We started talking about Advent Conspiracy back in November. At its core, the Advent Conspiracy is a movement to bring back the miracle of Christmas. The concept is simple: worship fully, spend less, give more, love all. And with that, we bring meaning back to Christmas. I mean, underneath all those bows and ribbons, isn't that we really want? Meaning.
The last two weeks I've been
More time, presence, memories, more of myself.
I revisited my list. Thought about what I could give, how I could give.
And that changed me.
The day was still busy, crazy actually, but it was good. Giving is good.
The idea of spending less and giving more is not so much about money as it is about time, togetherness, life. Remember back in elementary school when we'd make gifts for our parents? The "coupon book" comes to mind (actually I may have given a coupon book or two back in my broke college days). A car wash, a foot massage, a picnic at the park, a movie night, a hug. All without expiration and redeemable at any time. I love that.
Back in February when I was in the hospital undergoing multiple tests and biopsies, all I could think about were moments. I wanted more. I wanted nothing but moments: reading stories to my girls, playing in the snow, singing in the car, swimming in the ocean, laughing, dancing, singing. There was no thing you could have given me, all I wanted was time. And yet, when it comes to gift giving we often think the bigger the better, the more the merrier. Hey, I have nothing against gifts. I love finding the perfect gift and watching the smile on your face when you open it. In fact, I spent the last three hours wrapping gifts. I'm just saying that gifts don't replace the moments. Time really is priceless. When it comes to those I love, I would take their presence over their presents any day.
Are you stressed out? overextended? too much to do with too little time? If that's the case, could I encourage you to pause. Consider how this Christmas season you can create a new tradition. A tradition of giving time and presence, of creating memories and meaning. Enjoy the season: worship fully, spend less, give more, love all. May His peace and presence surround you today and always.