Advent: Don’t Reinvent Christmas

Advent: Don’t Reinvent Christmas

November 10, 2014 by

Christmas is coming.

As of today, Nov. 10, you have 44 days until Christmas.

That’s seven weeks. Well, less than seven weeks because Christmas is on a Thursday. Let’s call it six and a half.

There are only six Sundays left before Christmas.

Are you ready to panic? Well don’t.

“Rather than reinventing the wheel and pushing yourself into an eggnog-fueled stress breakdown, remember Advent.”

The Perfect Christmas Marketing Campaign

As you’re planning Christmas this year, looking for new and better Christmas ideas, trying to figure out how to sing it from the mountaintops that Jesus is born, don’t panic. Remember that the church has created the ultimate Christmas marketing campaign.

And we did it hundreds of years ago.

It’s called Advent.

Rather than devising your own plan and reinventing the wheel, pushing yourself into a crazed, eggnog-fueled stress breakdown, remember Advent.

“Advent: embrace an ancient tradition that ushers in the king with humility and grace instead of spectacle.”

Remember Advent?

It’s an age-old build up to Christmas with four weeks of ready-made stories (the prophets, Mary’s annunciation, John the Baptist, etc.), stage elements (lighting the advent candles) and an emphasis on not over-doing Christmas. Honest. Instead of unleashing the Christmas immediately after Halloween, churches that are serious about Advent won’t even sing Christmas carols until Christmas Eve. Now that’s restraint.

Advent is a different kind of lead-up to Christmas, and it’s not quite as stressed.

Consider taking your Christmas insanity down a notch this year. Embrace an ancient tradition that ushers in the king with humility and grace instead of ever-more elaborate spectacle.

Remember the stinky shepherds and a lowly manger? Not a lot of polished entertainment happening there.

Some Advent Ideas

Here are few ways you can incorporate Advent into your Christmas planning:

  • Go traditional and do the whole Advent wreath, candle-lighting thing. No need to reinvent the wheel, especially when there’s already a wreath.
  • Instead of putting on a massive sermon series leading up to Christmas, just use Advent. Piggy-back on the standard stories each week and use Advent imagery as your lead up to Christmas.
  • Rather than brainstorming an angle, go with the whole expectant, waiting—pregnant—idea of Advent. Everything will fit nicely together because that’s the whole point of Advent.
  • Save your Christmas blowout for Christmas. Hold back on the carols and glitter and build up the anticipation.
“December is such a frenzied month people can be too overwhelmed to even think about going to church.”

Already on Board With Advent?

If you’re already on the Advent train, congrats. The rest of Christendom is playing catchup, but you understand the wonder of the wait.

For the Advent pros out there, please, share your insights with the rest of the neighborhood. December is such a frenzied month people can be too overwhelmed to even think about going to church. Let them know that your church is a stress-free zone.

A service of candles and no carols might be just what weary shoppers need come mid-December.

God Rest Ye Stressed Communicators: Planning Christmas for Your ChurchMore Christmas Ideas:

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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