My friend Matt posted over at his blog "The Truth As Best I Know It" about the supposed war on Christmas and the Advent Consipracy.
I too, fail to lament the taking of Christmas out of stores of our courthouses... when Christianity becomes too confused with the civic religion, it suffers and gets bogged down in consumerism and appearances. If the only place I see a nativity is outside of the church - fine by me. Heck, our church is right next to the courthouse anyways! When we reclaim the tradition from the culture, than we truly can celebrate the scandal that is the Advent and Christmas proclamation.
Now, that doesn't mean that we privatize it. It just means that we don't allow it to be controlled and dictated by the culture around us. We let the Word of God speak.
As far as my own Advent Conspiracy - we normally decide what to do about presents at Thanksgiving. Usually we all draw a name so that we are only buying for one person in each family. But I want to do something for the whole family as well - in a way that is meaningful and not cheesy. There isn't a lot of time left, but my thinking cap is definately on! In some ways, this meal that Brandon and I are cooking for his family this week is our gift to them. It's a lot of work, but I think that if we weren't the ones doing the cooking, we wouldn't be getting together.
On my mom's side of the family, the year after my grandma died, we bought presents for a family in their hometown. And it seems like there has been something special like that every year. My grandpa is so generous and I would really like to do something like that for them again this year. One of my ideas is to get a simple brick and talk about a donation made in their name to the hospital we are working to support in Tanzania