Retailers swamp consumers with sound, color, offers, ads and invitations to buy more stuff. Consumer spending drives the modern capitalist economies of the world and the over-consumption at Christmas demonstrates more clearly than at any other time that our economies operate in a 'sanitized' mode that increasingly removes consumers from the processes of the supply chain. The mall's music and sales disguise the fact that shoppers have simply outsourced the pollution footprint of their over-consumption along with the hard work and emissions to nations such as China.
To these life cycle product costs a full energy footprint accounting of our retail therapy costs would add the fuel consumed in driving to, as well as the energy needed to run the malls themselves. Then there's other dead-weight losses that a full accounting would include when measuring the real costs of Christmas on the environment , for instance, material gifts are often perceived as white elephants, imposing cost for upkeep and storage and contributing to clutter and landfill.
Buy Nothing Christmas has been taken up by Adbusters as a perfect extension of their widely popular anti-consumerism cause. Buy Nothing Christmas is a stress-reliever that more people need to hear about and embrace. A person can change their world by simply by changing their mind, and by extension, change the destructive path of the larger populations' denial of their part in the disease of consumer capitalism.