Give the Gift of Nothing

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With millions of consumers having spent billions of dollars on religious and non-denominational gift giving this holiday season, the Buy Nothing Christmas campaign is already ramping up its efforts for next year’s all-consuming Christmas festivities. The webmasters behind BuyNothingChrismtas.org have spent the last several months discouraging people from giving in to their baser consumer instincts, advocating instead for a holiday season rooted in family values rather than mere shopping.

While the site was initially created and maintained by a group of staunch Canadian protestants of Mennonite extraction, it has now taken on a non-denominational outlook, seeking to include people of all religious faiths, social backgrounds and financial situations. If anything, the current manifestation of the site is one which is merely anti-capitalist in nature, with its editors citing the commercialization and commodification of the Christmas holiday as one of the most repugnant, evil features of market capitalism.


A trend which has long been noted amongst scholars and market researchers alike is the spreading of “North American over-consumption” to other parts of the developed and developing world; one which is especially noticeable around the Christmas period.

Not merely the cheap web hosting of a “Hate Christmas” discussion forum, the Buy Nothing Christmas site also incorporates alternatives to gift giving, anti-consumer guides to the holiday season and a number of tips that will help detract from the increasingly material focus of the Christmas season. In the days leading up to Christmas and the busiest shopping days of the year, the site proclaimed “this Christmas we’ll be swamped with offers, ads and invitations to buy more stuff. But now there’s a way to say ‘enough!’ and join a movement dedicated to reviving the original meaning of Christmas.”

While the 1,700 followers enjoying cheap webhosting of BuyNothingChristmas.org on Facebook this December 25th is far from a testament to its widespread success, rumors of growing discontent with the holiday season may see its influence wax over the coming years.

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