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56&cf=1&pa=0&e=R">beliefnet: Home</A>


Good site ---- an excerpt of one article:
The Hundred Dollar Holiday 
Advocating a simple Christmas does not make me a grinch--in fact, just the 
By Bill McKibben     
 From The Center for a New American Dream website. Reprinted with permission.

I've been called my share of names, but the only one that ever really stung 
was "grinch." The year that a few friends and I started the Hundred Dollar 
Holiday program through our rural Methodist churches, several business-page 
columnists in the local papers leveled the G-word--we were dour do-gooders, 
they said, bent on taking the joy out of Christmas. And, frankly, their 
charges sounded plausible enough. After all, we were asking our families, our 
friends, and our church brethren to try and limit the amount of money they 
spend on the holiday to a hundred dollars--to celebrate the holiday with a 
seventh or an eighth of the normal American materialism. There's no question 
that would mean fewer "Pop guns! And bicycles! Roller skates! Drums! 
Checkerboards! Tricycles! Popcorn! And plums!" Not to mention PlayStations, 
Camcorders, Five Irons, and various Obsessions. Perhaps my heart was two 
sizes too small. 

So it was with some trepidation that I carefully reread my daughter's 
well-worn copy of the Seuss classic, neatly shelved with "Green Eggs and 
Ham," "Horton Hears a Who," and all the other secular parables. There on the 
cover was the Grinch himself, red eyes gleaming malevolently as he plotted 
the sack of Whoville... 

But of course, it didn't work. That Christmas morning, listening from his 
aerie for the wailing from Whoville below, the Grinch heard instead the sound 
of singing. Christmas had come. "It came without ribbons! It came without 
tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!" After puzzling three hours 
till his puzzler was sore, the Grinch was forced to conclude that Christmas 
came from no store. 

And so I breathed a sigh of real relief. Not only was I not a grinch trying 
to wreck the meaning of Christmas, it was abundantly clear who the grinches 
of our culture really are: those relentless commercial forces who have spent 
more than a century trying to convince us that Christmas does come from a 
store, or a catalog, or a virtual mall on the internet. Every day, but 
especially in the fall, they try their hardest to turn each Cindy Lou Who 
into a proper American consumer--try their best to make sure her Christmas 
revolves around Sony or Sega, Barbie or Elmo. 
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