Banking on the notion that the stickiest of ideas are quite often the simplest, the concept behind Advent Conspiracy -- and an associated site, Rethinking Christmas -- is easily understood: "Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, Love All." As to the third of these:
Before you think we’re getting all Scrooge on you, let us explain what we mean. We like gifts. Our kids really like gifts. But consider this: America spends an average of $450 billion a year every Christmas. How often have you spent money on Christmas presents for no other reason than obligation? How many times have you received a gift out of that same obligation? Thanks, but no thanks, right? We’re asking people to consider buying ONE LESS GIFT this Christmas. Just one. Sounds insignificant, yet many who have taken this small sacrifice have experienced something nothing less than a miracle: They have been more available to celebrate Christ during the advent season.
Meanwhile, conspirators can donate saved monies to the charities of their choosing. (The site touts partnership with Living Water International.)
Last Wednesday, Wired contributor Jonathan Liu noted,
I know, not all of our readers are Christians or celebrate Christmas: on behalf of those of us who have been in-your-face with our “Reason-for-the-Season” buttons..., I apologize, and I hope that this year maybe a small percentage of people will start a new holiday tradition for their families, making Christmas just a little more enjoyable for everyone—especially those who can’t stand it.