Friday, November 23, 2012

Define Necessity

I told myself that I wasn't going to post this.
I told myself that I wasn't going to show my readers how much I despise Black Friday.

I try to avoid social media and television as much as possible around the Thanksgiving holiday because I find the excessive consumerism grotesque and disturbing. 

There is a disconnect and it grows at an alarming rate with each passing year.
Why do we feel that it is necessary to bless and already blessed nation?

I wrestle with this year after year.

On one hand, I thoroughly enjoy giving gifts to those I love. It's one of my love languages. I take great delight in watching the joy on the faces of my sons and my nieces and nephew as they open their gifts on Christmas morning. 
To me- that is a gift in itself. 

At the same time however, I struggle with the excess. Though we are a modest middle class family- living on one income, driving one car, dependent on hand-me-downs and the generosity of others... at times I still feel like we have too much stuff. 

I am not here to condemn those who are out shopping at this very moment. I am not here to say that it is wrong to buy gifts for your loved ones this holiday season- because I plan to either buy or make gifts for my own family. 

I am simply here to say that I, Megan Card, personally struggle with American consumerism. 

And I know that I cannot possibly be the only one. I struggle to find the proper balance between blessing my family simply because I love them- and living out the missional lifestyle we see throughout Scripture.

 How do you balance the Christmas conundrum? 
Do you feel that American consumerism is a growing problem or do you error on the side of wanting to bless your loved ones by means of gift giving?

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.


  1. I love this! I too love giving gifts and I'll admit, I like getting gifts (if it's something I need or want). I don't like getting a gift for the sake of getting a gift. I'm not that wife who would fuss over getting a vacuum for Christmas-if we needed a vacuum. I'm more for practicality. I think we as Americans are always wanting more. What we have is never enough. Just look at the iphones-every time a new one comes out 'everyone' gives up their older version for the new one. What you have isn't good enough anymore. I'm trying really hard to fight this and realize how blessed I am. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. This post completely speaks to the struggle I'm having- love that you called it the 'Christian conundrum' because it seriously is. I think its certainly more obvious at Christmas time, but the reality is around us all the time. There are so few Christians I know honestly living simply. It seems like giving becomes this part of the Christian list you can check off- and all the rest you get to spend excessively on yourself guilt free. I hate that too- you are definitely Not the only one!

  3. Such an important message to share. You are being God's hands and feet. Yesterday my family and I had to eat with some family members who worship money. Honestly, it was so sickening and disheartening. It breaks my heart that our nation is so focused on keeping up with the Jones' rather than keeping God's children fed, clothed, and loved.

  4. I think you wrote this very well. I went out on Black Friday, mostly out of tradition - my mom always went, and I went with her, and that has been "our" thing together. It is one of the few times I get her to myself, and I look forward to it, but I don't find the sales worth the madness (although I rarely see any of the madness shown on the news? Maybe its because of where I live?). But there are certainly more important things, and good for you for putting out that reminder.

  5. I think I know exactly what you mean! All the shopping definitely can make you feel bad. On the other hand, I too love giving!!! I will never forgo gifts but I think I'll add some more giving. I was thinking that this year I'd like to help out at a nursing home with some coworkers. Bring some holiday cheer to those who's families live far away.

    xo, Jenna


I love reading your comments! They brighten my day!