Simplify & Celebrate


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Simplify & Celebrate: Embracing the Soul of Christmas

If you long to experience Christmas with your heart rather than your pocket-book, Simplify and Celebrate is for you.

Christmas approaches. The shopping center season is nearly upon us. It's time again for bright lights, late nights at crowded malls, over-priced parties and squinty little furwrapped elves. Ho-hum, bah humbug even. Do you find yourself starting to feel this way when you realize the season of intended joy is on the horizon? You're not alone.

You could just say no and not have Christmas at all but, there's no need to go to that extreme. There's a far more positive approach you can take. You can choose to make a value-based lifestyle change, choose to approach this Christmas with an attitude of voluntary simplicity. Simplify and Celebrate by Alternatives can help you.

Simplify and Celebrate is a resource filled with useful ideas you can use to reclaim the joy and peace of the Christmas season. Writers and illustrators offer activities and reflections based on the biblical story. Rediscover the values of gift giving as you pour through the pages. You'll find inspiration in this treasury of alternative ways to celebrate the holidays

Here's the Alternatives writers on a "Perfect Christmas:"

What makes a "perfect" Christmas? Our responses could be anything from family togetherness to snow on Christmas Eve, from cutting back on Christmas expenses to finding a few moments of peace and solitude. Perhaps we are not even sure what would make Christmas "perfect."

But most of us can agree, Christmas is often less than perfect. There is too much shopping and wrapping, too much baking and cooking, too much party-going and entertaining. By the time the season is over, we are often physically, emotionally and financially exhausted.

Just what goes wrong? How can we experience the peace, joy and hope promised by the birth of Jesus?

Many different feelings and expectations influence the way we approach the Christmas season. One is past Christmases, and family traditions. We remember cherished childhood memories, and believe it just wouldn't be Christmas without those special thumbprint cookies, homemade dinner rolls or embroidered stockings. We remember family outing to cut a tree and fun-filled gatherings of our extended families. We remember joyous caroling and moments of peaceful reflection. We remember the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of Christmases past.

In addition to our childhood memories, we are bombarded by advertisements and seasonal articles that tell us how to make Christmas perfect. You've seen the magazines with pages and pages of decadent desserts, and the TV commercials for the latest electronic toys and kitchen gadgets. And don't forget the pressure we might feel from our family, friends and neighbors - to hang twinkling lights on our eaves and to set up a flashing Santa in our yards, to buy our children mountains of gifts so they can compare notes with the Jones' kids, to send Christmas cards to an ever-increasing list of people.

The demands seem never-ending. Each year, Christmas becomes a time to check items off to-do lists and to fill in the dates on our calendars. But what might Christmas become if we each stopped long enough to ask ourselves: What makes Christmas meaningful? What will Christmas hold for us? How can Christmas satisfy the deepest yearnings of our hearts?

If you feel overburdened by the demand to be joyful while dragging yourself high and low looking for the perfect gift, Simplify and Celebrate by Alternatives is for you. Stop vying for the last parking spot at the mall, start looking for an alternative to a commercial Christmas. Simplify your lifestyle, celebrate Christmas with your heart.

The book is drawn from the many rsources produced by Alternatives.

Started in 1973 as a protest against the commercialism of Christmas, ALTERNATIVES has thrived producing books, videos, and workshops that encourage people to examine and challenge the consumer society. Its aim is to promote living justly and celebrating responsibly, by offering resources featuring creative, simple ideas. Simple Loving Works! carries on the spirit and mission of Alternatives.

For a list of free seasonal and year-round resources for adults and children, visit SimpleLivingWorks.org >> Archives.

Simplify & Celebrate
Embracing the Soul of Christmas
Paper 194 pages 6 x 9" Illustrations
US $15.95 / CAN $19.95
ISBN 1-896836-14-3
For your complimentary review copy of Simplify & Celebrate
or for further information, please contact:

Rhonda Pigott
Northstone Publishing
Telephone 1.800.299.2926 ext. 200
Fax 250.766.1201 E-mail: info@northstone.com


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This page last updated 2 October 2013 (originally 27 February 2003)

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