Confessions of a Recovering Retail Manager


Christmas had become the center of my life, but for all the wrong reasons. It was my job to merchandise stores with the latest seasonal stuff. If it was new, it was better. It was my duty to make others want all that stuff, and I was really good at it. I helped determine the Christmas shopping season, and it was best to get it started earlier each year.

Consumerism was my career focus. I had a sales number for a goal, and I forgot the real reason for the season. Yes, it was me displaying all those Christmas ornaments and decorations earlier each year. Sometimes, I could convince myself it was just better planning. Planning, I told myself, is good; promoting greed is bad.

What was I thinking? I’m conditioned by consumerism to think the same way most of us do: I am what I own. I am my house, my car, my clothes. When I think I am everything I own, I might look good on the outside, but there’s really nothing good happening on the inside.

The Bible warned me about this trap:

But the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Mark 4:19

My work was in conflict with scriptural truth. Somehow, I needed to become more content with what I had, rather than striving for a never-ending MORE:

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For, we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many Uno dei migliori online aams e William Hill Casino, la grafica con la quale il sito web di questa elegante sala da gioco virtuale, accoglie i visitatori, lascia intuire quanto qui sia importante far sentire il giocatore a proprio agio; l’aspetto del sito e piacevole e la navigazione risulta facile ed immediata, anche trovare le varie pagine del sito dove accedere a qualsiasi tipo di funzione o informazione specifica e davvero semplice grazie ad un menu molto comodo presente nella home page. grieves. 1 Timothy 6:6-10

With the help of groups like Blessed Earth, I began to see that selfish consumerism is not only bad for me; it’s bad for the planet. My desire for stuff was toxic to all God’s creation. I started to learn about another way: God’s way. With His help, I could actually begin taking care of His creation. I could have a more simple life. I could separate my desires and needs, and I could plan accordingly.

Conditioned to be an instant gratification kind of girl, I admit my less materialistic lifestyle is an on-going struggle. I know God wants me to prosper, but finding a balance is tricky. Scripture helped me discover a layaway plan:

On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come. 1 Corinthians 16:2

Exchanging gifts is a good tradition, but I should plan ahead and save in advance, not buy impulsively. I’m sure the Wise Men planned for a long time to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures they presented unto him gifts; of gold, and frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:10-11

As a reformed Christmas merchandiser, here’s my advice: instead of giving to those who need nothing, give to those who have nothing. Start saving early, don’t overspend, and make your gifts symbolic of the offerings that give honor to the Prince of Peace, who brought joy to the world. No thing will fill your stocking–or your heart–like the love of Jesus Christ.

By Teri White-Griffin

Teri White-Griffin is a recovering retail marketing manager who now shares creation care wisdom and sustainable meal planning advice.