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43 Shopping Days left...or...Conspiring this Advent Season

This is an article I wrote a couple of weeks ago for Living Hope.  I hope you enjoy the article and the video below it.  Let me know if it resonates with you too.

Conspiring this Advent Season

43 shopping days left until Christmas.  Upon reading the sentence, immediately many of us have feelings of stress and alarm.  Somehow we feel as though we’re ‘behind’ in our Christmas duties, that time is ‘running out’.  But why?  Why must the marching of the calendar towards Christmas mean for us anxiety?  Why can’t the days that come and go this holiday season be to us a growing anticipation of the celebration when good news of great joy broke into our world in the form of a baby, swaddling clothes and a manger? 

That’s what I want and what I want to give this Christmas - more than Circuit City gadgets and Wal-Mart gifts, more than stockings, cards, candy and cookies.  I want to receive and give a more true expression of Christmas.  I want an Advent Season wherein I worship deeply; like that rag tag group of wealthy scholars and poor shepherds who first worshiped the new born King. 

I want an Advent where I spend less money on gifts that don’t matter in the long run.  And I want to spend less time in malls, in catalogues and online looking for those gifts. 

I want an Advent where I give more.  A season where I give more of my money to gifts that make a difference in the world: gifts like clean water for the poor, good education to orphans and a second chance to the down and out.  Gifts like hope, joy and opportunity.  I want to give more time to the relationships that are dearest to me; to my family, my sons, my neighbors who are well off, my neighbors who are less fortunate, my beloved small group and my larger faith community. 

I’m looking for an Advent Season that more faithfully and authentically represents the spirit of Christmas in the truest sense.  I need an Advent Season that prompts me to love.  I need that for my soul.  The world needs it for its salvation.

So this Advent, rather than complaining about a Holiday Season that leads us to stress, debt, exhaustion or worse, let’s, conspire together to embody an Advent Season that is marked by worshiping fully, spending less, giving more and loving a lot.

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Reader Comments (4)

Yes, that's right. This echoes my desire for... just a little less. Thanks for the reminder.

November 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBrian in AK

Yes. It resonates. Looking forward to seeing the good things that will come of this -testimonies- because I'm hearing many people all over returning to a much more original reason with direction for celebrating Christmas- that's exciting!

November 11, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersarah christoph

Lee & I both echo that sentiment! At first, I kind of struggled with it. I have always loved buying gifts for others at Christmas, and I can't imagine not seeing gifts spilling out from under the tree! However, we began thinking about this back at the beginning of the year. We have been given so much, and there's absolutely no reason why we can't help others but can buy tons of junk people don't need!

November 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMandy

Hmmm...that's weird - I'm not finding a Wednesday post from you! My computer must be broken :-)

November 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBarry

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