On Monday, we looked at a Statement of Conscience from the 2001 Unitarian Universalist General Assembly about “responsible consumption” as an introduction to the holiday shopping season.
Today’s selection, a sermon from my good friend the Rev. Chip Roush (PDF), serving the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Grand Traverse in Traverse City, Michigan, examines consumerism in direct relationship to the holidays, and brings to to think about what these winter holidays, and our lives, are really for. This service was celebrated November 26, 2006.
For consideration: What is a meaningful gift, to you? How do you cope with the chaos that can be December?
awe, Chip Roush, consumerism, deepening, gifts, simplicity
Big Is More
by the Rev. Chip Roush
How many of you have ever made, with your own hands, a gift for someone you love? How many of you have made a gift within the last year? How many make more gifts than you purchase?
The year I finished college, I was in dire financial straits. I graduated with a degree in philosophy, which explains part of the problem. I did not have a job, so I moved home while I looked for work. As gifts that year, instead of buying things, I wrote out some of my favorite memories with the person to whom the gift was intended. For example, I wrote to my grandmother about the taste of her hot chocolate, still the best I’ve ever tasted, and about the night I spent at her house, laughing with her about something on the television. As I remember, the program itself wasn’t particularly amusing, but we were in the right mood to be silly, and gales of laughter swept through us.
Writing up that memory, as a gift to her years later, we were able to relive that moment, and strengthen our familial bond together— and it didn’t cost a penny.