Church uses big shopping day to teach parishioners to celebrate what they have

OVERLAND PARK, Kansas - Instead of fighting crowds at the mall, some folks chose an alternative to the so-called Black Friday. They attended a counter-cultural celebration of spiritual abundance called “Celebrate What You Have Day.”

Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church hosted the program. They taught yoga classes and engaged kids in arts and crafts projects. Older kids watched a documentary about teens and consumption.

It’s the church’s effort to combat what they see as manic spending and consumerism. They say shopping is not a bad thing. They just want people to balance their buying habits with their priorities.

“What is most important to you? Is it stuff? Is it presents?” asks Rev. Thom Belote of the Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church. “Or is it togetherness? Is it spending time together? So what we're doing is, we're really doing something that's counter-cultural here, we're doing an alternative way of celebrating the holidays.”

This was the church’s first “Celebrate What You Have Day.” They say the idea came from a church in Minnesota and is catching on across the country.

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