Nonetheless, how often are we reminded of how buying products through venues such as this supports slave wages that preclude the people who make these products from enjoying the same livelihood as we do, products made with real and synthetic materials that carry immense amounts of toxins, bleaching agents, pesticides and hazardous materials, especially at the rate at which they are mass produced and mass-dumped into non-biodegradable dumps, and that we are buying products that we will never know the process through which such designs are syphoned from unacknowledged independent designers and losing the sacredness of knowing from where the items that we adorn our bodies were conceived and made manifest.

So please, this holiday season (whatever your spiritual and secular persuasion), if you are about the gift giving life, experiment with perhaps making something yourself or purchasing an item that you can build a relationship with its maker, a relationship rooted in love, mutual respect, and reciprocity. Like the original spiritual inspiration behind the now corporatized gift giving season declares, " And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:13), let's spread a little love this season.

Peace, love, and loving our neighbor as ourselves,

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