Wednesday, February 06, 2008

“Re-gifting” Chia Pets Not A Lenten Sacrifice, Argues Church

Galveston, TX: People have mentioned that this year’s close proximity of the Christmas season and Lent feels strange. But it has also created a real problem: practicing “re-gifting” as Lenten sacrifice.

“It began when parishioners were offering Chia Pets and George Foreman grills to the Church this week, and said it was their contribution to Operation Rice Bowl,” said pastoral associate Jean LeBeau of Most Holy Angels Church in Galveston. “I realize that some of their impulse may be a movement toward simpler living, or at least detaching themselves from Christmas gift junk. But sacrifice means giving up something you actually use.”

“There’s also the issue that the poor who benefit from the Operation Rice Bowl collections can’t eat a Chia Pet,” added LeBeau.

Some parishioners are annoyed by the parish’s bulletin announcement that re-gifting isn’t sacrifice. “For pity’s sake,” argued Naomi Johnson. “Recycling is all the rage now, and I know that’s as ethical as all get out. Re-gifting is recycling. It’s all part of the circle of life, like Elton John sang in The Lion King. I swear, I watched that part of the movie and thought ‘this is like a religious experience. The music is even better than at Church.’”

Another church member, Chris Entelmann, argued “I offered my Chia Pet to the Church with all the love of my heart. It’s just like the widow’s mite story in the gospel. Well, except that I have loads of money. And a mite is kinda useful. But the intention is the same, so I don’t see the big deal here.”

Not all parishioners were bothered by the early introduction of Lent. A woman, who did not want to be identified but was dressed in sackcloth and ashes, explained, “I’m not bothered at all by Lent on the heels of Christmas this year. My crazy gift decisions this Christmas primed me for Lent this year. I know I need to repent. Lent probably ought to follow immediately after Christmas every year, while we’ve got those folks in for their once-a-year visit to the Church.”


Visiting is a definite Lenten sacrifice.

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