Santas Against Excessive Consumption, London UK, Xmas 08

Five brave counterculture warriors don Santa Suits, sing anti-consumerist and anti-capitalist Xmas carols, and leaflet for more mindful attention to love, gifts, and catastrophic climate change – in Oxford Street, in the heart of the shopping district of Old London Town, on the busiest shopping day of the year: Sat 13 Dec 08.

Turning material wealth into possessions makes you happy; shopping till you drop and retail therapy are good for everybody; proving you love somebody means giving them an expensive present. The bullplop promoted by Capital’s advertising and marketing psyche-manipulators has never needed challenging more than it does today, in the worst of the madness of Xmas shopping mass-psychosis during a cash-strapped credit crunch recession.

Our yuletide ‘tradition’ at London Rising Tide [1] involves a ‘Santas Against Excessive Consumption’ [2] choral street action – mass dressing as Santa Claus, social singing of anti-consumerist Xmas carols, and letting folks know by leaflet that there is an alternative to the dominant the-one-who-dies-with-the-most-toys-wins idiocy of hyperconsumerism. Since the rain was heavy and steady, we sought shelter and performance space in the West One indoor shopping mall on Oxford Street, by Bond Street tube station. But anti-capitalist choristers only dampened what little Xmas spirit the security boss had left – and he threatened to call the cops if we didn’t leave forthwith.

Thankfully, his remit seemed to run out at the doors to Oxford Street, which still left us with a suitably sized covered area in which we could sing to our hearts content, and compete with the McDonalds McFlyer to see who could give away the most leaflets per unit time. The applause of shoppers happy to be spared, if only temporarily, from the soul-rotting rounds of shopping for tat was much appreciated.

The lyrics of the songs you can hear us singing in the video (so you can sing along, or even stage your own Santas Against Conspicuous Consumption street action) are as follows.

1 (& 3). Jingle All The Way – to the tune of Jingle Bells

Profits here, profits there,
profits everywhere
Christmas time is funny
we smell money in the air
Advertise, glamorize,
fool you with a flair.
Let's make sure that Christmas
is a businesslike affair.

You're eating up our lies and dashing to the stores
Then all our prices rise and how the money pours
If we don't keep you drugged and watching your TV
You might see the hypocrisy
then where would business be?


We'll tell you how to think and tell you what to try
What to eat and drink and how to live and die
And if our plan succeeds, when Christmas-time is nigh
Instead of seeking love and peace you'll hunt for gifts to buy


2. Consumer Wonderland – to the tune of Winter Wonderland, lyrics by Erica Avery

The TV's on / are you watching?
Another product / that they're hawking
one more thing you need
to make life complete
Welcome to Consumer Wonderland

In the stores / you will hear it
"Pricey gifts / show holiday spirit"
That's what they call it
to get to your wallet
Welcome to Consumer Wonderland

At the mall we can go out shopping
and buy lots of stuff we can't afford
we'll have lots of fun with our new toys
until we realize that we're still bored

When you shop / ain't it thrilling
until / you get the billing
the money you still owe the stuff broke long ago
Welcome to Consumer Wonderland

4. Oh Come All Ye Shoppers – to the tune of Oh Come All Ye Faithful

Oh come all ye shoppers
Burdened and despondent
Come all ye followers of ma-a-mon
Come and buy things
Sparkly and redundant

Oh come let us ignore it
Oh come let us deplore it
Oh come let us abhore it
Money and greed.

Ring tills with profit
Ring in exploitation
Ring all ye registers of capitalism
Glory to profit
At it’s highest

Oh come let us ignore it
Oh come let us deplore it
Oh come let us abhore it
Money and greed.


For capitalists, giving means buying tat from them first. For anti-capitalists, a gift economy can undermine the market economics that poison our environment, our culture and our minds – for example, see ‘Creating Our Future World One Gift At A Time’ –


[1] London Rising Tide –

[2] The Rising Tide “tradition” of ‘Santas Against Excessive Consumption’:
▪ ‘Santas Against Excessive Consumption hit London, 16.12.06’ –
▪ ‘Santas Against Excessive Consumption invade Oxford Street’ –
▪ ‘Subversive Singing Santas Spread Seasonal Sanity in London and Norwich’ –

[2] Carol resources:
▪ Christmas Carols –
▪ Our Entire 11-song Songsheet –