I mostly ducked out of the Christmas shopping frenzy. I let the season pass over like the Ghost of Christmas Ennui and tried to stay cool. I had good family time, which is the best gift of all, and Iâ€™ve got the weekend offâ€“life is good.
This year I didnâ€™t do my usual seasonal conversion to Judaism, instead I looked to Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping.
But now Americans are suddenly wise to Santa. We are rejecting this notion that Christmas comes from the FedEx jet, or Santaâ€™s sleigh â€“ from the outside. Our images of happiness are becoming self-made again, coming from within our loving relationships. Our dreams, memories and our imaginations are still independent from the grasping control of the marketing departments. This is the delightful and surprising world that is opened to us at the Stop Shopping church when we look at our email each morning. People report that they themselves are a fountain of dances, of paintings and song. They are making new memory fill-in games, promises of future journeys â€“ we even hear of whole plays, dark comic musicals! In a word, we are awarding each other new experiences. This kind of gift is concocted from the funny adjustments that family members make over time to each other â€“ those eccentric private arrangements that only we have, that no company could possibly mass produce.
Rev. Billy, you are an inspiration. Next time you see Jesus, ask him for that loaves and fishes recipe. Weâ€™re going to need it.