Video: Always in the Season

Here’s an anti-commercialism song for Christmas from Pomplamoose.

If you dislike the old time recording sound, it ends 35 seconds in. The second half of the video is a pitch for you to buy a goat. In their Youtube account, they also have an interesting rendition of Michael Jackson’s Beat It.

You might also like Joel Kroeker’s song mentioned here last year, Buy Nothing at All (for Christmas).

Really, I just needed to post something to get feces off the top of the front page. Today I’ll be working on getting the gallery for Thinga’s recently completed photo contest posted (update: it will be posted on Christmas Day).

Here’s a question… How would you go about reconciling a Christmas that is not drenched in gift giving with the expectation your kid will have for receiving a mountain of gifts — an idea spread by friends and schoolmates? A non-commercial Christmas seems like a lofty idea that is a lot harder to practice if you’re a parent. Heck, some Jewish parents now give gifts during Hanukkah in order to lessen the envy created by Christmas.


9 Responses to “Video: Always in the Season”

  1. Sarah Schreffler says:

    My friend has managed to tone down Christmas for her family (even when the kids were younger). They don’t even celebrate Christmas, exactly. (No gift giving on Christmas day, though she’ll not turn away gifts others choose to give). Christmas day is a family day that they play games, etc. They celebrate their gift giving occasion on New Year’s Day. But even then, the gifts are smaller and fewer in number than others.

    She just taught her kids “this is the way our family does it and this is why” and the children respect their parents, so they respect the reasons as well.

    December 21st, 2009 at 6:39 am

  2. silver says:

    I grew up in the 80s, and all my Jewish friends got presents for Chanukah, in fact, they got gifts on every day of Chanukah, compared to the 1 (or 2 if you do Christmas Eve) day of gifts for Christmas. This wasn’t just one or two families, either, there’s a large Jewish population where I grew up.

    December 21st, 2009 at 4:14 pm

  3. Amy says:

    On Christmas, we are going to the bowling alley with our friends.

    We celebrate Hanukkah & if you are begining to be jealous over 8 nights of gifts – please realize that at least 3 were clothiing items – including the gift of socks.

    (For the record, we only gave a couple token gifts to our son & those included the ones from the grandparents. I think if you don’t set the expectation to having a lot of gifts, then they won’t be missed.)

    As a child, I remember getting a single pair of underwear as a gift. Meanwhile when I would visit my non-Jewish friends, I would see mountains of gifts & none of them once mentioned getting undies or socks. No, I seem to recall stories of barbie this cabbage patch that & stockings stuffed with candy & small toys – not to mention the Atari console & games & such that my parents NEVER got for us.

    Yes, I was jealous, but we never compared Hanukkah to Christmas – my parents just said that that is how cristmas is celebrated.

    December 22nd, 2009 at 5:20 am

  4. Sarah Schreffler says:

    Yes, Hanukkah is 8 nights of gifts. But its 1 gift a night (and used to be just a small coin. Not what is thought of as gifts for Christmas!) I believe the reason gifts have grown in Hanukkah celebration has a lot to do with how giving has grown for Christmas and kids feeling left out.

    December 22nd, 2009 at 7:38 am

  5. Elizabeth W. says:

    I don’t know, we’ve always done more toned down giving and seem to tone it down even more every year. Our kids don’t seem to be getting any expectations of mountains of presents from the other kids at school – they are pretty happy with what they get at Christmas. Santa brings 3 gifts like Jesus got (one of which is clothes and none of which are anything exorbitant) and then stocking stuff (mostly candy). We do a gift exchange with my side of the family so everyone just gives and gets one present there. Grandma and Grandpa on the other side of the family get them a couple gifts too. So I think the gift total for my kids for Christmas overall is under 10 gifts. I gotta say I’ve been a little shocked reading stuff on where moms say they are only buying their kids 10-15 gifts this year (just from santa!) which is toned way down from last year. That just seems crazy to me.

    December 22nd, 2009 at 10:53 am

  6. KB 111 says:

    I, too, am curious about how folks have ameliorated the discrepancy between schoolyard-promoted expectations and parents’ wishes for less commercialized holidays. Even more so, how have folks managed those between their own values and family members’ adoration of the idea of lavishing gifts on little ones?

    It’s one thing to tell kids about consumerism and to diminish its importance in a verbal and behavioral capacity, but other actions and experiences (especially repeated ones) internalize these conceptions. Ideas of [insert your celebrated holiday here] may mean a day of board games with immediate family, but just as easily drum up ideas of mountains of presents given by other relatives. Birthdays present a similar problem: trying to tell grandma that ‘presents’ aren’t necessary, and that she can instead contribute to the cost of a family outing (with promises of photos sent to her later!), doesn’t always fly.

    Further, there’s the issue of larger family gatherings. If other parents in the family do not share the same anti-commercial sentiments, their kids are likely getting mountains of stuff. How do you explain that to your child? To other relatives who want to buy your kid stuff? (Encouragements to embrace a less-commercial approach seem to fall on deaf ears, in my experience.)

    In short, what do you all do when you want a family day that doesn’t revolve around commodities, but other family members insist upon doing so??

    December 22nd, 2009 at 6:26 pm

  7. AJ says:

    I’m in a little different situation. Because I’m a chronic garage saler, my daughter is accustomed to me coming home with “stuff” every Saturday, at minimum a handful of books. We worry about her acquiring a sense of entitlement — throwing a fit when we won’t buy her something as has happened a few times — so in September I began holding back mint condition toys as Christmas presents.

    And so, Christmas this year will be a toy orgy. I excuse it in my mind by way of thinking I’ll also reserve future toy purchases for her summer birthday, and then again for the next Christmas. So I’m spoiling my kid, but only twice a year. I expect this is unsustainable though because the older a kid gets, the harder it is to find toys in the used market.

    December 22nd, 2009 at 6:46 pm

  8. Elizabeth W. says:

    As far as families go – there is no stopping grandmas and grandpas and other family members who love to shop for the little ones. But sometimes they can be diverted. Asking them to save tons of gifts for birthdays instead of Christmas can often be a compromise. In my way of thinking, this is more appropriate because their birthdays are all about celebrating them and their birth, so it seems okay that they get a bunch of gifts. Christmas though is about Jesus and His birthday so tons of gifts for your child makes alot less sense there. In my family anyways people have been open to that and have been okay with saving their mounds of gifts for birthdays instead of Christmas. Maybe not an ideal solution, but a good compromise that preserves the true spirit of Christmas a bit.

    December 23rd, 2009 at 9:25 pm

  9. Jack says:

    Don’t forget that millions of people of other faiths, including atheists, celebrate Christmas — the purely gift-giving side of the holiday. Santa Claus is here to stay.

    December 23rd, 2009 at 9:36 pm

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