11.07.2014

Advent Conspiracy.

saturated canary digis 

Advent Conspiracy~

A couple weeks ago, we heard those words preached on a Sunday morning. 
It’s about revolting against the consumer-Christmas. 
And instead, pursuing a servant’s heart throughout the holiday season. 
Spend less. 
Give more. 
Invest the time you’d normally spend caught up in the Christmas craze
In fellowship, invitation, and loving others well.

Can you imagine,
A December looking outward
Instead of a December looking inward?
Crazy. 
I get it. 
Just listen…

Last year, we moved intentionally in this direction (even if it was baby steps).  But, if I am being completely honest, my heart was a little hesitant.  I feared, more than anything else, that my kids would be disappointed.  I literally wait all year for that Christmas morning turn-the-corner-and-see-the-mountain-of-presents-under-the-tree-light-up-the-whole-face photo.  One year, Niamh put both her hands on her rosy little cheeks and screamed.  You can literally hear the photo. It’s amazing.

As last December came and went, our kids had so much fun looking for ways to bless others, the slightly smaller stack of gifts under the tree (I didn’t pare down a ton~ but I did try and the present pile shrunk) was not even noticed.  I mean, we were intentionally taking small steps toward a less consumer-driven Christmas, and the kids were on board.  Without even a waver.    

I learned two things~

One, I should never be seeking my kids approval before seeking Jesus'. 

Two, I should give my kids a little more credit.  They have hearts full of love and are ready and willing to serve and do it happily, even if that cuts into their present piles. 

So, a couple weeks ago, after we all listened to a beautiful sermon on this advent conspiracy, they asked on the drive home to only get a few presents this Christmas.  A nine and eleven-year old asked for less presents.  Did you catch that?  It’s like this infectious thing of giving and loving~ and once you get a taste, Christmas cannot possibly ever, ever, ever look the same again.  Even kids revolt.  It’s beautiful.

We discussed a pretty small (and possibly offensive) number of gifts per child~ and they high fived me and moved on in their day.  Later, I asked how they felt about changing up the advent calendar this year~ the one full of tiny doors that usually house tiny treats and tiny toys.  I asked if we could just abandon it altogether and do 25 acts of kindness instead.  That request took a moment of thought, but they agreed and are pretty excited about planning a month full of small blessings for others.    

There is still a lot of room for growth.  We definitely aren’t running on the front lines of this Christmas revolution; but each year, we can choose to walk closer to Jesus.  And as we walk more in step with Him each holiday, we choose to look more radical in our expectations, actions, and hopes. 

I look forward to holiday traditions being created in our family where the joy and excitement of the season center fully on Jesus~ so that our remembering Him isn’t some lame Happy Birthday song sung as an afterthought following presents on Christmas morning… but instead, we conspire to live like our Savior, especially as we celebrate His birth. 

It is weird and unexpected, but the more you strip away the things that make Christmas seem glamorous and full, the richer and more life-giving the holiday season becomes.  But then, that seems to be the daily call of Jesus when He extends the invitation to follow Him.  He asks you to abandon the ideals of the world and follow Him into the lowest places, serving and loving others.  He kind of flips everything on its head; it is all backwards and upsidedown.  And then your heart is so full, it could burst. 

A crazy, backwards holiday according to the world…
All because of a King in a manger.
Who chose to come down, so that we can be lifted up.

He is a King worth revolting for. 


saturated canary digis 

If you want to learn more about a kind-of-backwards-but-totally-awesome Christmas, click here.  
Or just watch the video below.
(...Thank you Mel :)

10 comments:

  1. Love it Krista. You are so blessed, and are raising your children with such good hearts. I love that about you. It shows in your art too, which is why everyone is so Saturated Canary Crazy!!!
    Hugs
    Gabbi

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  2. yes, yes YES YES YES>. I just want to keep typing it!! We're right there with you mama! Love it - the freedom in letting everything go that we *think* will bring joy, only to find the joy in letting GO and holding to Christ more fully! Did you score the Advent book/Jesse tree new one from Voskamp for kids.. so eager to do that with the kids this year! Miss you guys, love you.
    xx
    mel
    needle and nest

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  3. I adore christmas, its very much family time here and we have never done the whole commercial side that creeps in.We decorate on the 1st December too! Mo's birthday is the week before christmas so it all comes together!. Mo has always said 'christmas is about celebrating jesus's birthday,not presents' and that makes us very proud.
    love to you all xxxxx

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  4. Hi Krista,

    you may remember me from the creationist email question. So as you know I am not an overly religious, but this idea of a more family centric holiday season speaks to me. I have been trying to get everyone on the same wagon for some time. My husband agrees with me. I want to raise my children this way and have struggled to since our first christmas last year. My struggle ensues when certain members of my family refuse to acknowledge our wishes and go ahead and get 15 presents a kid. They want to be the number one person in our childrens lives and it is a very difficult struggle. I keep hoping that through grace and discussion this person will eventually end up on the same page as us. The only thing I can do is to now bow down to the wishes of one person and try to raise my children in a way that shows what true gifts and happiness are. That kindness is more of a reward than a new toy and that Christmas is about helping others and a continued service to something higher then oneself.

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    Replies
    1. If they give your kids 15 gifts each again, the ten each right after Christmas and visit a children's hospital so your kids can give them to those who ready need it. It'll change and touch their hearts.

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    2. That is exactly what I was thinking. We have a world renowned children's hospital in the next town over. And well the Stollery has been there for us. Thank you!!

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  5. Children are naturally open and giving, sometimes they just need the nudge in the right direction with it, and the whole world changes - for us adults, too. Love the way you write - you have a way with words!

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  6. Love, love, love this Krista - you are right, the things of this world are diametrically opposite (and opposed) to the things of Heaven, and what our wonderful Lord expects of us.
    Blessings
    Maxine

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  7. Hi Krista, Still drop by every so often. Then take ages to catch up on your beautiful blog! How much have your children grown? Love seeing how much fun you get up to. Thanks for posting what Christmas is really all about before we all get distracted! We do not have thanksgiving but I am thankful for my fantastic family. We have two beautiful grandsons now!
    Just wanted to wish you and all your family a fab Christmas and a lovely New Year.
    (Where has the year got to?)
    xo <3 Sue














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  8. Last year my whole family decided to take a day and plan an activity together (bowling, a movie, dinner out, family photo day, etc...) and we didn't exchange gifts. It made the week very memorable. On Christmas morning we all recite Luke 2 together. My kids started asking if they could brush up on it the beginning of November and were surprised to realize they still remembered it.

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