Christian Minimalism

“Saving” A Consumerist Christmas

When I was a kid, we watched a lot of Christmas specials geared for children. And I mean A LOT. The month of December was always marked by eating a piece of chocolate every day from our Advent calendar and watching a ridiculous amount of specialty Christmas shows.

When you watch a ton of the same genre of TV shows, you start to notice patterns. Even as a kid, I noticed a huge pattern: in most of the children’s Christmas shows, someone was typically trying to steal/stop Christmas, and certain people had to step up, save the day, and reinstate Santa and his ability to deliver his presents to the world.

“Saving” Christmas?

It wasn’t until I was an adult (and a Christian minimalist) that I began to realize just how problematic this often-used plot really is.

There’s a reason most children’s Christmas specials in the U.S. use this same plot.

It’s because every American Christmas cartoon/movie’s worst nightmare is when Santa can’t deliver presents– and thus the vicious cycle of consumerism and overspending/buying tons of stuff we don’t need for Christmas can not be continued.

That’s what ruins Christmas in our society. Not having our stuff.

And that’s just plain terrifying. Through these shows, we are teaching kids that Christmas is about stuff. Without the presents being delivered, Christmas is ruined. We can only save the day if Santa brings us our stuff.

Actually Saving Christmas

But what if we actually “saved” Christmas from consumerism?

What if we focused on Jesus rather than stuff?

What if we shared with others who are less resourced?

What if we prioritized spending time with each other rather than buying more gifts?

What if we gifted experiences, consumables, and donations rather than things?

What if we totally re-thought Christmas through a Christian minimalist lens, and “saving” Christmas meant focusing on Jesus and what matters most?

God has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of his servant David, just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago.

Zechariah, Luke 1:69-70

In the midst of a global pandemic, we have a unique opportunity this year to rethink how we celebrate Christmas. How is God inviting YOU to celebrate Christmas by focusing on Jesus and what matters most?


Becca Ehrlich, AKA The Christian Minimalist, is striving to be a Christian minimalist in a consumer society. She currently lives in Upstate New York with her husband Will and their son Theo. You can read more about her story and how her blog came to exist by clicking the website link above.

1 Comment

  1. April

    December 14, 2020 - 7:37 pm

    Great observation about the child’s Christmas specials on television, thank you for sharing this insight. I have been struggling for many years with the idea of having a Christmas tree for it brings me no joy and I feel it is no reflection of the birth of Jesus. I only buy with intention and do not participate in most of the consumerism of the season which my family understands and accepts but thinks I am a Grinch because I dont see the need for decor. I need to find a way to celebrate Christmas that brings me the pure joy of the birth of Jesus Christ more than ever.

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