Ten years ago I created and lived out a manifesto for having a more vibrant, joyful and Christ-filled Christmas. It was awesomely amazing. Over the years I have resisted my manifesto and every time the experience has proven to be an incredible blessing.. For those of you longing for an exceptional Advent and Christmas experience please consider adopting The Christmas Manifesto. Below is my original post as it appeared ten years ago.
In the podcast, I share specific ways that I have lived out these intentions. This year I only adopted a few of the eight intentions, but even just doing that has been transformative. I’m heading toward Christmas joyful and triumphant rather, weary and defeated.
Transforming your Christmas journey can still happen. You just have to get intentional and not drift your way toward Christmas. Check out the podcast for inspiration and then pick your own intentions to make this Christmas your best Christmas ever.
Oh, one last thing — If you like the manifesto please share this post on your favorite social media or email the link to a friend. Thanks and Blessings. Now here is The Manifesto along with my original thoughts when I created it…
The Christmas Manifesto
I don’t want to be passive about Advent and Christmas. These holy days are not just going to happen to me. I want to live them intentionally. I read a Facebook status post this morning that said, “I guess I am showing my age. I love the holidays but everything has to be a hassle, decorating, cooking, work, go here go there. I don’t want to grow up. I want to be a kid again.” I bet many people can relate to that feeling. Well, I don’t want this season to be a season of getting run over by commitments and obligations. If it truly is about Jesus, then it’s hard for me to believe he would want us to celebrate his birthday by being manic. So this Advent I am on a quest. A quest to push past all of the commercialism and hype. I will slay the beasts of busyness and bah Humbug. I will instead embrace peace, hope, love and joy.
So here is my self-imposed 8 intentions for an amazing Advent and Christmas.
1. I will give gifts that honor God. I am not quite sure what that means yet. Maybe I will buy some daily devotional books for people for the new year. I would love your suggestions on this. Some gifts that come to mind are: study Bibles, devotional books, Christian artwork or jewelry to remind people of God’s presence, a donation in honor of someone to my church or a mission. I won’t do this with all of my gifts, but at least a portion.
2. I will hand make gifts. I won’t make all my gifts, but I will be very intentional about making some. Last year, I bound 101 blog posts from The Practical Disciple for my family and a few friends. One year I made pajamas for my son and a duvet cover with matching valance for my daughter. These gifts were far more meaningful for both me and the recipients.
3. I will carol with boisterous gusto. I have at least two opportunities to carol this season. I am going to sharpen up my Christmas caroling guitar skills and come as full of Christmas spirit to those activities as I possible can.
4. I will read and write every day about Jesus in my prayer journal. Since He is the reason for the season, I want some daily focus time on Jesus so I don’t loose sight of Him.
5. I will create blog posts that help you have a more meaningful Advent and Christmas.
6. I will approach Christmas with a child-like Spirit. Specifically, I want to reread the Jesus’ birth story with a sense of awe and wonder. I want to be joyfully creative as I wrap gifts. I want to playfully bake with my children and play some games that cause us to laugh uncontrollably.
7. I will sow seeds of peace, hope, love and joy every day. Each day I will strive to take intentional actions that produce these four results. I will start by making a list today so that I am armed with ideas to begin the season.
8. I will read my manifesto daily. I cannot count the number of good intentions I have held that have gone unrealized. In order to prevent this from happening with The Christmas Manifesto, I am declaring it here publicly and will read it each day aloud.
So this is “The Christmas Manifesto.” I will be sure and share the insights and learnings that come my way as I live out the Manifesto. Blessings to you this holy season.