Every year, I get tired of the question, “Are you ready for Christmas?”

I know it’s polite small talk, but it’s one of those questions that feels shallow to me. It seems focused only on the gifts, the turkey and decorating, instead of on the relationships in our lives and the gift of the Saviour. Often it’s a well-intentioned conversation starter, but I bet we could come up with something better.

During Advent this year, we are being challenged to REIMAGINE CHRISTMAS and to mindfully make it more of what we want it to be. In light of this, I would like to begin some of my conversations in another way, such as:


Perhaps we can encourage one another to take our Advent theme out of the theoretical and into real life. We could support and cheer one another in keeping the essentials, and dropping what is no longer meaningful.

Would you like to know what I’m going to do differently this year? I will give you three things, and maybe as the season goes on I’ll come up with more…

  1. I’m going back to wrapping with newspaper like in my childhood days. Somehow, I got sucked into buying those rolls of shiny, glossy red and green paper.
  2. I want to have an honest conversation with my spouse and kids about pooling part of our gift money for a “family gift” like a goat or chickens. Here, I’m looking for what interests my kids about helping another family somewhere else. I think this better reflects the spirit of giving we’re hoping to learn together.  Often we give a donation at Christmas, but I’d like to involve my kids more in the process this year.
  3. Since I’m hosting for both sides of our family, I’m considering buying pre-stuffed turkeys, but I haven’t decided yet. The purist in me wants to make my own stuffing again, but I did buy a pre-stuffed bird at Thanksgiving, and it saved me some time and was still pretty good…

What do you think?  Should I make the stuffing myself?  …and, WHAT ARE YOU DOING DIFFERENTLY THIS CHRISTMAS?

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works”
Hebrews 10:24