Americans spent $658 billion on holiday spending in retail stores in 2016, yet, some estimate that it would take only $30 billion to be able to provide clean water throughout the world…
Does the way we spend our time, money, and energy testify that we worship God incarnate?
The Advent Conspiracy encourages people to spend less on gifts and give more presence relationally to one another, in the likeness of God giving God’s Son to us at Christmas. As we do this, we will be better able to dedicate our resources towards causes that make a global impact, such as funding wells for clean water.
They describe: “We believe that the best gifts celebrate a relationship. Think back on the most meaningful gift you’ve ever received. Chances are that there is a story and a relationship that was connected to that gift.
It sounds obvious, yet we seem to have drifted away from this liberating, straightforward truth: The Father gave his one and only Son.
God’s answer for the world’s problems has never been material things. God did not give us more stuff – even good stuff like work, food, or health. He gave us himself. The most priceless and personal gift of all!”
Here are some ideas of how you can give relationally:
-Invest in experiences you can share. Sign up for dance lessons, go camping, plan a vacation, take cooking classes.
-On Christmas morning, turn off your cell phone. Take a couple hours to be present with your family and focus on the people God has put in your life.
-Share memories. Make a recipe book or photo album.
-Get a blank journal and write notes and prayers to your kids or spouse.
-Give a copy of your favorite book to a friend and then meet up for coffee and discuss it. Then switch and read their favorite book.
-Buy someone a gift that relieves a burden: babysitting money, yard work, groceries.
-Give the gift of hospitality. Invite a new family over for dinner and games.
-Do an activity with your kids – puzzles, jewelry making, baking, hiking, fishing.
-If someone on your list is passionate about an organization or cause, find a gift that celebrates their interest.