We put up our Christmas tree last week. I’m risking blasphemy here, but I like fake Christmas trees better than real ones.
Growing up we always had real Christmas trees. On the day after Thanksgiving we loaded into the truck, drove out to the Christmas tree farm, rode a wagon out to the field and chopped down a real live Christmas tree (after rejecting plenty for being too fat, too thin or too bare).
It’s a fine tradition, but I’m happy with a fake tree. It’s cheaper, you don’t have to pick up all the needles, and you don’t get stabbed by all those needles when you’re putting the ornaments on. Plus we travel so much at Christmas it doesn’t make any sense.
It also seems like a lot of effort to chop down a real tree every year just to put it up in your living room for a month. Real trees can be recycled, but there’s still a lot of energy and effort that goes into that industry. The fake tree can at least be reused every year—and they’re used so infrequently they could easily last 20 or 30 years.
So call me a Scrooge, but I like my fake Christmas tree.
Maybe someday we’ll have a digital Christmas tree and then it’ll be even easier!
For all intents and purposes Christmas has become a secular holiday. Sure, if you dig down deep the root idea behind all the gift giving, Christmas trees and Santa Clauses can be traced back to Jesus. But you have to do a lot of digging, and despite the continual reminders about the ‘reason for the season,’ Jesus really takes a backseat.
That’s why I like projects like Advent Conspiracy and Water for Christmas. The idea behind Advent Conspiracy is to remind people what Christmas is all about and encourage a radical redefinition and reinterpretation of the holiday. Water for Christmas is a challenge that as Americans we spend $450 billion on Christmas, yet it would only take $144 billion to ensure that everyone has access to clean water. (Shane Claiborne writes a little more passionately about these issues as related to Buy Nothing Day.)
As a family we’re trying to redefine what Christmas means for us. This year we’re instituting a new idea. Half the money we spend on one another is going to be donated to a cause. Part of the Christmas fun will be picking what cause (or causes) you’d like to donate your Christmas money to. It means we’ll get half the usual presents from each other and we’ll be able to donate more. It’s a small step, but I really like the idea.
Continue reading You Can Change the World: Redefining Christmas
Christmas at the Hendricks’ household isn’t exactly what it used to be.
Oh, let’s see… what to ramble about today? I spent my entire day Christmas shopping. Kind of ironic, considering yesterday’s comments, but don’t worry—I didn’t buy anything on anyone’s list. Considering the insanity I witnessed today, yesterday’s ramblings are much more valid. What a stupid way to celebrate the birth of our Savior.
And while I’m busy being cynical, where’d the snow go? I’m attending college in Minnesota, of all places. The least you could do is provide a little bit of snow. I put 160 pounds of salt in the back of my truck at Thanksgiving, expecting some snow before Christmas. Some bright entrepreneur out there should import some snow and dump it in the local parks. Then us kids could have some fun.
Disclaimer: Today’s Ponderings are an example of what shopping during the Christmas season can do to your brain.
I went Christmas shopping tonight. And I’m a little confused, which is to be expected. How is it that Christmas has become so filled with greed? I e-mail my parents a list of ‘gimmes’ and continually add to it as I see stuff I want. I was looking around—tonight in fact—and I saw a CD that looked really good. It just came out, and I didn’t have a chance to put it on my list. Well, I don’t want to pay for it myself, after all, it’s almost Christmas. So I’ll just tell my parents to add it to my list. That’s about the most selfish thing I’ve ever heard.
Continue reading Christmas Shopping