Posted by: mcgurker | November 22, 2008

In Everything Give Thanks

A week from today, many of us will venture out to the nearest shopping plaza and brave the crowds to participate in a national event known as black Friday.  Having celebrated Thanksgiving the day before, we will forget about all of the many things we have to be thankful for, and turn our attention to the many things we lack, the things we believe that we or our loved ones must have. Thanksgiving will have been nothing more than a brief respite in our fast paste consumer culture. In fact, it feels to me, that Thanksgiving Day has lost much of its meaning, becoming at best a tiny pause in our otherwise frantic lives, and at worst a continuation of the overconsumption and greed that have become all too commonplace in our society. 

Our Story, Humanity’s Story, God’s Story have become overshadowed by the Story of Stuff.  Much of this stuff, at some point in its lifecycle (production, transportation, consumption, and disposal) has a negative impact on God’s Creation. To learn more about the true cost the things we consume and the way we consume them, check out a video called the story of stuff, and stay tune to our website for a fact sheet on how to have a low carbon Christmas.    

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Make this Thanksgiving’s story less about stuff, and more about God and God’s love for all of Creation (John 3:16).  Consider alternatives to shopping on Friday. Spend quality time with your family or serve others in your community.  If shopping together is a tradition for your family then enjoy spending that time together, but be mindful of the gifts and decorations that you buy, their impacts on God’s Creation and on your body (God’s temple) when you consume them.  Consider the following.

·         Buy used.  By purchasing recycled products you avoid the environmental damage associated with production.  Used bookstores are often a perfect place to find fun and meaningful gifts. 

·         Consider alternative giving. Don’t give someone a meaningless gift they will never use.  You don’t have to give your loved one more stuff to show that you care.  Donate in their name to a charity they are passionate about. Many churches often host alternative giving fairs around the holidays where you can donate to local charities and find beautiful handmade or fair trade crafts.

·         Make your own gifts and decorations. This can be a fun activity you do as a family.  Try making wreaths or ornaments out of things you find outside (pinecones, seashells, or vines), or find things around the house you can reuse (clothes pins, Popsicle sticks, or old clothes). Then fill in the gaps at a craft store.   

·         Be mindful of the purchases you do make.  Consider the true cost for all of Creation on the items you do purchase.  For electronics find energy star products, and consider decorating your Christmas tree with LED Christmas lights.   

This year, whether we go shopping on Friday or not, let’s make Thanksgiving an attitude rather than an afternoon. 



  1. […] I totally endorse Lizzie’s post the other day on alternative gifting (and recommend others read it and consider the many ways we can give in ways that honor the Creator and reduce the amount of […]

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