Advent Conspiracy

 As I was browsing through a variety of internet sites this morning to see what else I could learn about Advent, this weirdly-named site caught my eye: Advent Conspiracy.  At first I thought, “Oh good Lord, is this going to be one of those psycho sites where people insist that things that obviously did happen (e.g. the Holocaust, 9/11) didn’t happen?  And Advent?  Really?  But when I clicked on it, I was filled with joy and delight!  It’s the perfect 3rd Sunday of Advent post and you HAVE to know about it! 


Advent Conspiracy’s mission is this: Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, Love All.  How can you not love it?  Even if you’re not a religious person, it’s still relevant to everyone looking to step out of the cycle of insanely conspicuous consumption.  Here is a passage from their explanation of “Spend Less:”  

“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.”  

And similarly, how to think about “Giving More:”  

“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?”  

And you can read the same kinds of information on each of their other tenets: Worship Fully, and Love All.  You can get involved in your own household, your own family, church (if you belong to one), community, the entire world (their influence is global).  Advent Conspiracy is filled with ideas and examples of how to be involved in whatever way you can or wish to be.  

An awesome discovery!  Let me know what you think!

This poem is not quite an “advent” poem, but it’s a poem about winter and stillness and appreciation.  Plus the title is really funny.  

Upon Discovering My Entire Solution to the Attainment of Immortality Erased from the Blackboard Except the Word ‘Save’  

If you have seen the snow
somewhere slowly fall
on a bicycle,
then you understand
all beauty will be lost
and that even the loss
can be beautiful.
And if you have looked
at a winter garden
and seen not a winter garden
but a meditation on shape,
then you know why
this season is not
known for its words,
the cold too much
about the slowing of matter,
not enough about the making of it.
So you are blessed
to forget this way:
a jump rope in the ice melt,
a mitten that has lost its hand,
a sun that shines
as if it doesn’t mean it.
And if in another season
you see a beautiful woman
use her bare hands
to smooth wrinkles
from her expensive dress
for the sake of dignity,
but in so doing trace
the outlines of her thighs,
then you will remember
surprise assumes a space
that has first been forgotten,
especially here, where we
rarely speak of it,
where we walk out onto the roofs
of frozen lakes
simply because we’re stunned
we really can.  

Dobby Gibson, from Polar. © Alice James Books, 2005. Reprinted with permission.

2 thoughts on “Advent Conspiracy

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  1. I checked out the Advent Conspiracy website (it was actually mentioned in church during the sermon yesterday) and love the slogan “Give Presence”…


    1. I should have known that you would have heard about it already!!! 🙂 You’re incredible. Thanks for your comment, and the magical healing soup. You’re such a gift!


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