Can consumer people be Christmas people?

Christmastime on the planet of the rich is a world of consumption. In fact, what we realize around this time of the year is that we have a lot of stuff — so much stuff that many people donate to charity (as tax write-offs) or simply opt out of giving gifts.

Our planet of the rich is a planet of material things. Since we can now buy everything whenever we want at the touch of a button or the swipe of a card, gifts become a nuisance for some people. A frequent response to the question, “What would you like for Christmas?” is, “Don’t get me anything. I already have too much stuff” or, “Please don’t buy me anything, I don’t need anything.” (Who said Christmas was about “need”?)

What seems most apparent in our consumer culture is the spirit of self-sufficiency: Thank you for your offer, but I have too much stuff; I will buy it when I need it; I give my stuff away when I want to. Christmas on the planet of the rich is consumerism run wild, resulting in either mass hysteria of unmet needs and desires or absolute control of the flow of goods. Is it possible to really celebrate Christmas in a consumer culture?

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