New Traditions

Christmas might be the one time of the whole year when TRADITION holds the most power. Every year we sing the same songs, pull out the same ornaments, bake the same cookies. As the years of our life rush past us in a blur, we cling to our Christmas traditions. And this is mostly a good thing, since they’re often packed with meaning and memories.

But this year, we Advent Conspirators are shaking up some of our traditions. We’re moving away from the consumerist, the comfortable, and the cultural. We’re overturning our rituals of “buy, buy, buy.” We’re toppling our habits of busyness. We’re doing this because we really believe in taking back the story of Christ’s birth in order to make a difference in our world.

And yet, to be honest, it’s hard to shake the reality that these changes are coming at a time of year when we don’t generally like changes.

It’s true that changing Christmas traditions isn’t easy. I know that from experience. Last year, my husband Will and I celebrated our first Christmas together, and we decided to start a new set of traditions, apart from our immediate families’. His family’s late-night-Christmas-Eve-stuff-your-face-with-pancakes dinner? Out. My family’s rip-open-all-your-presents-Christmas-Eve-and-sleep-till-noon-on-Christmas-Day method?Also out.

busses2Now, there was a certain sense of loss as we realized those things were in the past. But accompanying that was the joyful anticipation we felt at starting new traditions that marked the beginning of our life together. When we spent last Christmas morning at our apartment in Madison, with just the two of us sharing our gifts in front of our own Christmas tree, it really felt like we were a family. I’ll always remember that. We started something new that held special meaning for us.

Well, this year, our family is starting another new tradition.

We’re taking on the challenge of Advent Conspiracy. We’ll be giving gifts to each other that require us to personally invest more than just money… and through our offerings and time, we’ll be changing the real everyday lives of others we may never even meet. We’ll actually be giving life, in a very real sense …

…and in so doing, we’ll be following in the way of our God, who is The Giver of Life.

May our celebration of Christmas this year bring honor to Him.

Written by Hannah Busse

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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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