Advent/Christmas Calendar

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Advent/Christmas Calendar

Spirit of Simplicity

Calendar for Advent and Christmas


These brief, pithy sayings include Lectionary Readings, Old Sayings, Old and New Testament, Modern Prophets & Other Voices, bumper stickers & billboards. Each day discuss and meditate on one, even if it's familiar. How does it relate to our lives in this season?

After your daily meditation, set aside an offering, possibly 25¢ or more for a child, $1 or more for an adult. Choose a cause or organization to support with money you collect while using this calendar. Decorate a can to hold the money. View this money as an aid to our need to help others. Offer the money on Epiphany, the day the Wise Ones offered their gifts to Jesus. The calendar corresponds to liturgical Cycle A (Matthew).

Go through the calendar with at least one Advent Partner, face-to-face or by phone. A partner could be a friend or someone you've wanted to get to know better, someone for support. And if a partner is a child, an adult can help teach and serve as a role model.


Oct. 1 or Nov. 1 - Start early: think about and discuss your expectations with family members. What does each person really want at Christmas? Who is going to do what? What is really most meaningful? Are we willing to spend less on ourselves and give more to needy people? Decide what the group plans to do. Write down and post decisions.

Nov. 22 - Thanksgiving Day (USA). Prepare for International Buy Nothing Day, tomorrow - Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year.

The average North American consumes five times more than a Mexican, ten times more than a Chinese person and thirty times more than a person in India. We are the most voracious consumers in the world... a world that could die because of the way we North Americans live. Give it a rest. Buy Nothing Day!

December 2: Advent I - Read and meditate on Isaiah 2:1-5; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24: 36-44. Share the reflection for this day in Alternatives' booklet "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?"

3 - The best things in life are free.... The best things in life are not things.

4 - And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? -Micah 6:8.

5 - Live simply that others may simply live. -Gandhi

6 - One's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. -from Luke 12:13-34.

7 - I shop, therefore I am...? Shop till you drop...? If we don't need it, it isn't a bargain.

8 - I love, therefore I am. -Alan AtKisson

9: Advent II - Read and meditate on Isaiah 11:1-10; Romans 15:4-13; Matthew 3:1-12. Share the reflection for this day in Alternatives' booklet "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?"

10 - Become the change you wish to see. -Gandhi

11 - Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that I need. -Proverbs 30:7-9.

12 - You can never get enough of what you don't really need. -attr. to Alan Watts

13 - Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? -Matthew 6:24-33.

14 - We spend more on cosmetics each year in the U.S. than it would take to provide basic education to everyone in the world who lacks it.

15 - Care for all Creation... reduce, reuse, recycle, restore, respond.

16: Advent III - Read and meditate on Isaiah 35:1-10; Luke 1:47-55; James 5:7-10; Matthew 11: 2-11. Share the reflection for this day in Alternatives' booklet "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?"

17 - The price of anything is the amount of life you pay for it. -Henry David Thoreau

18 - Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? -from Isaiah 55:1-5.

19 - There's enough for everyone's need, but not for everyone's greed. -Gandhi

20 - Just as you did it to one of the least of these... you did it to me. -Matthew 25:31-40.

21 - When a group of professional people asked a group of 4-to-8-year olds, "What does love mean?" one replied, "Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen." -Warren McLaren

22 - Peace begins when the hungry are fed. -bumper sticker

23: Advent IV - Read and meditate on Isaiah 7:10-16; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25. Share the reflection for this day in Alternatives' booklet "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?"

24: Christmas Eve - Read and meditate on Isaiah 9:2-7; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14 (15-20). Share the reflection for this day in Alternatives' booklet "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?"

25: Christmas Day - Read and meditate at dawn on Isaiah 62:6-12; Psalm 97; Titus 3:4-7; Luke 2: (1-7) 8-20. Later in the day, read & meditate on Isaiah 52:7-10; Psalm 98; Hebrews 1:1-4 (5-12); John 1:1-14.

26 - The work will wait while you show your child the rainbow, but the rainbow won't wait while you do the work. -Patricia Clafford

27 - Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. -Margaret Mead

28: The Holy Innocents - Read and meditate on Jeremiah 31: 15-17; 1 Peter 4:12-19; Matthew 2:13-18.

29 - Blessed be God, Who is our Bread. May all the world be clothed and fed. -table prayer

30: Christmas I - Read and meditate on Isaiah 63:7-9; Hebrews 2:10-18; Matthew 2:13-23. Share the reflection for this day in Alternatives' booklet "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?"

31: New Year's Eve - Most people eat as if they were fattening themselves for market. -Edgar Watson Howe

January 1: New Year's Day - The nation that destroys its soil - destroys itself. -Franklin Delano Roosevelt

2 - Those who trust in their riches will wither. -Proverbs. 11:28.

3 - Reflect on the Five Life Standards of Living More with Less

-Doris Janzen Longacre

4 - Do not store up for yourselves treasures on Earth. -Matthew 6:21, 19.

5 - We spend more on pet food in the U.S. and Europe than it would take to provide adequate nutrition and basic health care to the more than one billion people on the planet who lack these necessities.

6: Epiphany - Read and meditate on Isaiah 60:1-6; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12. Share the reflection for this day in Alternatives' booklet "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?" Offer the money you have been saving to the cause of your choice.

7: Christmas II - Read and meditate on Jeremiah 31:7-14; Ephesians 1:3-14; John 1: (1-9) 10-18.

This calendar is adapted from "Spirit of Simplicity: A Collection of Alternative Quotations and Art" - sacred and secular, serious and humorous sayings and graphic illustrations for personal inspiration and for editors to use in paper and electronic publications. See that collection for sources and credits.

Copyright Creative Commons (originally 2001 Alternatives for Simple Living)
Make as many copies as you choose on a not-for-profit basis.
This Advent/Christmas calendar is appropriate as bulletin inserts, and in Spanish.

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