SW.org has an (in general) excellent article (see here) on why this is a bad idea. The bottom line is this: "focusing hostility against consumers instead of the 1 percent only serves to mystify the circumstances that create such [Black Friday shopping] frenzies." Moreover, the article makes the important point that:
...#OccupyXmas accepts the very logic of consumerism that it decries at a time when millions of people are open to looking at the world in a new way. After all, it's the 1 percent that relentlessly encourages us to think of ourselves only in terms of what we consume, to measure ourselves by what we can buy, and to define our identities in terms of the products we possess.
What the Occupy movement has succeeded in doing was taking the discussion beyond a focus on the consumption choices that we as individuals make, and creating a new focus on how those decisions are embedded in a larger social framework--one that benefits the 1 percent at every turn, from individual and corporate tax policy, to the drive to privatize public institutions, to the outsized political influence that the 1 percent wields.
This is the key problem with "Occupy Xmas". It works 100% within the framework of consumerism that it purports to criticize. That is, it reinforces the capitalist principle that "you are what you buy/possess" and merely encourages us to buy different stuff (or make it or whatever). It also reinforces the capitalist myth that our only power is to be found as atomized consumers floating around alone in market forces. Adbusters is, in effect, encouraging us to give up on collective struggle and to think of our primary power in terms of what we have in our pocketbook. That is reactionary, as far as I'm concerned. Particularly after a year like 2011 when collective struggle--the world over--has been steadily increasing in a way that it hasn't done in a generation. To tell us to go home, put down our placards, and look to our pocketbook for salvation is to stand against everything progressive that the Occupy movement has achieved thus far.
To illustrate the bankruptcy of the "progressive consumerist" argument, let's examine one incarnation of it in the environmental movement. It has been pointed out time and again that brow-beating everyone into buying all organic food is not just ineffective, it's also racist and pro-capitalist if you push it to its logical conclusion. It often evinces a "personal responsibility" paternalism that focuses more criticism on individual consumer choices than on the structural conditions that lead to poverty, unemployment, that produce food without nutrients, neighborhoods without grocery stores, etc. That's pro-capitalist insofar as it both papers over the role capitalism plays in these social problems and emphasizes that the solution is a capitalist one that the "free market" will fix for us if we just "vote with our dollars" for the right goods. Never mind whether you actually have the dollars--the middle class liberals who typically push this argument certainly have enough to prop up their consumerist fantasy world. The racist version of this argument might, for instance, take the form of scolding working-class black people for not purchasing organic alfalfa sprouts from Whole Foods. This sentiment surely lies behind those well-intentioned (if paternalistic and, ultimately, racist) white folks who sometimes come into the neighborhoods of these "ignorant" people in order to lead them to the "light" of "progressive consumerism". But, of course, the problem with "food deserts" isn't one of poor individual choices. Neither is it basically a lack of education about what nutritious food is. Nor is it an effect of a so-called "culture of poverty". The problem is economic and political. Blaming individual black people for structural forces that work against them is, perhaps, the most common form of contemporary racism (notice that "colorblindness" does exactly that).
Now, notice what I'm not saying. I'm not saying that people who shop at Whole Foods, or who buy organic milk (like me, incidentally) are the problem. To interpret me in this way is to reiterate the consumerist model I've been attacking. I'm not hating on a particular consumer group or milieu for making choices I disagree with. I'm not siding with some other consumerist bloc against the Whole Foods shoppers. On the contrary, I'm criticizing this whole conservative framework of thinking of oneself (and one's political power) solely in terms of consumption choices. You miss the whole point if you take me to be saying that problem is just a group of consumers that makes "snobbish" choices or something.
In fact, the basic problem lies in thinking that buying organic milk is going to change the world. The problem lies in discouraging collective struggle and replacing it with individualized capitalist consumption patterns. The problem lies with seeing the primary locus of struggle as existing solely in the sphere of consumption, rather than production.
Still, there will probably be at least one person who reads this post convinced that I just have it in for those who drink organic milk, buy fair trade coffee and buy free-range cage-free eggs. In fact, I don't. I do all of those things myself. But I don't think that I'm doing anything political when I do. I don't substitute my atomized actions as a consumer for my political power as a person who has the capacity to link arms with others in struggle. Nor do I scold those who may not have the luxury of choosing to buy this or that at the grocery store.
Is consumerism a capitalist disease? Yes, it is. Has capitalism colonized a large amount of leisure activities and culture? Yes it has. Does capitalism manufacture certain "needs" ("beauty" products come to mind) in order to create new markets and maximize profit? Of course it does.
So, how do you fight the ideology of consumerism and the commodification of leisure? Not by accepting it 100% and operating entirely within its logic. You fight it by fighting the system that produces it. You fight it by linking arms with other people in struggle against that very system. Consumerism, after all, is hardly the sole problem--it is merely one feature of a global political-economic system: capitalism. It is but one ideology (and an accompanying set of practices and norms) that serves to stabilize and reproduce the system. It also serves to discourage the true weapon in our arsenal--collective struggle. To single it out as the sole problem is to misunderstand what it is (and what function it plays in the system). Moreover, to single it out misses the crucial fact that in capitalism choice is only an illusion. Even if you have the money to acquire whatever you want from what's on offer--the majority of us don't--you still lack the power to determine what the possible objects of choice are. A choice between A or B in capitalism is still a prescribed choice: we have no democratic say in what's produced, so we have no say in the qualitative features of A or B (nor, for that matter, do we have a say in whether or not there should also be a C and a D, etc.). The range of choices before us is out of our control as consumers. Our only power, as consumers, is to walk out of the store and not buy anything. We lack a democratic voice in the conditions of production. Buying different things from the capitalist's shelves will never change that.