One thing that we don’t often remember when scouring the malls for the last Wii or the prettiest necklace, is that holidays happen in places like Uganda, too. In Uganda, most people celebrate Christmas, and in Acholi Quarters they are no exception.
Imagine Christmas in Acholi Quarters. For 20 years these people have been living in fear. They fled their homes, ended up in a slum, and for years pounded rocks to earn just enough to survive. On Christmas there are no stockings, no ornaments or lawn santas, no Christmas lights. Many could not afford a single present.
Now, for the first time, 16 families are overcoming poverty. They are earning good money each month, and now even saving money for the future. Imagine the joy with which they will savor a special Christmas meal, and the thanks with which they might give gifts.
It’s moments like these that make Acholi Beads what it is, moments of connection, of sharing in the mutual joy of lives changing. It’s going to be a merry Christmas indeed.
Acholi Beads is part of what I call The New Luxury. The New Luxury is our society’s response to consumerism’s inability to add meaning to our lives, while recognizing its power to improve livelihoods.
The New Luxury is smarter than advertising. It doesn’t seek its values in airbrushed images or phrases engineered to be memes. The New Luxury abides in story. It basks in the soft fabric of lives woven together by intention and fate.
The New Luxury transcends the sterile front of retail shelves. It peers into the true history of products, joining hands with the many people behind the supply chain, on the far side of the world, who brought the products into existence.
The New Luxury doesn’t rely on the weight of a price tag, but knows the glory of connection to stories larger than any dollar figure, more important than any bragging rights.
The New Luxury acknowledges that value cannot be bought, but that we can buy based on values. It asserts that meaning is broader than a slogan, more attractive than a photo, and deeper than any pockets. It assures us that beauty created in a studio pales when compared to the faintest reflection of real love. And The New Luxury insists that we will not be blinded by advertisements or manipulated by marketing; we are too smart and passionate to allow our dollars to be tempted away by false promises of happiness.
The New Luxury chooses joy, truth, hope, and love.