Something terrible happened to me this week. Well, something wonderful which led to something terrible. I hit the 4,000 word mark on Monday (yay!) so I went to reward myself with a new exercise book (yay!) but the bookshop I go to didn’t have what I was looking for (oh noes!) so I had to venture into the darkness of the mall (the horror!).
No, the power wasn’t out – that was last year’s Christmas rush. It was brightly lit and full of people – a few too many for my tastes. (I do like people, I just don’t like them all at once…) It’s not even Advent yet and the commercial push for Christmas – or rather Xmas – is already well underway. Tinsel trees, fake snow (we seldom have snow here, and when we do, it’s usually August) and a thousand and one tacky forms of a fat man in red.
I don’t think St Nicholas would be best pleased to find himself associated with such. After all, he wasn’t known for being an obese champion of conspicuous consumption.
He was known for helping people who were no longer able to help themselves – like the three young women facing a choice between prostitution and starvation. In an early ring-the-doorbell-and-run-away caper, he dropped a bag of gold down their chimney and legged it.
Much less dodgy than Santa Claus, who is not only more nosy than the NSA, but likes sneaking into people’s houses while they’re asleep.
No-one in the mall seemed to be enjoying themselves (besides my brief transport of delight at finally finding what I was looking for) and I started to wonder why we do this to ourselves.
This year, instead of running ourselves ragged spending our hard-earned on stuff neither we nor the recipients particularly want, why not be Saint Nick for someone else?
Freeset specialize in giving women a choice other than prostitution or starvation – and if you really love giving gifts, they make a great range of bags and t-shirts.
The International Justice Mission works for those who are denied freedom and/or justice – victims of child prostitution, forced labour and many other forms of injustice.
What better way to commemorate the birth of a baby into poverty and oppression, who defeated the oppressors not by violence, but by Doing Things Differently – and turning the world upside down?
What’s in it for me, you ask?
You get to avoid the mall.