So many wonderful Advent resources to share...

Advent Conspiracy:

Directly copied from the [AC] site:

The concept behind Advent Conspiracy is simple...

It starts with Jesus. It ends with Jesus. This is the holistic approach God had in mind for Christmas. It’s a season where we are called to put down our burdens and lift a song up to our God. It’s a season where love wins, peace reigns, and a king is celebrated with each breath. It’s the party of the year. Entering the story of advent means entering this season with an overwhelming passion to worship Jesus to the fullest.

Before you think we’re getting all Scrooge on you, let us explain what we mean. We like gifts. Our kids really like gifts. But consider this: America spends an average of $450 billion a year every Christmas. How often have you spent money on Christmas presents for no other reason than obligation? How many times have you received a gift out of that same obligation? Thanks, but no thanks, right? We’re asking people to consider buying ONE LESS GIFT this Christmas. Just one. Sounds insignificant, yet many who have taken this small sacrifice have experienced something nothing less than a miracle: They have been more available to celebrate Christ during the advent season.

Looking for ways to give gifts that don't cost a lot of money? Have a few ideas you'd like to share? Head to today.

God’s gift to us was a relationship built on love. So it’s no wonder why we’re drawn to the idea that Christmas should be a time to love our friends and family in the most memorable ways possible. Time is the real gift Christmas offers us, and no matter how hard we look, it can’t be found at the mall. Time to make a gift that turns into the next family heirloom. Time to write mom a letter. Time to take the kids sledding. Time to bake really good cookies and sing really bad Christmas carols. Time to make love visible through relational giving. Sounds a lot better than getting a sweater two sizes too big, right?

When Jesus loved, He loved in ways never imagined. Though rich, he became poor to love the poor, the forgotten, the overlooked and the sick. He played to the margins. By spending less at Christmas we have the opportunity to join Him in giving resources to those who need help the most. When Advent Conspiracy first began four churches challenged this simple concept to its congregations. The result raised more than a half million dollars to aid those in need. One less gift. One unbelievable present in the name of Christ.


I'm doing my first YouVersion reading plan - Carols: A Christmas Devotional - God is with us - in answered promises, realized dreams, and refreshed hope. How could we help but sing. During this Christmas season, explore the songs that were born from our joy that Christ has entered the world and rediscover their relevance in your life today in this 25-day reading plan.

As important as music is in my life, I couldn't imagine a more fun & meaningful Christmas devotional than learning about carols!


From Women Living Well - the free ebook Reasons for the Season, 24 Ready-Made Family Devotions: a verse, discussion starter, short lesson, activity, prayer and then an optional extra activity that you can do with your children.


An article from Relevant called How Advent Saved Christmas


What's it like? Here's today's copied directly:

"But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

Then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in clouds' with great power and glory. Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven."
~Mark 13:24-27

Many of us carry the false assumption that the goal in life is to be happy. That is why so many people around us mask their struggles and claim a false sense of happiness. Doesn’t God want us to be happy? God cannot intend for us to be in darkness, depression, despair.

Mark tells this story so we would not forget that darkness cannot stop God. Mark calls us to be honest. Yes, there is darkness. It hurts when someone close to us dies. Our hearts break when a friend abandons us. The pressure to succeed smothers us at times and we don’t know if we will ever see the light of day. The one who comes may come right in the midst of that darkness. Darkness does not stop him from making all things new. True, the one who comes may not bring simple happiness. The one who comes will bring meaning. ~Michelle Thomas-Bush

Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, come again into all the corners of my life. In the darkness, give me your wise counsel and a peace that passes all understanding. Guide me as I seek to find deep meaning and joy that is real. Amen.

Let us begin Advent, waiting.
Not the “going back to sleep” kind of waiting.
Not the impatient pacing, or the wasted anxiety of waiting.
Not even the passive-aggressive waiting that says, “Really? We’ll see.”

Let us begin Advent, waiting.
Getting up and joining the adventure,
Even when we don’t know where it will take us.
Shifting the impatient waiting to expectant living.
Boldly claiming the Good News that we know will come.
Waiting with joy as we reach out with the grace of God that is so much more than amazing.

Let us begin Advent.


  1. This is a very nice reminder of the season--although I disagree with spend less this year. The one sure fire way we can truly help our neighbor is for a profitable Christmas season. This year we should be called to buy one mote gift to help each other out.

  2. Absolutely, we should buy more to help those who need it! That's the whole point! What we should buy less of is meaningless stuff that we do just out of obligation, b/c we always buy this or that extended relative a thing that they'd rather return or don't care that much about, anyway. It's all about less meaningLESS spending, and putting the money we would've spent on the meaningless obligations into those who really need it. Also, shifting the focus from pricetag to meaning when it comes to our personal relationships with friends & family: instead of some $50 sweater you're not sure if they'll like, personalize something for them that reflects your heart & theirs - gifts with MEANING over pricetag, and then dontate any saved money to whatever cause or family God puts on your heart. The point doesn't have to be spending less $ overall, but reallocating it in more personal & meaningful ways. :-)

  3. [I do get & agree with your stimulating the economy point, but have more meaningful gifts for your friends & fam, and then use any saved money to buy more gifts or food to donate.]

  4. I see what you mean...I never thought about that because I am very much about a gift that someone will love vs number of presents under the tree. I love to sit back and think about what a person special to me would love to have.

  5. I am dreading the useless gifts that are going to come into my home and create clutter as I'm preparing to bring another child into our home just 2 weeks after Christmas... I SO wish our families were more on board with this concept :( I'd love to give to an organization instead of gifts (I've been getting the Samaritans Purse magazine!) We are totally backing off the stress of giving this year and just giving what we WANT to give instead of what we feel like we HAVE to give to keep everyone happy, BUT I still feel like others wouldn't understand giving a family in a 3rd world country a cow is a great gift!

  6. Jackie - that is why you are a FABULOUS friend!!!
    April - I won't deny I super duper LOOOVE getting presents. LOVELOVELOVE it! But the meaning is the *KEY* for me - no obligatory stuff with little consideration or meaning. I LOVE blessing people with personal things! :-) And then being able to bless those who need it more than we do, too!

  7. I've been thinking about this a lot! I am tired of the obligatory stuff. The stuff people feel like they have to get for me/us instead of really getting to know us. It is more about the relationship that we build throughout the year that makes gift giving so much more enjoyable at Christmas time, yes? I'm feeling really down about some gifts this year that we've bought because 'we've had to'. There are a few gifts, however, that we cannot wait to give!!!!!

  8. "It is more about the relationship that we build throughout the year that makes gift giving so much more enjoyable at Christmas time, yes?" EXACTLY YES!!! :-D


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