Many people are being forced to cut back on Christmas this year, but many of us are also choosing to step back and reexamine the way we celebrate. After all, Christmas is not supposed to be about getting more stuff. It’s about God becoming man, living among us, and redeeming us from the curse of sin. His was an eternally-significant gift.

We are making a few changes this year, small ones, to be sure. We’ve asked our family members to give differently to us, and we’re giving differently to each other. (Not that we’re giving nothing, but we’ve cut back a bit and thinking harder about what we choose to give.)

We have an Advent calendar, made by some friends, that the kids can’t wait to start tomorrow, to help them remember the what and why of Jesus’s birth. We decorate one Christmas tree with ornaments that help to tell the story of his birth.

And, after watching this video put out by the group Advent Conspiracy, we have been challenged to go a step further. We want to think about where to donate some of what we did not spend and where to give the time we will not spend shopping.