Everyone wants Christmas to be meaningful. –The Advent Conspiracy, 2011.
In church today, we watched an interesting little clip from the Advent Conspiracy (http://ac.wcrossing.org/). I hadn’t really heard of it before and had no clue what it was, but now have looked into it because the concepts seem appealing. I think they are interesting not just to believers, but to anyone who feels justice is important in the world today.
Firstly, the clip we watched was focused on giving. Here it is:
The truth of this struck me. I am not always the most festive person, though I have grown in leaps and bounds with respect to my “festiveness” over the past few years. It is interesting though, the time we waste during the Christmas season doing things out of obligation and cultural norm – the Christmas parties you don’t want to be at, the lines at stores, the traffic in the streets… All of those things can take away from things of true value. Now, some Christmas parties are of value when the time you spend is quality in nature. I have been to some wonderful Christmas parties of that nature. I have also been to the “when is it acceptable that I leave and do I look as bored and tortured as I feel” kinds of parties as well. What if we skipped some of those things (easier said than done) to spend more time with those we love and care about or doing something of worth and value?
The money you spend on postage could feed a Third World Child. -The Advent Conspiracy, 2010.
The other thing that knocked me over the head were the statements about our spending habits. Americans spend 450 billion dollars, thus Canadians spend around 45 billion dollars on Christmas alone (if you go by the take an American statistic and divide by 10 and get the Canadian version literally). That is A LOT of MONEY! Even more fascinating is that the cost of the average person’s Christmas card postage totals the same amount used to fund meals for a child in a developing country for a YEAR. We are so blessed and we are so wasteful. Its not saying that our gifts don’t have good intentions, but maybe we could have better intentions.
The Advent Conspiracy website details the four principles (explanations of which are paraphrased from the website):
- Worship Fully – Remember, Christmas is all about Jesus. So, celebrate the One who gives us life and peace.
- Spend Less – They suggest buying one less gift this year. Or making some of your own gifts for less cost.
- Give More – Christmas was when Jesus, God’s gift to man was born. This gift was built on a relationship of love. This Christmas, give love and give time. Spend time with people who are important to you.
- Love All – Jesus loved the poor, forgotten and those who were considered unloveable. We should do the same. By spending less we can help those who need it most.
Seems fairly simple, yet quite a challenge.
This Christmas season, I plan to try this. Not because the “Advent Conspiracy” is a cool name or because of the videos, but because of my love for Jesus and my passion for justice. A little bit of time and money and love can go a long way!
Christmas can [still] change the world. -The Advent Conspiracy, 2011