Adbusters

#OCCUPYXMAS begins

Here comes the new Normal.

This years’ Black Friday was a resounding success. Fifty-five billion dollars chimed through cash registers across the USA. Two hundred and fifty-thousand people went into the malls and spent on average 400 hundred dollars each, the biggest shopping day ever. Some notable purchases included ten limited edition Ferraris with matching luggage from Neiman Marcus’s exclusive holiday catalogue, $395,000 each, gobbled up in under an hour.

We in the 99%, alongside our sympathetic friends in the 1%, need to challenge this “normal” way of doing Xmas and come up with a new normal. The holidays need another paradigm.

So what are we occupiers going to do different this season? For starters, we’re going to take the personal plunge and move our money. We’re going to take it away from the big banks and put it into our local credit unions. And that will be the one great first step in breaking beyond the encampments and into the new Xmas imagination.

Adbusters 111 Cover

On Newsstands December 3

At last we’re in Winter. It’s the year 2047. A worn scrapbook from the future arrives in your lap. It offers a stunning global vision, a warning to the next generations, a repository of practical wisdom, and an invaluable roadmap which you need to navigate the dark times, and the opportunities, which lie ahead.

Subscribe to Adbusters Magazine

112 comments on the article “#OCCUPYXMAS begins”

Displaying 51 - 60 of 112

Page 6 of 12

Becca Cook

There are so many nice gifts that can be found on sites like Etsy or Zazzle etc that are made by independant artists and crafters. Make sure to do your research on the seller, there are usually seller pages connected to the shop page or you can contact them to find out more info. Not all etsy shops are American and/or a small independant home based buisiness.

Also definetly switch to a local credit union. I love my credit union!

Becca Cook

There are so many nice gifts that can be found on sites like Etsy or Zazzle etc that are made by independant artists and crafters. Make sure to do your research on the seller, there are usually seller pages connected to the shop page or you can contact them to find out more info. Not all etsy shops are American and/or a small independant home based buisiness.

Also definetly switch to a local credit union. I love my credit union!

Anonymous

I would have registered, but I kind of like being listed as "Anonymous."

So what's next. I've moved my money. I'm looking into moving my debt. I spoke with someone at my credit union and apparently there are rules they have to follow that specify how much money they have to lend in relation to the number of people who have checking and savings accounts. So as more people move their money, these credit unions have to lend more or face some kind of penalties.

I apologize that I don't know more details, but the bottom line is that we also need to get people to move their loans to credit unions as well, or the 99% movement may unintentionally hurt the credit unions we are encouraging people to use. So for those of us who have debt, refinance your mortgage with a credit union, finance a car through a credit union. They need to lend money too.

But what's next? I believe we've begun to have an impact and the paradigm has begun to shift, but the work is far from over. What's the next step?

Anonymous

I would have registered, but I kind of like being listed as "Anonymous."

So what's next. I've moved my money. I'm looking into moving my debt. I spoke with someone at my credit union and apparently there are rules they have to follow that specify how much money they have to lend in relation to the number of people who have checking and savings accounts. So as more people move their money, these credit unions have to lend more or face some kind of penalties.

I apologize that I don't know more details, but the bottom line is that we also need to get people to move their loans to credit unions as well, or the 99% movement may unintentionally hurt the credit unions we are encouraging people to use. So for those of us who have debt, refinance your mortgage with a credit union, finance a car through a credit union. They need to lend money too.

But what's next? I believe we've begun to have an impact and the paradigm has begun to shift, but the work is far from over. What's the next step?

Anonymous

Well, I'd be the first to agree that modern christmas is a consumerist hell, and let me tell you, I know what I'm talking about after being stuck with a kid that chose to be born on dec. 25th.

So we had doubled stress: double presents, double family visit marathon sessions, double eating- drinking- visiting- gaming hangovers and both ruined budgets and nerves after the holidays. Double timetables needed to be set up for the different, competing parts of the family and friends: we were mainly spending Christmas in the car, rushing from invitation to invitation, unwrapping gifts in olympic time, eating five dinners a day on different locations starting in the early afternoon, speeding home late at night to get the house cleaned and the cooking and baking done for next days guests. Saying, well but it would indeed be nice to have a bit of time for friends too: we made the mistake of setting up a tradition to invite friends on dec. 26th... I always longed for peaceful Christmas, but somehow, never managed to get it.

The kid is adult by now, so it would be feasible to abolish the bullshit altogether, but somehow, this doesn't happen. And I think this is due to the addictive character of the whole scheme. Christmas is like a drug: you have an expectation that is never fulfilled - and the only remedy you find is increasing the dose. The disastrous consequences are well known (and pretty similar to other drug addictions), so I won't repeat them here.

And this is why I think that a "boycott consumerist x- mas" message doesn't work: it's about austerity, and that's precisely the opposite of what people want from Christmas. They want abundancy: abundant love, abundant friendship, and yes, they spend insane ammounts of money to prove to themselves that they have abundant financial security at least for one day, even if the illusion is obvious. Just quitting doesn't provide abundancy, less doesn't feel like more on this date. For an addict, less is simply less and creates a feeling of defeat.

So, to restore the very idea of Christmas, you'll have to come up with something better than a boycott message. You'll have to provide alternative content. I tried some options like suggesting all friends and relatives could meet in one place, forget about the presents and rent a house by the sea instead to spent some good days together - well, I would have been the only tenant of the house - my folks thought the suggestion was insane and so we keep doing the grand tour. Handmade presents? Yeah, the moment I hand them out I can see people thinking "well, she's nuts, but that's why we love her". The only betterment over the years was that my daughter grew up and so we got rid of kid's birthday parties on the 25th. Now, we meet with her friends in an overcrowded pub at midnight and get plastered, which, indeed, is a bit of an improvement. It provides a great excuse for leaving family dinners early too, it's a relief, but a sad one.

The crazy thing is, I know for sure most people feel exactly the same way I do, but still, we seem unable to break the tradition. Once in a while I have thought the only way of doing it would be something radical. Spend Christmas with strangers, for instance. Set up a charity Christmas dinner for homeless people maybe. Collect stories instead of presents. And give time instead of gifts noone really appreciates. Ah, daydreaming again, I suppose: Dec 24th will see me in a pub again at midnight, sighing with relief the hardest working day of the year is over at last after the fifth family dinner. Maybe next year...

Anonymous

Well, I'd be the first to agree that modern christmas is a consumerist hell, and let me tell you, I know what I'm talking about after being stuck with a kid that chose to be born on dec. 25th.

So we had doubled stress: double presents, double family visit marathon sessions, double eating- drinking- visiting- gaming hangovers and both ruined budgets and nerves after the holidays. Double timetables needed to be set up for the different, competing parts of the family and friends: we were mainly spending Christmas in the car, rushing from invitation to invitation, unwrapping gifts in olympic time, eating five dinners a day on different locations starting in the early afternoon, speeding home late at night to get the house cleaned and the cooking and baking done for next days guests. Saying, well but it would indeed be nice to have a bit of time for friends too: we made the mistake of setting up a tradition to invite friends on dec. 26th... I always longed for peaceful Christmas, but somehow, never managed to get it.

The kid is adult by now, so it would be feasible to abolish the bullshit altogether, but somehow, this doesn't happen. And I think this is due to the addictive character of the whole scheme. Christmas is like a drug: you have an expectation that is never fulfilled - and the only remedy you find is increasing the dose. The disastrous consequences are well known (and pretty similar to other drug addictions), so I won't repeat them here.

And this is why I think that a "boycott consumerist x- mas" message doesn't work: it's about austerity, and that's precisely the opposite of what people want from Christmas. They want abundancy: abundant love, abundant friendship, and yes, they spend insane ammounts of money to prove to themselves that they have abundant financial security at least for one day, even if the illusion is obvious. Just quitting doesn't provide abundancy, less doesn't feel like more on this date. For an addict, less is simply less and creates a feeling of defeat.

So, to restore the very idea of Christmas, you'll have to come up with something better than a boycott message. You'll have to provide alternative content. I tried some options like suggesting all friends and relatives could meet in one place, forget about the presents and rent a house by the sea instead to spent some good days together - well, I would have been the only tenant of the house - my folks thought the suggestion was insane and so we keep doing the grand tour. Handmade presents? Yeah, the moment I hand them out I can see people thinking "well, she's nuts, but that's why we love her". The only betterment over the years was that my daughter grew up and so we got rid of kid's birthday parties on the 25th. Now, we meet with her friends in an overcrowded pub at midnight and get plastered, which, indeed, is a bit of an improvement. It provides a great excuse for leaving family dinners early too, it's a relief, but a sad one.

The crazy thing is, I know for sure most people feel exactly the same way I do, but still, we seem unable to break the tradition. Once in a while I have thought the only way of doing it would be something radical. Spend Christmas with strangers, for instance. Set up a charity Christmas dinner for homeless people maybe. Collect stories instead of presents. And give time instead of gifts noone really appreciates. Ah, daydreaming again, I suppose: Dec 24th will see me in a pub again at midnight, sighing with relief the hardest working day of the year is over at last after the fifth family dinner. Maybe next year...

Anonymous

Wow, I get everthing you say. Xmas is a big dose of happiness drugs. We never had the money growing up for the big gifts, but my parents had lots of poor friends and they all made the rounds. Mostly it was drinking and lots and lots of home made food! I think the only way to not get sucked in is to not start - when your kids grow up, get married stop the cycle with them!! No huge parties, more spending time together, more home made fun, no high end gifts ever! If you must have "things", dont wrap them into Xmas.
I still make ornaments every yr - I made decorations w/ my mom growing up, its in my blood now. Homemade foods were gifts, all of us in the family had to make at least 1 gift for each other member - I still have a wall plaque my brother carved for me in the 60s, its that nice. and, each of us got at least 1 book! The only way to stop is to stop, replace the $$ with family time and closeness. If you grow up w/ it its normal.
This nutsiness of Black Fri and all the throwing money around is alien to me! I dont get it and think it's quite pathetic. It is a time of yr when you feel less poor, less afraid of the future, closer, happier - its a happy drug for sure, and we dont get that feeling for most of the rest of the yr, you have to drag it forward w/ you as best you can. I love Xmas and this season, and its rather ruined when the SA cant ring their bells, and people fight over "stuff" and are so bad to others etc -

Anonymous

Wow, I get everthing you say. Xmas is a big dose of happiness drugs. We never had the money growing up for the big gifts, but my parents had lots of poor friends and they all made the rounds. Mostly it was drinking and lots and lots of home made food! I think the only way to not get sucked in is to not start - when your kids grow up, get married stop the cycle with them!! No huge parties, more spending time together, more home made fun, no high end gifts ever! If you must have "things", dont wrap them into Xmas.
I still make ornaments every yr - I made decorations w/ my mom growing up, its in my blood now. Homemade foods were gifts, all of us in the family had to make at least 1 gift for each other member - I still have a wall plaque my brother carved for me in the 60s, its that nice. and, each of us got at least 1 book! The only way to stop is to stop, replace the $$ with family time and closeness. If you grow up w/ it its normal.
This nutsiness of Black Fri and all the throwing money around is alien to me! I dont get it and think it's quite pathetic. It is a time of yr when you feel less poor, less afraid of the future, closer, happier - its a happy drug for sure, and we dont get that feeling for most of the rest of the yr, you have to drag it forward w/ you as best you can. I love Xmas and this season, and its rather ruined when the SA cant ring their bells, and people fight over "stuff" and are so bad to others etc -

Pages

Add a new comment

Comments are closed.