But the idea of celebrating Christmas without so much consumption has been around for a while. In 1973, a group called Alternatives for Simple Living formed as a protest against the commercialism of Christmas. Alternatives for Simple Living is still around encouraging people of faith to examine and challenge our consumer society.
Check them out and their many year-round resources for churches and families at www.simpleliving.org
Alternatives for Simple Living also produced a Christmas song book, Carols with Justice, a while back. Thanks to our friend Patricia Morrison, who introduced us to the group and let us borrow the song book.
Here are some of the alternative justice verses for some old favorites. Just add them in to the original song after singing the original first verse...
Away in a Manger
Teach all the world leaders there's no room for hate.
Peace, love and compassion will justice create.
Let kindness and fairness for all folk prevail.
Our care for each other shows God's love is real.
When children are crying and mothers distressed,
Because those in power with greed are obsessed,
We seek to find justice, compassion for them
Because of Christ Jesus born in Bethlehem.
We want to be gentle like this little one
Who sleeps in the manger, God's own precious son.
We ask the Lord's blessing that we may do right
To those all around us and those not in sight.
Silent night, holy night!
When will peace
Pray that justice will set victims free,
Those who are shackled to bleak poverty.
Christ be born in each heart,
Christ be born in each heart.
We wish you a merry Christmas
Regular chorus and first verse, then...
Remember the poor, the sick and the old;
Your love for all people is worth more than gold.
Make freedom and peace and mercy your aim,
For Christ came at Christmas to set hearts a flame.