Friday, December 7, 2012

Hundred Dollar Holiday Excerpt #1

Over the next few weeks as I'm reading through the little book Hundred Dollar Holiday by Bill McKibben, I thought I would share some quotes with you that I find thought provoking and/or inspiring.  The book takes a look at the history of the holiday of Christmas and offers up suggestions to simplify it in order to make it even more meaningful (less is more, no?).  This little series is not meant to take away from however you chose to celebrate.  They are just thoughts to ponder.

"The Christmas we now celebrate grew up at a time when Americans were mostly poor, mostly lived with extended families, mostly worked hard with their hands and backs.  It's no wonder that piles of presents felt different, that rowdy noise sounded different. The Christmas that was invented in the 1940s was fairly flexible: people could change the size of the presents as the nation grew richer, for instance.  But more and more that old Christmas finally feels played out.  We've changed too much, and if we feel harassed by Christmas, that's why.  It's not that Christmas has changed, it's that we have.  We're like fifty-year-olds going to Daytona Beach for spring break.  Maybe we can remember why it seemed fun once, but frankly, we'd rather sleep at night."

In essence, he's saying when life was hard and dull, a Christmas full of abundance, light and noise set the season apart from the rest of the year.  Today, when we experience abundance, light and noise all throughout the year, how do we set Christmas apart? Pin It


  1. This is quite the interesting way to think about things.

  2. We celebrate a little differently around here. We handcraft our ornaments and decorations. Each child gets one gift and a stocking with candy. We try to take a trip somewhere to set the holiday apart (we are visiting an Aquarium this year). Of course, Jesus is our primary focus and it's more like a birthday party than a materialism party at our home this time of year.

  3. Like the fact that most kids receive most of what they want all during the year these days. When I was little, I would spend months scheming, dreaming, and hinting for that special something. When it came on Christmas morning, it was really special because it didn't come easy. We try to live differently than most around us in this area and it is HARD! Most of my children's friends have the latest & greatest of everything, but we don't roll like that. When we are finally able to afford something so special, they appreciate it much more.

  4. We have decided this year to have a mostly home made Christmas. Our oldest is only 4, so making a change now won't be too traumatic. Each person gets one new, store-bought toy, and the rest of the gifts are being made by my husband and I or bought second hand and refurbished. And the kids are making ornaments for their gifts. We are even trying to make as much of our gifts for our extended family as we can. Pinterest has been an idea fountain for us, and we have made some very, very nice gifts this year. I can say that I have enjoyed this Christmas season more than any of the last few years simply because I am forced to actually sit and think about what so-and-so might like and how I can make it. All of the work put into the gifts is making me even more excited to see people open them. It brings new meaning to , "Its the thought that counts," because there really was a lot of thought put into the gift.

  5. It is good to understand why it always feels less of a sweeter memory of days gone by. Yet we must change our hearts trhough the year and make an effort to make Christmas special for your loved one. However it may look. But it was an interesting concept. Thanks.
    Blessings, Roxy

  6. I agree and how can kids today look forward to Christmas as they once did when so many children get so much all year round..I wish people(society)wasn't changing so very much,but then I am seeing some people rethinking many things in their lives and home...that's a good thing I believe :) Christmas blessings to you and yours.

  7. I read this book a couple of years ago and have been trying (though it hasn't been very successful) to scale back Christmas. I would much rather do something memorable than buy something forgettable. Thinking about the Christmases we had growing up, I mostly remember time spent with my cousins, wonderful food, and decorating. I could tell you some of the presents I received, but they are long gone while the memories of family remain.


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