Advent Conspiracy

My home church has participated for the past few years in an awesome program called Advent Conspiracy.

The general thought behind it is to turn Christmas upside down by focusing on the deeper meanings, rather than falling into the yearly trap of high stress and presents that are promptly forgotten about.  The four ideas behind Advent Conspiracy are as follows:

I've decided to take these four ideas to heart and set myself Christmas Goals. 

Worship Fully:
As someone who often sings in December services rather than participates, it's so easy to forget why I'm really there - not just for the Christmas music, but to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Not only am I going to try to be fully present in all worship services I attend, but I think this is an opportune time to expand my spirituality in general.  I've decided that in the few weeks of lull time after Christmas, I'm going to go to a few Buddhist services, and have been talking to a friend about going with her and her boyfriend to a Muslim service (something I've been wanting to do forever!).  I'm a Methodist at heart - but I've just been feeling an urge to branch out and strengthen my faith by exposing myself to different spiritual backgrounds.  

Spend Less and Give More:
I particularly love the ideas of spending less, yet giving more, in terms of Christmas presents.  I think of it as paying it forward - last year I made donations for the majority of my gifts to others, and picked organizations that really spoke to what they were passionate about.  Of course, I still bought a few material things for people, but rather than feeling the typical consumer guilt I experience when I spend a lot, I felt thrilled to be giving money to people who need it much more than I do.  This year, besides donations, I think individual time makes for a wonderful present.  It's free, and means so much more.  

Love All:
This year I want to challenge myself to take someone I normally wouldn't spend time with out for coffee.  Definitely easier said that done for a variety of reasons, but I'm going to hold myself accountable to this - I think Love All is the most important idea behind Advent Conspiracy! 

Happy advent conspiring to you all!

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