Tuesday, November 27, 2012

From Black Friday to Advent Conspiracy - A Better Way to Celebrate the Holidays

I watched with grotesque fascination the reports of some of the outrageous behavior that took place across the nation during Black Friday.  Fights, stabbings and shootings in line and in the parking lots of WalMarts, Sears, and Target stores were reported from coast to coast.

I shook my head and asked myself: "How did it come to this, that we would kick off the sacred holiday seasons of Christmas and Hanukkah with such crass consumerism run amok?  Isn't there a better way to prepare for the holidays?"


Having spent a wonderful week in Orlando celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends, I returned to Boston on Saturday.  During the worship service Sunday morning at my church, the sermon was on Advent Conspiracy - a better way to prepare for the holidays.  It was perfect timing as an antidote to the excesses of Black Friday.  Our church has been participating in Advent Conspiracy for 5 years, during which time we have re-directed money that would normally have been spent on gifts and gave those funds to selected charities.  In those few years, the amount we have been able to contribute has been in excess of $100,000.

There are three basic tenets of Advent Conspiracy:

  • Spend Less - on gifts
  • Give more - of yourself, of gifts of time or hand-made gifts
  • Love all - By giving the money not spent on gifts to causes that spread love to others.
At our congregation, the Advent Conspiracy money is shared among several projects at home and abroad:
  • A ministry in the Dominican Republic that brings hope and health to people living near a garbage dump.
  • Living Water that provides wells and potable drinking water to those who would otherwise not have access to water.
  • A ministry to help victims of sex trade escape their lives of despair
  • A homeless shelter
To learn more about how Advent Conspiracy works, check out this link:


Whether your tradition is to celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, I encourage you to join me in adopting the spirit of Advent Conspiracy and channel some of your holiday giving into charities that you believe are making a significant difference in the world.

I encourage you, as well, to share this message with those on your holiday shopping list.

Buy less - Give more!

God bless.


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