What if we got crazy this Christmas? What if we did something like this?
Our church has participated in Advent Conspiracy for a few years; and, I love it…now. When I first heard about it, my thoughts weren’t as merry and bright. I want to don my gay apparel and I want a lot of options. I want presents, music, decorations, gingerbread houses, parties, and holly-jolly new outfits. I have ALWAYS loved Christmas. And, for as long as I can remember, I’ve ALWAYS been a consumer. I still am, but, at least, I recognize it now. I fall in love with stuff easily. I fall hard, fast, and get all psycho-girlfriend with all the things. It’s co-dependency at its finest. If I could text love messages to all the things, I would. And, they don’t get scared off by my excessive attention.
But, meaningless relationships create meaningless lives.
I don’t want to be remembered for what I have. I want to be remembered for what I gave. So, I’m in recovery. I’m a recovering consumer. And, let me be clear, I’m baby steppin’ (Please tell me you’ve seen “What about Bob?” If not, have a family movie night and watch it).
Perhaps you’ve seen this floating around cyber-candy-land?
In my recovery efforts to combat my consumerism, I like practical goals. More so, I like it when I don’t have to think up the practical goals (I’ll work on laziness after I kick this consumer thing). The concept is simple: give 4 gift to your spouse/children this year. Something they want. Something they need. Something they will wear. Something they will read.
Let’s start with the “something to read” gift. I could receive one book each Christmas for the rest of my life, and I would die with books left on my “want to read” list. I love books. So much so, that if God didn’t call us to live in community with one another, I’d hole up in my house with my books as my BFFs and live “life on life” with them.
Sometimes I can be a wee bit dramatic.
I like to think that I’m an avid reader, but, I’m a moderate reader. I have friends who are ‘real’ readers and after being in their presence, I realize I’m like a 5K’er amidst marathoners. Nonetheless, I am a reader, which makes books the perfect place to start off my Favorite Things: Books…
Disclaimer: I have read most of these books. If I haven’t read the book in its entirety, I’ve read portions of it. The books I haven’t read at all are recommendations from my aforementioned marathon-reader-friends.
For Tweens and Teens:
I think of books like I think of music: the genre one likes is vastly subjective. I happen to like a poignant and emotional story. I want to get lost in a story and feel with the characters. I have read books that have caused me to (almost) ask for prayer for the fictional characters. I could camp out in this category. Thankfully, I’m in a book club with women who feel as deeply as I do about such things and we get to spend one night a month discussing our fictional friends.
Side note: maybe the best gift you could give yourself or a friend this season is a book club. It’s one of my very favorite things I do with my time. Start one!
Here are a very few of my favorite fictional books:
Secret Keeper I love most of Kate Morton’s books.
What Alice Forgot This was a favorite in our book club.
Where’d you go, Bernadette
Calling Me Home I will listen to you after you finish this book. You will WANT to have a conversation with someone about this book.
Bibles/Learn the Bible:
Age of Opportunity
Running the Rapids
Give them Grace
Creative Correction This is an older book, but what I love most about it is its practical options for discipline. I’ve gone back to this book time and time again.
There you have it, friends. Simple, inexpensive options for Christmas gifts so that we might conspire this Advent season to worship fully, spend less, give more, and love all.
And, if I could give each of you one book this Christmas, it would be this one.
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