I’m not talking about chocolates or the stock market crash of 1989, I’m obviously referring to the advertising campaign that drives people to spend wildly on this fake bank holiday as the commercial hex of Christmas gets under full steam.
Celebrating the winter solstice is something common to many cultures. A time when the sun stands still in the sky for three days, a time of feasting and gathering of the tribe and a time for joy before the long, cold months ahead. But sadly a time this has been hijacked by the new commercial gods who wish to fatten their own pockets.
There has been a fight against it for many years though. I particularly love the Rev Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping and there is a great campaign for ‘buy nothing day’ who talk about the Shopocalypse. These counter campaigns help some of us continue to remember that this time of year is not about spending money and I hope that they spark the occasional insight into those who are hooked on the spending spell. Sadly, I doubt that they are far reaching at all and it is clear that the powerful magic from the corporations continues to dominate.
So what can we do? Obviously we need to strengthen our own defences on a day like today but this is particularly hard when shops suddenly, for example, make the coat we like affordable. So follow the advice – spend nothing or as little as possible. Go out of our way to spend time with family and friends rather than worshipping at the alter of the shops (the tills). Work on our rituals and magic that honour the sanctity of the season rather than the consumption that accompanies it. Don’t forget that the 21st / 22nd December is a time of celebration but it is still four weeks away and certainly has started in November. And don’t over do the gifts but do enjoy being with the tribe.