Shifting away from Materialism and into the Sacred: Alternatives to Typical Holiday Gift Giving

The Druid's Garden

We find ourselves, yet again, in the middle of the « holiday season » where the emphasis has drifted away from families and is now on cheap deals, plasma televisions, and the amassing of various piles of stuff. Against the cultural push of this frenzied time, I wanted to take some time to reflect upon alternatives to materialism and challenge the underlying values that materialism promotes.

Holiday Shopping Spree--the lights are pretty, but not all that glitters is gold Holiday Shopping Spree–the lights are pretty, but not all that glitters is gold

What is materialism? Materialism, in the simplest terms, is an obsession with « stuff, » particularly, the acquisition of stuff as a way to promote and maintain self-image. This « stuff » includes consumer goods, like name brand watches, plasma televisions, vehicles, the latest fashionable clothing, even down to smaller things, like purchasing that new pair of shoes you just have to have but don’t need.  I’d also argue that it extends to things like…

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