Missional Christmas?

Last week I wrote that I came across a challenging idea for Advent/Christmas. It’s called “Advent Conspiracy.” It flows out of an experiment by several churches to do Christmas differently. They have expanded the idea, put together a website and are inviting other churches to join them in the conspiracy.

You can read all about it at www.adventconspiracy.org

The Advent Conspiracy is built around 4 themes:

1. Worship More

2. Spend Less

3. Give More

4. Love All

On the website, you can read about how each concept is understood. The overall goal is to simplify our Christmas celebrations/preparations in order to fight consumerism, build relationships with God and others, and grow in meaningful generosity.

Here’s my question for you: Is this something worth pursuing as a group? We can’t impose something like this on our church community, but as a group we could embrace it and invite others along for the ride. I’d like to take some time to chat about it at our gathering next Thursday evening.  It seems like a great way to “practice” missional living.  I welcome your thoughts.


2 thoughts on “Missional Christmas?

  1. I think there are some terrific ideas here. The other day, we scanned through our local paper and most of the flyers (there were plenty) encouraged us to buy stuff related to the ‘holidays’. So the pressure is hard to escape. As a family we sometimes feel stuck in traditional patterns, which usually means we give each other stuff for Christmas. We have used the CRC’s gift catalogue and bought goats and medical kits and what not for others but even there I feel some tension – why do I get that catalogue around Christmas time? Am I more likely to spend and be generous then? My personal hope is that I could pick up that catalogue or participate in kiva.org and be just as generous all year around.

    Anyway, there are some good tips and ideas on the Advent Conspiracy site and we’re going to try and put some of them into practice.

    Here’s another website that’s promoting something along the same lines:


  2. I’ve really enjoyed the links off the blog which give some alternative ideas to the way we normally celebrate Christmas.

    One thing my immediate family gets a kick out of is exchanging names each year. I’ll spare you all the details on exactly how and what we do, but to sum it up: we only allowed to spend 20 dollars!
    It’s a tradition of meaningful giving I hope to pass on to our family.

    I struggle, however, with what to do and say when family members lavishly shower our children with gifts. I don’t want my girls to grow up expecting presents from Nana every time they see her, or grow accustomed to getting amazing/expensive things for Christmas and birthdays. It’s a hard thing in not wanting to hurt the feelings of someone else, who LOVES to shop! :0)

    To change the subject:
    I shared an idea today with Jason of having a Giving Tree of sorts at church.
    We could set up a tree where people could look at different “ornaments” which have a written idea or challenge on how to change back the focus at Christmas:

    For ex: Give away a valued possession.
    OR: Collect quotes that make you think of someone.
    Or: Read through the Christmas story, one part each evening…

    People could read through them, choose one they would like to do, take it home, and agree to do their best to follow through on that challenge!

    We could also include in writing specific things people could buy for someone in need: (supplying necessities to a shelter, etc)

    Now, I tend to think of these a little bit too late, (and at 1 a.m. when I should be sleeping) And I totally realize that there might not be enough time to pull something like this off this year.

    Just thought I’d seek some feedback here on this blog. Maybe there’s another way we could challenge each other to not just talk about these things, but actively pursue them. I know I, for one, need that challenge!!!

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