Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Does God like Christmas?

This time of year I get what we call the I-wanters.  That is, I see all the good sales, and I want things.

Last weekend, I stopped in the ATT store to see how much the iPhone was going for these days.  It was nice, and slightly more than I had budgeted for my birthday gift.  Since I have a December birthday, maybe I could talk Stef into bundling it with my Christmas gift.  Yeah! That's a good idea.

So....I talked to the man about the iPhone, only to find out it was the only phone in the store that required a $30-per-month data plan.  Now the $200 phone would cost me... oh... around $560 for the year over what I'm currently paying for mobile service.

So, being a smart guy, I asked the guy, "Are there any phones that you'd recommend over the iPhone.

His eye's light up as he guided me across the room to show me the new Blackberry Bold. At only $400 this phone has high rating in just about everything over the iPhone. 

Oh, it looked so nice, and there was an option of a $100 rebate.  I'll I'd have to do is order the dataplan for 3 months.  Let's see, $30 data plan times 3 equals $90.  That's $10 saving and i get to use the super fast G3 network for 3 months.  Certainly, if Stef could see the 3G's blazing speed, she'd want me to have it.  "Oh," and he added, "This phone has one of the best turn-by-turn GPS system in the world.  It even beats those that they put into Lexus and BMW cars. That's only a $10-per-month service charge."

"WOW!  I love GPS! That could only be so cooooooool!"  And it could be my birthday present/Christmas present.  Now I want it, and I want it BAD!  Let's ignor that fact that this phone would only cost me $400-$100 rebate+$90 for the first 3 monts of data service + in reality $30 times 9 because I really want the phone for the cool data feature + $120 for the monthly GPS service.  I could have this baby for only $780. Only $650 dollars more than I had budgeted for birthday and Christmas gifts.

You see, we are trying to downplay gifts this year.  We don't need stuff, but as Seth Godin points out in his bog Hungry, its the marketer's job to make me want stuff.  It's my job to realize I don't need it.

The video at the top of this unusually long post is Jon Foreman performing his song Instead.  It is a lovely reworking of the sentiments in Is. 1:11-17 or maybe Amos 5:21-24.  When it comes to Christmas, I'm never really happy.

I wonder if it is because this season has become on of those festivals that Isaiah and Amos write about.  Could God really be pleased with me when I celebrate the coming of his Son with buying myself a cell phone or buying my child a new 50-inch flatscreen TV?  Maybe I'm not that far out--maybe it is just the Wii @ $400 that I'm getting my kid to set along side the PS3 and X-box?  Or whatever else it might be that is cause me to have the I-wanters?  Can those I-wanter be what God hates when they overcome my attention on justice and righteous living?