Advent Conspiracy – Calling off Christmas?

We are a little weird as a family.

We never taught our kids about Santa Clause.
For some reason the idea of lying to my kids about a jolly old guy in red that flies around in a sleigh, sliding down chimneys and bringing presents on the day we are supposedly celebrating the birth of our King seemed a little counter-productive.

Especially when I consider the idea that I am also teaching them about another man they cannot see, who brings them the gift of life. The idea of one day having to inform them (or having their friends at school inform them) that I was lying to them about the one man (that’s the big one in the red jump suit) seems like it might impair their trust for me regarding the other one (that’s the one that died on the cross)

Giant bunnies that bring eggs on the day he died and rose from the grave also seems a little weird. I won’t get into the pagan roots of these ludicrous practices in the church, but suffice it to say that I consider it absolutely insane that we condone this kind of thing in the church. Step back for a second. It’s entirely weird!

We have also worked to teach our boys that Christmas is not a day for them to get gifts. If you ask my boys who gets presents on Christmas they will tell you that Jesus should. And ask them why?

“Its HIS BIRTHDAY – Silly”

So our Christmas looks a little different than the traditional Evangelical American Christmas. Is that weird? Too much for you….? Well, I’d say that your giant bunny, fairy that collects teeth, and jolly old red guy who slides down chimneys are a little weird from where I am standing. I guess we all get to have an opinion.

Advent Conspiracy
In any case….a few years ago we came across a movement that started sometime back in 2006. Several churches had banded together to “conspire” to change the way they did Christmas. Instead of spending insane amounts of money on gifts that people didn’t really want, they agreed to cut back on spending…give more of their time and love instead, and spend the money they would have thrown into stupid sweaters and neck ties into things that matter…like I dunno, water for the millions of people around the world who don’t have any clean drinking water.

Here is the Promo video for the Advent Conspiracy movement:
It pains me to say it…but it appears that the American Commercial Machine is already kicking into gear for the joys of the Christmas season of mass consumption, mass purchasing, and mass profits. Its just beginning, but if you look closely you will see the stores beginning to allocate store space to Christmas decor, and soon….it will all begin.
And $450 Billion will be spent on our American Christmas this year.
$450 Billion spent in America on Christmas each and every year.
And the cost to bring clean water to the worlds population : 10 Billion
Thats 1/45th of what we spend on STUFF each year. 

To me….this is the absolute pinnacle of irony.

Christmas is the day we supposedly celebrate the birth of Jesus.You know…Jesus…the king who elected to be born in a manger. The king who turned the world upside down by teaching us that in His kingdom it is the low who are blessed, the poor who are lifted up. Jesus, the one who told us to live as aliens and strangers in this weird world. And we do this by spending more money on this single day on STUFF than any other day in the year. Heck, more than many countries annual GDP.

It doesn’t make any sense.
Its a major deception.

I liken it to celebrating Charles Dickens’ birthday by having a book burning. Its just plan strange how we got to this point…

So what does it look like for Jesus to get presents on Christmas?
Well, in Matthew 25, Jesus says…

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

So, according to Jesus…loving “the least of these” is like loving Him. And giving to them, or meeting their needs, is the equivalent of doing so for Him. If you read the rest of that passage you will clearly see, that Not meeting their needs is the equivalent of NOT Loving Him too.
So, I think its clear as day.
Christmas is Jesus’ birthday. Consider giving to Him as a family this year. There are a hundred ways to do it. And about 3 billion people across the globe to do it for….who live on less than a dollar a day.
It costs $34 a month to provide access to a daily meal, schooling, and basic medical needs for a child in Africa who otherwise would likely die of starvation or lack of access to clean water. That’s $408 a year. If we just called off Christmas…That’s Right – CALLED IT OFF…that would mean we could take care of 1.1 Billion children for an entire year.
I wonder how Jesus might feel about that Christmas present?  

Perhaps you could consider sponsoring a child for Christmas this year. We would love that. And I know the Orphan you sponsor would too. Our families all know that we wont be accepting any gifts again this year, for us or for our kids. If they want to spend money on gifts we would love them to sponsor a child or donate to the Care Point as a gift. You can learn more about sponsoring a child at one of our CarePoints here

Perhaps you could give to LWI – Living Water International and give people the gift of clean water
You can buy a goat for a village, a chicken for a family…heck, you could just get something for a family who you know in town that has financial needs.
There really are a lot of ways to get involved.

Change their Story
This year, our family is working to raise money for projects related to our CarePoints in Uganda through the Change their Story campaign. Our kids will happily forgo presents this year as we work as a team to raise money for our orphaned extended family in Uganda. You can learn more about our projects at last weeks blog post CHANGE THEIR STORY or at the two project fund raising pages.

Check it out
I’d encourage you to please take a look at the Advent Conspiracy. You can visit their website at and learn about literally hundreds of churches around the world that have joined the movement.
There is even a virtual interactive map of where these churches are located  and stories from each of them about how people are changing their lives the way they “do” Christmas. You can also get your hands on a 4 part teaching series on DVD from the pastors who initiated the movement. Its absolutely worth watching. Ill loan you mine, or buy you your own. Seriously. Just ask!
I hope that you will consider rethinking how you do Christmas as a family. You don’t have to call it off, and you can still give gifts…but perhaps if we all just made a few small changes…we could make some massive changes in the lives of those who could really use a bit of the Original Christmas spirit.
Just think about it!

3 Comments on “Advent Conspiracy – Calling off Christmas?

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