Sunday, November 9, 2008


Last year we decided to start thinking about the Christmas season a little differently than we have in the past by giving more "relational" gifts - gifts of spending time with people and making things using our talents and abilities rather than just buying (sometimes useless and forgotten) presents. It was part of Advent Conspiracy, a movement(?) among churches in our region to get back to the heart of Christmas - giving something of true worth, giving of ourselves, like Christ gave for us - instead of indulging in the consumerism so prevalent in our culture. And, the money we had budgeted for Christmas didn't spend by giving these relational gifts we gave to those in need - people who don't have clean drinking water, children in our city whose parents can't afford the necessities, the homeless, people living on a nearby Indian reservation.

This year we are participating again and hoping to implement the idea of giving relational gifts even more. We have found that it's a great idea but can be difficult to do when it comes right down to it, partially because we have felt (by our own fault) limited by others' expectations and partially because it requires a lot more time and a whole lot more thought than just buying a gift on someone's wishlist (or whatever other thing we could come up with). I think when I was growing up my family did a great job keeping the focus away from getting stuff and more on Jesus during Christmas, and I want to raise our children to give (and receive) in celebration - and emulation - of God's gift to us of Himself.


COURTNEY said...

I think this is a really cool "movement".

Its sad to think that people lose sight of Christ on Christmas because of getting so caught up in all the materialism. I think it would be super cool to say "Let's not do presents this year, but instead, lets get together and celebrate Christ's birth! Let's gather around and read the bible and sing songs and pray." How awesome would that be?! It seems like people focus so much on what they want to recieve as a gift from others, and vice versa that we get so cought up in all of that and harldy take the time to remember Christ.

My family would always go to the midnight service at our church on Christmas Eve. It was so great because it helped you to "re-focus" if you will, on the true meaning of CHRISTmas.

Thanks for posting this post Michelle.

Emily said...

Hey, Michelle! I saw on FB that you had a blog so I tracked it down. It's fun to see what you guys have been up to. I love this video & would like to show it on my blog. Is that ok? If so, how in the world do you do it? (I am still new to the world of blogging). :)