Hundred Dollar Holiday: The Case for A More Joyful Christmas

Simon and Schuster

Bill McKibben

Central Theme
Few experiences have been drained of their joy like gift giving at Christmas, but limiting our spending and refocusing our time, energies and money can help us capture the deeper spirit and opportunities of the season.

¢â‚¬ËœChristmas should be something to enjoy rather than endure. Instead of an island of bustle, it should be an island of peace amid a busy life. We want so much more out of Christmas: more music, more companionship, contemplation, more time outdoors, more love.’

Setting limits on how much we spend on gifts helps accomplish this and frees up money for the poor and time for more productive and restorative where were activities during the Christmas Holiday.

Beliefs num
–Christmas gift-giving has become burdensome and wearying.
–We lavish gifts upon people who don’t need more stuff.
–We could be mindful of the need of the poor.
–Christmas could regain it’s freshness is we focused on what matters.
–We were made for relationship with the natural world, community with each other and for a relationship with the divine.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–Do you agree Christmas gift-giving has gone over the top?
–What could you do about it?
–Why is simplifying so difficult to do?
–Who could benefit most from our gifts in this season?
–Is gift-giving at Christmas an example of an area in which Christians should be counter-cultural? How so?

Provocative Quotes byline
–We were asking our families, our friends, and our church of brethren to try and limit the amount of money they spend upon the holiday to a hundred dollars–to celebrate the holiday with a seventh or eighth of the normal American materialism.
==Bill McKibben
–It was abundantly clear who the grinches of our culture really are: those relentless commercial forces who have spent more than a century trying to convince us that Christmas does come from a store, or a catalog, or a virtual mall on the Internet.
==Bill McKibben.
–Once, after an evening program filled with carol-singing and kid’s stories and a general proselytizing for the idea of simpler Christmases, one woman said to me: “Thank you for giving me permission to celebrate Christmas away I’ve always wanted to.”
==Bill McKibben
–The new Christmas was greeted with the greatest enthusiasm by the emerging class of American entrepreneurs who saw in it a a source of a vast potential wealth… By the end of the 19th century, his Christmas trade alone netted F.W. Woolworth half a million dollars. “This is our harvest time-make it pay,’ he instructed his managers.
==Bill McKibben
–For most of human history, people lived in tightly knit communities in which each individual had a specified place and in which there was a strong sense of shared fate. The sense of belonging, of being part of something larger than oneself, was an important source of comfort.
==Paul Wachtel. The Poverty of Affluence
–I have no ready-made set of directions for how to have a ‘proper’ simple holiday; only the notion that setting a limit on how much money you spend may help.
==Bill McKibben.
–I think we were made for some relationship with the divine, I think Christmas offers one of the most comfortable ways to begin and renew that relationship, at least for those of us who have grown up the Christian tradition.
==Bill McKibben

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