Image credit: silviarita on Pixabay / CC0 Public Domain
In one of my previous blog posts, I wrote that I wait until the third week of Advent before I buy a Christmas tree. This year will be an unique year: there won’t be a Christmas tree. I went out to shop for one, but the trees offered were either small or very overpriced. The tree that cost fifteen euros two years ago, now costs twice as much. Should I pay thirty euros for a tree that’s around for only three weeks, maximum, plus the extra costs for decoration?
There’s still a huge economic crisis going on in Europe. Last week, I read that record numbers of people are seeking professional help getting out of increasingly high debts. More and more people lose their jobs because bankruptcy numbers are still rising. I find it incredibly selfish to spend that amount of money on Christmas fluff during Advent, which is a time during which we are called to care for the poor. It won’t be “less Christmas” without a tree. I’ve added up the money I would have spent on Christmas fluff and bought some boxes.
In the upcoming days, when I do my Christmas grocery shopping, I will buy some extra luxury things to stuff the boxes with. Then I’ll donate the filled boxes to the cathedral to help families in our parish who face difficult times right now. People with no work won’t get a Christmas box. It is more in the spirit of Christmas to do that instead of buying a thirty-plus euro tree that I’ll put in the trash soon.
Next year I’ll get an artificial tree on the Third Day of Christmas. I’m will still put nicely decorated gift boxes under my tree, and fill those with groceries to give away. I feel better about doing that as a Christmas tradition than overspending on Christmas fluff.
What do you do for poor and homeless people this Christmas?