“So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). “Wake up!” says the Psalmist, “For you own good get smart and change now…life is short!”

Only 27 shopping days until Christmas! What irony! Between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve we are regularly reminded to number our days…our shopping days.

Maybe our current economic realities can serve as a wake up call to get smart and change shopping-as-usual, for our own good and the good of the world. To that end, I resolve to:

1) Buy nothing the day after Thanksgiving (November 28). Search online for “Buy Nothing Day” to learn more about this unofficial, loosely organized, counter-cultural movement.

2) Give up malls and mega stores for Advent. I do this because I’m an impulse buyer, easily sucked in by twinkly lights and colorful displays.

3) Step up my charitable giving. Our economic times are tough, to be sure, and tough economic times are surely hardest on people who already vulnerable. These are the perfect times, then, to step up and give an extra donation to your congregation; to churchwide ministries like the ELCA World Hunger Appeal and ELCA Vision for Mission; and to the other ministries, agencies, and organizations that count on your support. Through ELCA Good Gifts (www.elca.org/giving) charitable donations are transformed into really good Christmas presents.

4) Give value-full gifts. I will expect a lot from the gifts I give. They will be some combination of the following:
* A gift donation, like ELCA Good Gifts
* locally grown, raised, produced, or sold
* needed and wanted
* eco-friendly
* consumable
* hand made
* recycled, reused, repurposed
* Fair Trade

Are you resolved? What have you promised yourself as we count the days until Christmas?
––Sue Edison-Swift