How Did Participating In Advent Conspiracy Affect You?

Comment here with stories of what you did to celebrate Christmas differently this year! Share the conversations you’ve had with family & friends, offer encouragement as we wrestle with some of the tensions, and give your ideas for worshipping fully, spending less, giving more and loving all. How did joining the Conspiracy change the Christmas season for you?

10 Responses to “How Did Participating In Advent Conspiracy Affect You?”

  1. 1 Steve Fine October 17, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    A few years ago each of our family members, with two grown sons and one daughter in high school, contributed a certain dollar amount which we pooled together. We then contributed to 5 different businesses through KIVA – microfinancing. A shoe store start up in Mexico, an ice cream sales lady in Columbia, a convenience store in the Ukraine, etc.
    We get regular emails as the loans are repaid and then we have been able to add to the account and reinvest in other businesses.
    Doing this as a family is fun and puts us in the right spirit of the holiday

  2. 2 Shere-Ling October 18, 2008 at 2:08 am

    We asked family members to stop giving us gifts in 2001. We only give Holly, the only child for the youngest generation, a gift. We have saved time in trying to shop, return, and store all sorts of gifts over the years. Mom still gives us some money, so we save it for rainy days besides share with needy in the community. We also enjoy Mom’s cookies; Jeff NEEDS them for the holiday celebration. :>)

  3. 3 Michelle October 20, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    For a couple of years now my parents have stopped giving us, my three brothers and myself, gifts. Now that my siblings and I are older and most of us have moved away from my parents we now do a family vacation each year together. For the last two years my family has rented a cottage in the ski mountains of VA. Each person is responsible for paying their travel expenses to the mountains, paying for their lift ticket/rentals, and each person must prepare a meal for the family. It’s great because no one person has to plan the entire vacation and we make lasting memories together.

  4. 4 Aramis Thorn October 27, 2008 at 5:09 am

    Practical Practices are the only way for this to work. I will share a couple that our family practices in hope that it will encourage you.

    We have a family tradition that for the money we spend on Christmas gifts we set aside matching funds for those in need. The week before Christmas we gather around a Salvation Army Kettle at a busy shopping location. (on a side note, they always need bell ringers. We take four or five two hour shifts each Christmas season to ring bells, sing carols, and help people have their needs met. You can sign up at

    When we meet at the kettle I have already turned the money in $5 bills and divided them evenly between the gathered family. We take turns putting bills into the kettle and expressing out loud something for which we are thankful. It is such joy to watch the excitement of our children build as the bills disappear into the kettle.

    A personal habit of mine is to sing Christmas hymns out loud as I shop. Most of the time people stop and listen, join in, or make positive commments. Cashiers listen as they ring up my purchases and they are cheered. I alwasy sing songs that worship Christ and promote the true purpose of the advent of Christ. Most of all it keeps me focused on why I am in the world; to spread the light that is Christ and do my bit to help restore men to God.

    Try it out. Wishing you joy in the journey,

    Aramis Thorn

  5. 5 Shere-Ling Kraus-Yao November 7, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    We love to participate in “angle tree” locally this year and also contribute to some projects overseas! Those who have more should give more. “…remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” (Acts 20:35b)

  6. 6 Gary Nauman November 26, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    On behalf of the Monday Night Art, a Blackhawk Affinity Group,
    I would like to invite anyone who is interested in making
    home-made Christmas cards to come to Blackhawk from 6:00
    to 9:00 on the evening of Monday the 1st in the room known
    as the “unfinished underground”.

    The plan is to design and print Christmas cards using a
    woodcut-like technique. We will provide paper and Safety-cut
    plastic blocks (into which you can cut your design),as well
    as ink and a printing press. We will roll the ink onto
    the blocks and print Christmas cards from your design.

    This is a good way to make some cool affordable
    Christmas cards.

  7. 7 Kathy December 6, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    My husband comes from a very large family and we have nieces and nephews with young children. This year in the spirit of Advent Conspiracy I was thinking in the “Spending Less/Giving More Relationally” mode. I sent an email with a link to this website and my idea that we would give their families a board game this year that they could enjoy playing together as a family. Ideally it would be great if we had the opportunity to play the game with them, but distance is a factor. This was very well received, and it made me feel so good to be still giving, but not spending as much as I have in the past.

  8. 8 ben December 8, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    When i saw the clip last Thursday at my small group bible study gathering, it made me laugh. And then, i thought how terrible i was right then and started to think about the little children that have no water to drink each day and are dying from the lack of it.
    Now, i want little to no presents this Christmas, (or just little ones, like the presents i used to make for my family and friends when i was little kid) and give as much money as i can financially to th Advent Conspiracy. I should be happy for what i have, say like: a younger sister, brother, mom, dad, a roof over my head, love, friendship, having a relationship with Jesus Christ….
    Before i saw the clip, i thought, “So what?” Now, what do i think and say to myself?…..”Are you crazy, ben!?!You need to help people, not be ignorant and love greed!!!”
    So now, I’m changing my own paradigms. That’s right. I’m changing the way i see things, people, stuff in my every day life and be thankful for what i have.

  9. 9 Kathy December 19, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    The way that Advent Conspiracy has changed me took me by surprise!
    After initially not quite knowing what to think of it, I found myself truly embracing the principles….. Being more purposeful and creative in gift giving, and in completing my normal “Christmas tasks” (EARLY!), reading books like “Unafraid” by Francine Rivers, I have felt more open-hearted to give more, worship fully and love all!
    …..and the result in my life has been LESS STRESS and MORE PEACE as I anticipate Christmas!

  10. 10 Lisa V. January 15, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    How did we participate?

    I didn’t get that anxious feeling I always feel that I didn’t buy “enough”. I made a conscious decision not to overload my list precisely because of participating in the “Advent Conspiracy”.

    It felt wonderful to deposit our check into the water pitcher on that Sunday.

    It was wonderful to pray with my Early Birds in prayer room on an early Wednesday morning.

    It was wonderful to focus on Advent.

    It was wonderful to feel the love of God surround me and my family.

    How can you buy that?

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Love All

Act Local: Share gifts of time and resources with those in our community. At the Impact Tree in the Atrium, find opportunities available for individuals, families and life groups. All the information you need will be on the cards by the Tree. Take a card – put an ornament on the tree.

Give Global: On Sunday, December 13 during services, we'll take up an Advent Conspiracy offering (a direct result of spending less) to give towards clean water projects and wheelchair needs in Honduras, Kenya and Romania. If you won’t be able to join us at services on that day but still want to participate, just write "Advent" in the memo of your check and drop it in any of the offering boxes.


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