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12/30/2002 Entry: "A new link"

Nothing cheers the heart of a blog-keeper so much as discovering a new site that's linked to them, especially when that site looks interesting and well-written. So I was feeling particularly cheery this morning when I found My Valentine. I'm looking forward to reading more of this blog in future.The December 27th entry caught my eye, on consumerism and gift-giving:

One of the things I've thought a lot about recently is gift-giving and the hyper-consumeristic habits that come out during this time of year. As I've read blogs and message boards I've seen a very anti-consumer mentality emerging lately that purposely or unintentionally comes across as anti-gift-giving. I think this is a bit short sighted.
I agree. It is very easy for the anti-consumerist to appear to be joyless and even tight-fisted. But gift-giving doesn't have to be an orgy of spending - we all know that a simple gift given with love is worth more than an expensive one given out of duty. I wouldn't even want to ask people not to spend lots of money, if they have it to spend. What matters is the spirit in which gifts are given, and ironically it's that spirit that is most at risk in the Christmas festivities."What do you want for Christmas?" - whether asked by parents, grannies, or shopping centre Santas - has to be one of the most asked questions during November and December. And it's that question that is putting Christmas gift-giving at risk. The emphasis has shifted away from painstakingly choosing the right gift for a loved one and is now centred on satisfying an expressed want. I've heard of parents this year who gave their children a store catalogue and a budget, and asked them to provide a list of stock numbers so that they could get exactly the right things with the minimum inconvenience.This is tragic. If you think of what the world would have got if God had asked for a 'Christmas list' - certainly not the baby of Bethlehem, who invites all manner of men and women to join him in the kingdom of God.

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