Occupy Xmas – Mandi Schrader

28 Nov

We are entering the season of tinsel, ad nauseum canned carols and maxed out credit cards.

I’m not a Christmas lover. From the tacky red-and-green motifs, the bags and bags of paper purchased only to be torn up and wasted, the packed shopping centers and ugly sweaters it is not my favorite holiday for many reasons. Years of playing angels in my old church pageants didn’t help either. Angel I am not.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the spirit of warmth and light, peace on earth and family love. I love the spirit of generosity and hope. I love the cookies my mom sends every year. I love candy canes.

I hate the mall mobs, the stress, the pressure to spend spend spend and the measurement of love by the cost of a gift. And seriously can someone please write some new songs?

I challenge everyone out there, Occupiers and Occupy haters alike to rethink Christmas this year. I challenge you to make it about helping others; giving of yourself, not your wallet.

If you must spend money on gifts, go to locally owned small businesses. Support the people in your community, not the big box stores. Teach the kids that Christmas is about love, not video games. Go caroling door to door. Meet your neighbors or get to know them better. Leave your credit cards at home.

I have always been inspired by Dolly Parton’s stories of growing up in the back woods with 11 brothers and sisters. The family only ever had money for one gift. They hid it somewhere in the house and on Christmas morning all the kids searched for it. The one who found it, kept it. She spoke of those days with warmth and joy. No one ever demanded the latest trendy item, they had what they had.

I’m not suggesting we make everyone compete for one present. I AM suggesting that we reconsider the values that send us all into debt over the holidays. In whatever way we can, let’s stand up for peace, joy, good will towards ALL.

We of Occupy have joined together with people who once called us squatters, people who understand that whatever our methods we are doing this to make a better world. You can be part of it. Join us at Common Ground Calgary.

This isn’t just about Christmas, Yule, Hannuka or Kwanza. It is a fire we hope to light in the hearts of everyone and keep it glowing throughout the year. Together we can change the world. With kindness, courage and love we will succeed.

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7 Responses to “Occupy Xmas – Mandi Schrader”

  1. ImprovingTomorrow December 13, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    All I want for Christmas is a future. The 99% can make a better world for ourselves even without convincing the 1%. Please share this holiday message, I want to reach as many people with it as I can this season.

    http://www.yourgreenfeat.com/Green_Feat/Christmas.html

  2. Epiphany November 29, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    Great article, and I completely agree. for the past 2 years I have gone local,fair trade, made or baked something for my loved ones at christmas and 99% of the people I have given these gifts to loved them.

  3. kahuggins November 28, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

    Beautifully, articulately stated, Mandi! I love it!

    • idnami November 28, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

      Thanks Karen! I’ve worked in too many malls at Christmastime. It tends to kill the joy, seeing people fight over the last must-have toy and stressing out when they could just relax, sing some songs and share hot chocolate!

  4. Chris A Hooymans November 28, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    I pledge to spend less on consumer goods and more on food and charity than ever before.

    • idnami November 28, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

      Yay!

      • Brandy McNeill November 30, 2011 at 4:58 am #

        Speaking of Christmas.
        The City has graciously extended it’s hand for this week’s Kerry Park Rally in Kelowna.
        It is hosting the christmas tree light up there. To avoid overlap, in the spirit of holiday, we have decided to move our Occupy the Climate, in solidarity with cities nation wide, to city hall. From there we will march up Bernard, to a church where MLA John Horgan wants to hear from the public on Energy Issues here in the Okanagan. Everything from smart meters, to Fortis, mining to gravel pits. We figure occupy has something to say on this, National Climate Day.
        After this, we have invited occupy supporters to come out and join us with their families, to watch the tree light up, listen to the cities entertainment, meet with santa, and drink free hot chocolate and cookies, all donated by our lovely City. Because they have been so kind, as to provide all entertainment and budget for Kerry Park this Saturday, we are going to leave our signs at home to watch the tree light up! Kelowna knows who we are!

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