Help Build Community with an Alternative Christmas Event



Help Build Community with an Alternative Christmas Event

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An Alternative Christmas Community Festival is a concrete, exciting way to offer ideas and support for those who want to have more meaningful Christmas celebrations. It is also a positive way to introduce the need for change to people unaware of the problems connected with the way we celebrate Christmas.

Many churches organize alternative Christmas events in the fall to encourage alternative giving and to help members simplify their celebration. The three basic plans are:

1. Sell crafts and clothing from the Developing World. This encourages Fair Trade and the second pillar of Voluntary Simplicity: Learn from the World Community. Family and friends get beautiful gifts at reasonable prices. Third World artisans get a better price for their work through these volunteer fairs and shops than through similar commercial importers.

2. Encourage people to give funds to worthwhile organizations in someone else's name instead of a purchased gift. The gift is doubled - for the recipient of the funds and the recipient of the honor. Usually a gift card goes to the honoree telling something about the recipient organization.

3. Hold a workshop on alternative ways of celebrating Christmas. Such a workshop goes beyond gifts, to the "why's" and "how's" of celebrating Christmas. Use the classic "Unplug the Christmas Machine: A Complete Guide to Putting Love and Joy Back into the Season" and "Leader's Guide to 'Unplug the Christmas Machine' Workshop." A shorter guide is "Let's Talk About Christmas."

For help, contact SimpleLivingWorks@yahoo.com.

Alternatives offers two helpful Christmas Festival and Workshop Guidelines for planning fall events. In addition to a step-by-step plan, "How to Organize a Alternative Christmas Community Festival" includes a section on publicity and an extensive list of resources. "Planning an Alternative Christmas Workshop" includes a plan for various workshop lengths, ranging from 60 minutes to 2 1/2 hours. Both come in "Simple Living 101: a Toolbook for Sharing the Joys of a Simpler Lifestyle Through Speeches, Workshops, Events and Study/Actions Groups."

Simple Living 101 is available free of charge at SimpleLivignWorks.org >> Archives.

Simple Living Works! is an all-volunteer organization that "equips people of faith to challenge consumerism, live justly, and celebrate responsibly." SimpleLivingWorks.org offers free resoruces on simple living and related topics, both for Christmas and for year-round use. e-mail SimpleLivingWorks@yahoo.com. Visit SimpleLivingWorks.org. . #####

Editors: For more information, contact Gerald Iversen. * To REPRINT any of the popular Advent/Christmas annual booklet "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?" do so under the Creative Commons attribution, non-commercial, share-and-share-alike license.

NOTE: A wealth of Alternatives' material is on our website for easy downloading! Visit SimpleLivingWorks.org. Click on News. For many inspiring articles for your use, click Archives >> Articles.

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

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