Monday, November 2, 2009

Advent - Living the Story

We are safely home after an interesting flight in stormy weather yesterday! We had a lovely time in Edinburgh with my parents - thanks for all your kind comments and your thoughts for my mum. This is the fifth of my posts about Advent and is about practical things for living in the Christmas spirit.‘[We find] a yearning for a simpler, less commercial, more soul-satisfying celebration. There is a universal wish to end the year with a festival of renewal that rekindles our faith, brings us closer to the people we care about, and brings light and laughter to the dark days of winter. We want to ward off the commercial excesses of the season and create an authentic, joyful celebration in tune with our unique needs and desires.’ From the introduction to ‘Unplug the Christmas Machine’, published in 1991
Most of the books I have about a simpler Christmas emphasise the blessings we get from turning away from our own needs to considering others in greater need. In many countries, Operation Christmas Child is a FANTASTIC way of encouraging your children to think about another child who leads a harder, impoverished life. If you don’t know about it, please click on the link – you have until November 18th to pack up a box of gifts for a needy child.
Over in New Zealand, Sarah's children got some Christmas Child boxes ready ages ago, but there's still time to do this lovely activity with your family.

Another way to do it is to have a Fair Trade Advent (and a FT Christmas, of course). Nearly everything I’ve pictured from catalogues in this Advent series has been Fairly Traded, and I think that everything we celebrate Advent with at home is either FT, handmade or second hand. Fair Trade is a good way to spend money and do good at the same time.

Other marvellous ideas which I’ve seen for looking beyond your own needs at Advent include offering to babysit for a couple who can’t afford to get out often, or inviting single people or overseas students round for a meal at a time when they might be feeling particularly lonely.


VintageVicki said...

Good Morning

Glad you had a great time with your family.

Seeing the operation christmas child logo remains me that we've got our box packed - I just need to make the payment and then drop it off at little sons school.

Also need to remember to buy contents for the advent calendar - trouble is if I buy it too early it gets eaten *blushes*

Serenata said...

Glad you got home safely. I heard on the radio that parts of Scotland were flooded very badly yesterday.

Thank you for yet again another thoughtful and well written advent post.

Florence and Mary said...

Glad you arrived home safely

Victoria xx

Sal said...

I think that's a lovely way to think of a child less fortunate.
I read about a similar thing in our paper at the weekend and thought that I would try to do something.
Glad you returned home safely!

Heloise said...

Glad that you had a good time with your parents. The weather in Scotland sounds horrid. Thank you for the link to the box scheme, I will work on one this week.

Angela said...

The staff at school where I do supply teraching have just decided that instea dof sending each other Christmas Cards, they are going to fill shoesboxes for OCC this year. i think this is a brilliant idea!
Glad you're home safe [even tho the poppies didn't make it!] blessings x said...

Glad you enjoyed your time with family and that you are safely home! I think it is such a good idea for children to know about other less fortunate ones and how lucky they actually really are themselves! Suzie. xxx

The Curious Cat said...

Ah what a lovely little entry. We took in someone on Christmas day a few years back - a friend of my sisters who we met down the pub - he was all on his own with his parents too far away so we took him home...

Will look at this operation Christmas Child now...not very uptodate with the blogosphere having been on holz but hope your mum is okay? Also hope Edinburgh was its wonderful self?! xxx

Lola Nova said...

What wonderful ideas!
Glad to hear you are home safe.

Thecraftytrundler said...

Glad you had a good time in Edinburgh, hope your mum feels a bit better. I bet she loves seeing you all again!
Love the Christmas ideas! It's nice to get away from all the commercialisation of it all, and give to those who really need it.

Have a lovely week : )

Sharon xx

Poppy said...

Loads of great ideas, thanks! Glad you got home safely, the weather here in the UK has been dreadful lately!

love, Poppy x

A Bun Can Dance said...

Hi Floss
I have the "Unplug..." book on your recommendation - I found it secondhand on Amazon for a few pence (including postage it was cheaper than 'ordering' a book via the library!?). I have devoured the book from cover to cover and it has made a huge impact on my view of Christmas this year - especially in helping me to evaluate what Christmas means to me. Thank you SO MUCH for recommending it in a previous post. I will be blogging about it some time soon.
D x

Carol said...

So glad that you arrived home safe and sound and had a wonderful time with your parents. I think it is good to remind us of those less fortunate. We have cut down on the presents enormously in recent years. I think a good idea for an Advent would be to write little tasks on paper and pop them inside each day. Each of the family could take turns in opening a window and making the task set happen! if possible. Simple things like make some cakes together or crackers for the big day. It would be fun to get everyone to come up with the ideas to put on the papers. Anything that encourages family to do this togther rather than sit and watch tv or play on computers must be at me, blogging away!