Shhh, it’s a conspiracy.

These are uncertain times, economically speaking. But according to a recent poll by American Research Group, Inc., Americans this year will still spend close to $500 per person extra this Holiday season — mostly on gifts.

We will spend beyond our means and receive items we don’t even need, while non-profits serving our communities struggle just to get by. With charitable donations and government grants down drastically this holiday season, many non-profits are cutting way back, threatening the very services that are central to their mission.

Here’s a thought: What if every American “skipped” the bulk of Christmas consumerism this year, instead donating a good portion of that money (if not all) to an organization that is helping people?

Join us in making the holiday season about loving our neighbors as ourselves. Give to a charity that is special to you. Give some money to allow another person or two access to clean water. Or, you are welcome to join us in giving to these wonderful Boston non-profits:

Generations Incorporated

ZUMIX

East Boston Social Centers

Whatever you do, make a change this Christmas.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Cody on December 3, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Good idea. My family pooled our money at Thanksgiving and decided to purchase some animals from Heifer International. I wanted to buy a llama, but instead we’re getting a goat and a water buffalo!

    So much easier than buying stuff for each other that we don’t really need. All of my Christmas shopping was done before Black Friday!

    Reply

  2. Advent Conspiracy is exactly the kind of thing that made my stomach churn as a kid. I remember hearing stories about people who gave most of their Christmas budget to charity and had a simple Christmas instead. It always seemed like a good thing to do–but, man, I wanted my toys….

    Thankfully, now that I’m older, I think I’m a little less selfish (though, unfortunately, I haven’t changed quite as much as I would like). Even though my budget is very meager this year, I plan to give half of it away. Thanks for reminding me what is really important–showing love to those around me.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Kyle on December 6, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Things like this are hard for me to watch. It’s not because I disagree, in fact I heartily agree and the level of blind consumer spending in America makes me sick. The numbers that we can throw out like the $450 billion on Christmas and $1 trillion on a war should be so troubling when compared with the other numbers. $10 billion to give water, and though I don’t have them in front of me any number of groups estimate we could end world hunger for far less than $1 trillion.

    What makes me sick is the level of indifference that America seems to have. Even in our churches these numbers shock and awe, and then we see the next iPhone or whatever and slip right back into America-mode.

    What’s the answer? I don’t know.

    Reply

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