Instead of piles of presents this Christmas, a local church is promoting a different kind of giving.
For the 10th year, leaders of The Crossing said they are conspiring against the commercialization of Christmas and instead encouraging four refreshing approaches to celebrating the holiday.
“Worship fully, spend less, give more, and love all," said Greg Holder, lead pastor at The Crossing in Chesterfield.
Holder said the idea of spending less but giving more is not a contradiction.
"What we are talking about is giving gifts that celebrate and enhance relationships. Let me give you a couple of examples. When a husband says, 'I'm going to give you, my wife, the gift of some dance lessons and every Tuesday night for a while, we are going to do this.' You tell me how special that is. When a son says to his dad, 'Here is a bag of coffee beans but you are only allowed to drink this coffee with me," said Holder.
Instead of material gifts, church leaders are encouraging families to give the money they save to others.
"Maybe some of the money we save not buying Uncle Joe that sweater he wasn't going to wear anyway, what if we gave that money to those Jesus calls the least of these? Whether it's locally or some place around the world," Holder said.
The initiative has been a hit, bringing in $4.3 million to help fund clean water projects around the world and tens of thousands of pounds of food and supplies for St. Louis area organizations.
Church leaders are also pointing out that the movement "Advent Conspiracy" does not accept donations. They want families to instead be proactive and select organizations or projects to give to themselves.
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