Simple Living Works!

Archive for December 2014

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Wise ones still seek him.

So, what do New Years and Epiphany have in Common? In contrast to the over-commercialized and over-sentimentalized Christmas, Jesus is “shown forth” during the Epiphany season (from Jan. 6 till the beginning of Lent on Ash Wed., Feb. 18 this year). That’s the best inspiration for New Years resolutions I know!

New Year New Daily Inspiration Calendar

Epiphany Resources

Epiphany | Epiphany Celebration | An Epiphany Celebration | Epiphany Gifts | Most series of reflections, activities and services in WHOSE Birthday? #1-17 include the Sundays after Christmas and conclude with Epiphany.

EARLY WINTER FESTIVALS

Making New Years Resolutions as a Spiritual Discipline (Godspace blog)

IMAGE: Worship Alternatives: Art #2967

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Peace, Gerald “Jerry” Iversen, Chief SLW! Activist

For hard copies of Alternatives’ resources at nominal cost, contact ELCA Archives, 321 Bonnie Lane, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 * (847) 690-9410 * archives@elca.org

We do not solicit or accept donations, nor do we sell anything. All our resources and services are free of charge. We’re an all-volunteer organization. Instead, we urge Alternative GivingGive away at least 25% of what you spent last year on all celebrations – Christmas, birthdays, etc. — to local, national and international causes.

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*Treasury of Celebrations: published by Northstone, a division of Wood Lake Publications, BC, Canada, best known for its Seasons of the Spirit curriculum.

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Christmas BEGINS on December 25. Here’s a batch of fascinating articles for the season.

• Susan Jacobson included me in her article “Some Find More Meaning in Christmas Without Gifts” for the Orlando, FL, Sentinel. At the end she lists most of SLW! signature “10 Tips for a Simpler, More Meaningful Christmas.”

• Simple Living Tips for Millennial Christians from Sojourners

• When Decemberism Crucifies Christmas from Sojourners

• Simplify the Holidays from the Center for a New American Dream

• How to Have a Non-Commercial Holiday from Utne Reader

GRAPHIC: Spirit of Simplicity: Quotes & Art #6-A904

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TreeShirt

To LISTEN, click the player at the top or the bottom of the Show Notes, or visit the Episode Index.

WHOSE Birthday? – an audio adaptation of SLW’s signature publication Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway? — our Advent/Christmas annual for individuals, families and congregations.

WHOSE Birthday? 2014 podcast series is taken from Edition #18 | TEXT | SPANISH text, entitled “Adviento”

INSPIRING REFLECTIONS (with discussion questions), FUN ACTIVITIES and DAILY CALENDAR based on liturgical cycle B (Gospel of Mark)

If you want to hear all four episodes at once, go to Podcast Index/Preview/BackUp.

#35 – Susan Briehl, Jill Miller and more!

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Graphic: WHOSE Birthday? #17

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3-A2166I have several strong memories of Christmas when I was a child. Relatives from my mother’s side of the family would gather on Christmas Eve for a grand meal. Then we would gather around a tree that always reached to the ceiling. It was surrounded by a mountain of gifts. Everybody gave something to everybody else. With little fanfare, I would start ripping into all my stuff. It seemed that no one paid much attention to what others were getting. After an hour or so it was over.

One year I asked my dad if we could go to church on Christmas Eve. He agreed. The problem was, I didn’t ask until Christmas Eve. When we got back, the rest of the group was pretty unhappy. We had changed the plan. Maybe we were right but we hadn’t considered the group.

Now we all go to church. Then we gather for some favorite foods. We take turns opening our gifts with considerable fanfare for each one. Though we are only four, it is so meaningful!

To encourage planning and communication we have developed “Let’s Talk About Christmas!” How are we going to celebrate Christmas this year? What is really most meaningful? Who’s going to do what? Are we willing to spend less on ourselves and give more to the needy? Ask your family, relatives, friends questions like these. Write down your decisions and post them. Mark your calendar on October 1st for each year! And remember Buy Nothing Day, the Friday after Thanksgiving!

Let’s Talk About Christmas worksheet in Simple Living 101 and Christmas Campaign Kit

Graphic: Spirit of Simplicity: Quotes & Art #3-A2166

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Legacy WHOSE Birthday? Biblical Reflections by Jim & Kathy McGinnis of the Institute for Peace & Justice

PLUS. . .

A Simple Christmas

The Joy of Responsible Gift-Giving

A Special Holiday Letter

Worshipful Ceremonies

A Simple Christmas Daily Calendar

What Do Kids Really Want?

Christmas Quiz

Birthday Gift for Jesus (poem)

WHOSE Birthday “Contest”

Bonus Items

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Prayerful-Santa

Legacy WHOSE Birthday? REFLECTIONS Through Advent to Epiphany by Miriam Therese “The Singing Nun” Winter

Plus, We Chose Something Different = Making a Change for the Better | These Letters Truly Reflect the Season | Bonus Items

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