Thursday, December 3, 2009

Advent Conspiracy

So, driving home from work last night, I had an idea. After we finished dinner, I posed the question to Brian and the girls, "What if, instead of buying a live Christmas tree like we do every year, we give that money on Christmas Eve to support some of the things Bent Tree is doing?"

Needless to say, the initial response was tears. After explaining several times that this was not a decision I was making, but, that as a family, we would each weigh in on it, they started to calm down and listen. It doesn't mean we won't still decorate--actually, our decorating will take on a new twist. We'll put ornaments in garland and find a spot for our angel that usually sits on the top of our tree (this was actually Caroline's biggest concern--where would we put her?).

The girls started getting excited about it. Brian is still trying to find a place we can chop down our own tree for free--which would be cool, but I think the girls are more excited about being creative with our decorating this year. We still have two 3 ft trees that usually sit in their rooms that we will use, but I will certainly miss the smell of a real tree--they make air fresheners with that smell don't they?

I logged onto the Advent Conspiracy website and let the girls watch a few of the videos. They didn't grasp the fact that Americans spend 450 billion dollars every year on Christmas, while just 10 billion would ensure that the ENTIRE world would have clean water to drink. What they did grasp was seeing the dirty water and watching the kids faces when they were able to drink clean water. When they looked at where those kiddos lived, the comments of "It's not fair for us to not have a tree" were forgotten.

We may not do it. Our family may decide we are not willing to give up our tree this year, but the bigger story is that it is creating conversation in our house. It's not the outcome--whether we give $50 dollars is not going to change the world. What will change our world is 2 little girls growing up with a mindset that it is not all about me and that God has a bigger call on their lives than to live in a comfortable house feeling safe all the time. While I pray they have those things, I pray even harder that He gets ahold of their hearts and they grow up seeing the world around them through HIS eyes.

Advent Conspiracy is helping us to do that.

1 comment:

Chasity said...

I had already made the decision this year that we were going to be scaling WAY back on Christmas. Every year I kill myself going out and shopping and shopping - just so the kids have stuff to open. Then that stuff is given away 6 months later as closets are cleaned out. It is just so wasteful. Then when Advent Conspiracy was introduced at church - I loved it. I have been so stressed that my household projects are not done - my giant 9' tree is not up, my banister is not decorated ... I made the decision today - that I will put up our smaller skinny trees, decorate the mantel in the den with stockings - and that's it. A big show is just not needed. I have already prepared the kids -- they are old enough to understand -- we need to give our time and resources to others, we are so so blessed in so many ways. It's SO not about gifts and stuff. This year we will get up on Christmas morning -- sit in front of the fire, drink hot chocolate, open a couple of gifts and just enjoy our blessed life.