It can be difficult to talk about how we prepare for Christmas without revealing some of our darkest truths.
How do we spend our money? How far short does our family fall from perfection? Who carries the burden of preparing the celebration and why?
We encourage our group leaders to create a relaxing, generous atmosphere where people can share and respond as they feel comfortable. Our materials include opportunities for talking, listening, creating and reflecting.
So, what makes a session ALTERnative? Here are some pointers that we've found useful.
- Does it help people to think seriously about the meaning of the Christmas story?
- Does it reflect the simplicity of the original story?
- Are the biblical characters real or sentimental cardboard cut-outs?
- Does it challenge the accepted excessive commercial norms of Christmas?
- Does it reflect the question of celebration in a world where half of God’s children are starving?
- Does it encourage people to reflect on how their lifestyle affects the poorest?
- Does it challenge the unsustainability of Christmas?
- Does it encourage people to take time out of – rather than just adding to - the ‘busyness’ of the season?
- Does it offer people tangible and attractive alternatives to start them on the journey of change?