13

Christmas In July

July 1, 2014 by

advent-conspiracy

I know… I know… no one wants to think about Christmas in the middle of summer. Hang with me, though, I have a really good reason for mentioning it now.

You see, I’m a planner by nature. I like to plan meals, schedules, budgets, etc. July 1st means that this year is half over already.

That also means that Christmas will be here before we know it. We know it’s coming. It’s the same date each year. Most people, however, find themselves unprepared, financially, when the big day comes.

Speaking of finances, do you know how much we spend on Christmas gifts?

I know your time is valuable, but would you do me a favor? Would you please take 2 minutes and 38 seconds to watch a video? It’s a life changer. It’s a Christmas changer. Go ahead. I’ll wait for ya. Your to-do list is important, but so is this.

Click here to see the Advent Conspiracy YouTube Video. 

Thanks.

Did you tear up a little? I’ve seen that video many times, and I still can’t watch it without tearing up. I think it’s because the first Christmas changed everything, and I believe that each Christmas can change everything for the “least of these.”

I know it’s only July and our minds are on summer vacations, beachside resorts, and tans.Those are all good things, but maybe this summer we could, like Mother Teresa said, “live simply so that others may simply live.”

And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ ~Matthew 25:40 (NKJV)

Our family has been doing a version of Advent Conspiracy for the past several years. It has been such a blessing to be a part of. We draw the name of a family member and then contact them to find out out about their favorite charity. In lieu of a personal gift that Christmas, we do something with or for their charity of choice. It can be as simple as sending a check, ringing the Salvation Army bell, serving meals to the homeless, or any other thoughtful way to reach out to those around us who are in need.

Jesus said, For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” ~Mark 10:45 (NKJV)

Knowing what Jesus gave so that I can live makes me want to give generously. Would you join me this Christmas?

Here are some helpful tips:

1. Start setting money aside for Christmas now.

2. Commit to a percentage that will be given charitably this Christmas. (Start small, if needed. Go big, if you can.)

3. If you track your spending on gifts, parties, etc. from previous years, commit to spending less each year so that you can give more this year and in the years to come.

4. Commit to a simpler Christmas so that you have more time, energy, and money to give to charity.

5. Let’s commit to focusing on our blessings rather than on our gift lists. Nothing makes us more generous than realizing how blessed we already are!

6. Share this information with others. Talk with your family, friends, and church about how to do your own version of the Advent Conspiracy. Let’s get this kind of love going viral!

“…He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” ~2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (NKJV)

I know it seems too early to be thinking about Christmas, but one can never be too prepared, right? After all, preparation is a key to success!

Please visit the Advent Conspiracy Website for more information.

Read the book: Advent Conspiracy: Can Christmas Still Change the World? Another wonderful book about the true Gift of Christmas is Ann Voskamp’s The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas.

Shared at Teaching What Is GoodServing Joyfully, Soul SurvivalThe Deliberate Mom, Wonderful WednesdayShe Lives FreeThe Retro Re-Pin PartyServing Joyfully, & Christmas Blog Party.

What do you think? Have you heard of the Advent Conspiracy before? Are you willing to give it a try? 

13 Responses to Christmas In July

  1. Rick

    Thank you so much Heather for that most timely post.You are so right, who would ever think to start thinking about Christmas now? I thank you for starting us on this path several years ago. What’s really cool about it is we actually get excited…not about that sweater we know is coming (we do live in Arizona you know!) but to think about someone, somewhere on this planet, that may be lifted up in life just a notch because of that sweater I did not get (oh and did I mention, that was a red sweater that will only get worn at Christmas and then stored the rest of the year?)! Praise God from whom all blessings flow, and may we prepare our hearts to bless others as Christmas IS right around the corner!

    • Heather

      Thank you for heading down the path with us. I would agree that these gifts are so much more blessed to give and receive than the sweaters of Christmas past!

  2. Kristia @ Family Balance Sheet

    I’ve never heard of the Advent Conspiracy before. My girls are always very excited about Christmas morning, but my husband and I are trying to turn their focus on what the entire season means. As a family, we have “adopted” another family through the Salvation Army every Christmas since 2005. We buy gifts for the kids and all of the components for a delicious holiday meal. When our kids were young they didn’t understand why we were buying toys for other children, but they are now so eager to participate and have even used some of their own money to purchase additional gifts. My eyes tear up just thinking about it.

    • Heather

      That is wonderful! I love that idea. We have done something like that for local families, but I didn’t know you could do it through the Salvation Army. Thanks so much for telling me that. I’d love to get my little church to do that this year. I think it is so important that we teach our children compassion for others. This is a wonderful way to do just that.

  3. Holly

    I love this so much! I’m starting 30 days of Thanks and Giving with my family November 1st to give us more time in December to really take in the holiday season and create some white space on the calendar to love on each other and others better.

  4. Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom

    Wow Heather!I loved this and oh how I had read this back in July. I’m pinning this to my Christmas board.

    I was “forced” to do a simpler Christmas this year – my girls are sick and I’m trying desperately not to get their colds. So baking has not been done. No extra stocking stuffers. It’s less… and it’s good.

    Thanks for sharing and for linking up to the #CHRISTMASbloghop.

    Wishing you a lovely weekend and a very Merry Christmas!
    xoxo

    • Heather

      I’m so sorry that your girls are still sick, especially as it is the week of Christmas. I hope and pray that they are better soon and that you and your husband stay well. Your attitude is just wonderful, Jennifer! I hope that your Christmas is a blessed one. xo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *