Ethical Shopping vs. Christmas Shopping

What kind of Christmas shopper are you? Do get your Christmas shopping done early or are you a last-minute shopper? Every year I lull myself into a false sense of security. I make lists in October and start shopping early… only to leave 50% of the gift buying to the week before Christmas! Now, you might be wondering why I’m writing about Christmas shopping?

Consumerism is rife in our society. It’s one of the lies that culture tells us will make us happy. But as we were reminded last Sunday, the things of this earth will not make us happy. Adam said in the sermon ‘Happy is the person who is right with the happy God! This is the ultimate form of happiness. Because this happiness will never end. It will never rust or spoil or fade. In fact, it will just get better and better forever and ever! This is the happiness you were created for.’

So, why am I talking about Christmas shopping? I certainly don’t mean to be a Grinch and steal the joy of Christmas giving, and don’t get me wrong, I love the joy of gift giving at Christmas and watching my children open their presents. My purpose in writing this is to suggest a few ways that we can use our Christmas gift giving to make a difference in the lives of others and to pursue and promote justice in our world.

As Christians we’re called to be good stewards of God’s good world. We’re called to love others and promote justice. I’m thankful for organisations like Baptist World Aid who have put together an Ethical Fashion Guide, telling you which companies are doing the most to protect workers and their supply chain. There are also companies that give to others when you purchase a gift from them. For example, for every $3 made by TOMS Shoes $1 is given away to global relief efforts. Have you heard about Goodwill Wine? 50% of their proceeds go towards charities selected by they shopper. I even have found the best place to buy sports balls for my children. For every ball purchased, PARK donate a ball to a child living in need. I could go on and on with examples. It only takes a simple web search to find a worthwhile gift that give to others in need.

We can also purchase ‘gifts’ specifically for people in need. Gifts of Compassion are powerful gifts that change the lives of families living in poverty around the world. We can add to our Christmas list items like: Fruit and Veggie Seeds ($5), a Mosquito Net ($10), even a Goat ($45)! These kinds of gifts are life changing for the recipient.

What about looking to give to someone in need locally? Another place we could make I powerful impact in the life of another is through Priceless House. Priceless House provide women with real choice. They support women who are experiencing pregnancy in difficult circumstances. Your donation will provide nappies or counselling or parenting courses, and so on. Again, I could go on and on with examples of organisations and charities you could support.

Whether your Christmas shopping is last minute or you like to have things sorted by November (oh, how I aspire to be like you!), I hope you’ll consider where you shop from and what you will buy that gives back to others.

‘What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?’ Micah 6:8