The First Christmas

'The First Christmas' campaign is a global project for The Zeitgeist Movement in an attempt to hijack the consumption festival known as ‘Christmas’ via Facebook, and turn it into what it has so far only claimed to be about: Giving to those less fortunate than you.

By putting 'The First Christmas' logo on your Facebook profile picture you are letting your friends and family know that this Christmas you would rather they give whatever they were going to spend on you this year to a charity of your or their choice instead.

This project is not claiming that charity is the answer to the world’s problems. Charities are in fact a very evident symptom of the deeper ‘root cause’ problem with regards to our global socio-economic paradigm (as anyone who is familiar with what TZM advocates knows only too well of course).

However, we must keep in mind where we are, and work from there. Remember that the transition to a Resource Based Economy is one of values. So shifting our values at Christmastime from those of selfish and conspicuous consumption to one of empathy and caring for your fellow man seems like a pretty good place to start.

As a brief example of the gross overconsumption at Christmas, it is worth noting that the UK spent £16.7 billion on Christmas in 2010. A staggering amount that could have fed all the billion people starving to death on this planet for almost an entire year!

Christmas movies, the media and society like to pay lip service to the claim that Christmas should be about thinking of those less fortunate than you. Unfortunately, reality is somewhat different as cultural and marketing pressures reinforce a very different sort of behaviour. One in which people feel they must buy gifts arbitrarily out of the obligation to meet the demands of the surrounding social status quo and with very little thought regarding the exponential wasting of the planet's finite resources, the production methods involved in the goods they are buying, or the utility of them. This being said, the lip service that is paid with regards to the ‘true meaning of Christmas’, plus the power of social media is our opportunity to make ‘The First Christmas’ a huge success.

Take for example the campaign that saw the rock band Rage Against the Machine beat the X-Factor to Christmas number one in the UK in 2009. This was started by a lone fan, showing that this ‘viral’ approach can work extremely effectively. Also, scientific studies now show that if 10 percent of a population want to roll with an idea passionately then the rest will follow suit. All the evidence points toward how the movement could have a huge effect towards shifting the cultural zeitgeist toward one of empathy if we actually work together on this project.

Another difference between ‘The First Christmas’ and other charitable organisations working at this time of year is that it is something that individuals can take up with no affiliation to any other cause or organisation. It is simply an opportunity to make a personal statement about what they feel Christmas should really be about to all their family and friends. This is why there is no official affiliation to TZM on ‘The First Christmas’ Facebook page. Some people do not support TZM, others do not know what it is, and some simply don’t want to know. This unconnected stance is one of the strengths of this idea as it keeps it simple for people to advocate regardless of their political, social or religious views.

This is a great chance for the movement to make a positive impact, but only if we all act together, so please take a few minutes of your time to support the campaign. It’s free and is your chance to live up to that phrase we often quote from Mahatmas Ghandi:

"Be the light of change you wish to see in the world."

We are always claiming that we want projects that will have a large effect and will work to alleviate the suffering in our world and move human values forward toward caring for your fellow man. Well, here is our chance to practice what we preach!

So make this year one to remember and join 'The First Christmas' project today by clicking on this link:

Please also like and share ‘The First Christmas’ project page on Facebook, twitter, email and any other way you can think of by visiting the page here.

"You are what you do, not what you say." --Severn Suzuki

Thanks for your support. :D

Oh, and.....Merry Christmas. x

James Phillips - TZM Education


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Sun, 11/11/2012 - 12:44pm | What a great initiative! I (Score: 1)