Episode 5 :: Beyond a Consumer Lifestyle – 2

BreakForthIntoJoyVideoIn this episode. . .

Break Forth Into Joy: Beyond a Consumer Lifestyle, part 2 + Simplifying early winter festivals with Treasury of Celebrations

Hear the second part of Alternatives’ award-winning program Break Forth into Joy: Beyond a Consumer Lifestyle, and then hear about a big resource for simplifying Christmas, New Years and Epiphany.

Break Forth Into Joy! itself is 15-minutes. In this episode three additional 10-minute bonus segments of people featured in the main part. These additional sections have themes of freedom and possessions, family and children, and taking action. Relevant to Christmas.

Some of the Speakers

John and Mary Schramm wrote A Service for Ending, Blending & Beginning Christmas Traditions for Alternatives.

David Allen Sorensen and Barbara DeGrote-Sorensen, co-authors of Tis a Gift to be Simple; Six Weeks to a Simpler LifestyleEscaping the Family Time Trap: A Practical Guide for Over-Busy Families, and numerous others. 

David wrote Whose Birthday: An Introduction; Barbara wrote KEEPING CHRISTMAS: Ideas for celebrating a meaningful holiday for Alternatives.

Thomas Thangaraj

Kathleen Connolly has written several things for Alternatives:
A Different Kind of Wish List | Appropriate Christmas Gifts and Questionnaire | Closing the Season | “Light Shine in Deepest Night” Activities.

Break Forth into Joy: Beyond a Consumer Lifestyle won best-of-class in Religion at the Dallas International Film Festival. It has a free study guide when you’re ready to use it at the your church or in your group.  Video Version (on YouTube)


See the Show Notes for episode 4, for a quick overview of Treasury of Celebrations, especially simplifying Fall Festivals.

Treasury of Celebrations is the last edition of a long-standing Alternatives staple, The Alternate Celebrations Catalog, first publishing in 1973, the year Alternatives was founded. Here’s a quick history overview. This last edition, a compilation of the six earlier editions, is called Treasury of Celebrations: Create Celebrations That Reflect Your Values and Don’t Cost the Earth (published by Northstone, a division of Wood Lake, BC, Canada, best known for its Season of Creation curriculum).


• Treasury of Celebrations
• 1: Making Choices
• 2: Gifts
• 3: Celebrations
• 4: Rites of Passage

Part 1: Making Choices
• Simple Living
• Gift Giving
• Food and Celebration
• Getting Started
Part 2: Gifts
Part 3: Celebrations – We’ll discuss rites of passage, like birthdays and weddings, as well as winter, spring and summer celebrations in later episodes.

I will bring some of them up again in future episodes at appropriate times. If you’re eager, you can read them now or anytime for free online in the archives of SLW!




Planning an Alternative Christmas Workshop
How to Organize an Alternative Christmas Community Festival

Most of the following are part of the upcoming “Whose Birthday?” radio series.

Let Jesus Come, Let Santa Go: audio workshop

UNPLUG the Christmas Machine: Leader’s Guide (audio and text)

The Celebration Revolution of Alexander Scrooge

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Carols with Justice sing-along

What Does Jesus Want for Christmas? (pageant)

Let’s Get Off the Christmas Roller-Coaster

Whose B’day? (5 of 24 editions have audio versions)

Other TEXT resources (no accompanying audio/visual)

15 Christmas Packets

An assortment of Advent/Christmas Calendars

Christmas Anthologies to read alone or aloud

Christmas Campaign Kit

Advent/Christmas Articles Index

Spirit of Simplicity: Quotes & Art: Celebrating Advent/Christmas

Worship Alternatives: Advent/Christmas

Thematic Index: Advent/Christmas/Epiphany

Alternatives’ Legacy Resource: Voluntary Simplicity Study/Action Guide also deals primarily with celebrations. Also, To Celebrate: Jan.-Feb. (catalog #6).

Share your thoughts on this podcast and this episode. Email  Feedback AT SimpleLivingWorks DOT org  [or SimpleLivingWorks@yahoo.com or SimpleLivingWorks2@gmail.com], leave a message on our Facebook page or on the SLW! blog.


In episode 6, I begin the six-part adaptation of the well-known “Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?” which includes several of Alternatives’ audio shorts.

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Thanks to John Pitney for music on this episode: “Learn to Live Simply So Others Can Simply Live”  from “Walk Lightly on the Earth.”

This podcast is covered by the Creative Commons non-commercial attribution share-and-share-alike license. To learn more about Creative Commons, click on its link on our web site home page.


To learn more about SLW! – our mission, for example — please listen to our getting-acquainted episodes, especially #1 and 2.

We produce a half-hour podcast twice a month, hopefully educational and inspiring for you, your family and your congregation or group. We blog four times a week.

We at Simple Living Works! believe that simple living really does work! Voluntary Simplicity, choosing to live simpler lives, is a faithful, satisfying and effective lifestyle. Contemporary faith-based simple living is guided by the five Life Standards of Living More with Less, the classic by Doris Janzen Longacre. I discussed those standards in episode 2.

The Mission of SLW! is “equipping people of faith to 1. challenge consumerism2. live justly and 3. celebrate responsibly.” The three parts of our Mission are elaborated in text and video at these links. We extend the mission and resources of the non-profit organization Alternatives, which served from 1973-2011.

Simple Living Works! web site home page | THEMES/Seasons Index

Submission guidelines for Whose Birthday? 2013 | Issues 1-24

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Peace, Gerald “Jerry” Iversen, Chief SLW! Activist

Click ABOUT for Music and Cover Art Credits.

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