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Tis the Season…to shop?

By Christian Harvey

It is obvious that Christmas has gone from celebrating the birth of the prince of peace to a celebration of the victory of consumerism. But how do we talk about it with our teenagers? Here are a few resources that I have foun

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d helpful in starting up conversation around consumerism and Christmas:

What Would Jesus Buy?

A documentary following Rev. Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping as they travel across the U.S. toward the “shopocalypse”! It is at points hilarious, at times troubling at times incredibly touching. This film works equally well with adults or with youth, so try something crazy, get parents and youth to watch the film together!

Advent Conspiracy

A movement trying to get Christmas to be less about buying and more about worshiping fully, spending less, giving more, and loving all. A website full of resources, ideas and stories, this movement to go from buying stuff to solving water issues around the world is something your youth may get excited about. Check it out here.

Coyote Solstice Tale by Thomas King

One of my favorite children’s books of all time, this funny, touching and beautiful story can be a great way to ease youth into the conversation. And seriously, who doesn’t love a kid’s book.



Now I know, it is getting really close to Christmas, and though these may be great ideas, it is a bit to late. Well friends, it turns out that consumerism is not just an issue at Christmas time, but year round. Here are some non-Christmas related resources.

The Story of Stuff

Shorter then WWJB, this film looks at the impacts of our consumption on the environment and other people. Done in a very accessible way, this video is a great starting point for discussing the impact of our stuff on our world. Check it out here.

Last, music video’s can be a great way to start the conversation with your youth. Here are two that look at consumerism from very different angles.

Wings by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

One of my youth introduced this video to me. A song about how the artist was recruited into the movement of consumerism through his shoes. An amazing song and a powerful video.

I Own You by Wax Tailor ft. Charlie Winston

A really cool video, and an interesting song from the perspective of your stuff.

Consumerism is probably the biggest issue facing our youth and society today. If we want to help our youth explore the God of Abraham, Moses and Jesus, we are going to have to make them aware of the current God of stuff that demands their allegiance. If you have any resources, please let us know.

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