A few years ago our family rediscovered the season of Advent. It’s a purposeful reflection on the arrival of Jesus, the Son of God. For me it is a way of developing a counter-rhythm to the commercialization of Christmas baptized in consumerism and capitalism.

Just think how absurd it actually is. Once a year we celebrate Jesus who came to proclaim good news to the poor, who was born in a stable. How do we do this in the Western world? By exchanging gifts between the already rich. The logic of this is as I already said, absurd (and not in the Spirit of the One we’re celebrating).

So this year I’m asking my family not to give me any gifts for Christmas. What I am asking them is to give gifts to my poor friends. During advent I’m going to compile a list of the things my friends need (and maybe want), things they couldn’t afford themselves. In this small way I would like to discipline myself in the season of Advent to go against the current.