This article was originally published by The Mennonite

5 alternative ways to celebrate

Got Christmas on your mind?

Take some time to discern how you, your family and your congregation will celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. Will it be about wrapped presents and twinkling lights? About straw in the manger and holy carols? About roasted turkey and pumpkin pie? Maybe, maybe not.

I encourage you to pay attention to the margins in your days, or seek to find them.

  • Is there space to sip hot chocolate and listen deeply to a friend?
  • Will we pause sufficiently to plan for the authentic meaning of Christmas
  • What does it mean to be counter-cultural and faithful in the midst of holiday frenzy?

Here are some great resource links with a nod towards alternative, generous approaches to the next round of holidays:

1. Whose Birthday is it Anyway? is a resource from the Simple Living Works! blog.

2. Here is a list of 10 Tips for simpler, more meaningful celebrations.

3. Started by Canadian Mennonites, this idea of “Buy Nothing Christmas” has mushroomed into a huge movement.

4. In 2006 five pastors imagined a better Christmas practice for their own communities. Today, Advent Conspiracy is a global movement of people and churches resisting the cultural Christmas narrative of consumption by choosing a revolutionary Christmas through Worshiping Fully, Spending Less, Giving More and Loving All.

5. Engineer a gratitude campaign in your church: OR

6. Don’t forget the Western District Conference Resource Library. You can search these topics in our online catalog: gratitude; thankful; generous; generosity; Thanksgiving; Advent; Christmas.

Bogard,MarleneMarlene Bogard is the minister of Christian formation for Western District Conference.

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