I've always enjoyed the conspiratorial nature of coming up with the perfect secret gift for someone I love at Christmas. And the last three years I've enjoyed being part of an even larger conspiracy: The Advent Conspiracy. Part of the Advent Conspiracy is to Buy Less and Give More. Every year our church sponsors a DIY Craft Fair.
It's an odd sort of craft fair. You can't really buy anything at the fair. You just go and get inspiration from other creative folks about what you could make or do with your friends and family--recipes, sewing patterns, how to alter a book, make a worm composter, or make things out of recycled sweaters. The idea is that you would celebrate relationships at Christmas time and also have money left over for Living Water*.
Here's my friend Diane's table. She makes the most amusing sock monkeys and also makes sock dogs and cats. They really are made out of a pair of socks and all you need is a needle and thread and a couple of buttons for eyes. I don't have her direction sheet but it looked a lot like this one. What a fun project to make for a kid...and I even know a few adults who have nostalgic memories of sock monkeys and would love nothing better peeking out of their stockings.
*People are dying from the lack of clean water. In fact, it's the leading cause of death in under resourced countries. 1.8 million people die every year from water born illnesses. That includes 3,900 children a day. The solution to this problem is directly beneath our feet. Drilling a fresh water well is a relatively inexpensive, yet permanent solution to this epidemic. $10 will give a child clean water for life. That's not an estimate. It's a fact. And here's another fact: Solving this water problem once and for all will cost about $10 billion. Not bad considering Americans spent $450 billion on Christmas last year. Our hope is that, by celebrating Christ in a new way at Christmas, the church can serve as the leading movement behind ending the water crisis once and for all.--from the Advent Conspiracy website