It began innocently enough. Shawn was playing an instructional DVD which was teaching about light and color in digital art. I made the comment that I would like to learn how to use Corel Painter, and my mom said, “Well, Christmas is coming. Maybe you would like that program for a gift?” We already have Painter, so I began to think what else I might like for a gift. An ipod? Computer accessories? New clothes? My mind settled for a moment on one thing, and I announced, “I think for Christmas I would like a digital video camera.” Because it would be fun, to have one of those and make silly movies and capture the memories and what not. But is it something I need? Not at all. It’s something that would be outdated in a year and I would be unhappy with it and want the newest model. Don’t believe me? I have a video camera. It’s sitting on the top shelf of my closet because it’s not cool enough, it’s not digital, it’s not new. I have an old ipod and heaps of last season’s clothes and stacks of books that I’ll never read, music I never listen to, and computer gadgets I never use, and I’m sitting here thinking of what I want next? As if I need anymore stuff?
My good friend Rachel posted some great videos on her blog that kind of snapped me back out of my consumerist trance. She posted the first three but you should watch the entire series. They are informative and convicting.
My church has been talking about this thing called Advent Conspiracy, substituting compassion for consumerism. Even if you’re not a Christian it’s worth a look: