skipping christmas

Hello, friends! If you’re joining us from Moody’s Midday Connection, welcome! I’m so glad you stopped by!

(For the regulars, I’m going to be/was on the radio today–November 4–at 12:00pm Central–1:00pm EST. If that’s now, you can listen to the show here live. If it’s over, you’ll be able to listen once they put the link online.)

I’m actually writing this post at 7:00 on Sunday evening, so there’s no telling what all we talked about on the show. I’m going to trust God answered my prayers and that the Spirit was leading our discussion the entire time.

One thing I love about writing (as opposed to speaking) is that I can sit here alone at my keyboard and work on the words until they sound just right. I can stop and look things up in my Bible or online or in some random notebook. I can gather my thoughts and make them sound all flow-y or quippy or whatever effect I’m going for at the time. If I forget something important, I can go back and add it in, and no one’s the wiser.



(These four cuties gave me a no-grumbling family photo shoot for my b-day this weekend. See more pics here.)

I hope my words on the radio today were loving and full of grace (that’s what I prayed for). I hope you felt a gentle nudge of conviction but no waves of shame or guilt or anything like that. I hope you felt uplifted and inspired to let the Spirit lead you this holiday season, to let go of all that our culture has ingrained in us over these many years.

I hope you’ve made plans to ask God what he wants this Christmas to look like for you and your family.

Hopefully I made it clear that I’m no pioneer in this Taking Back Christmas for Jesus movement. (I love this post by Jen Hatmaker and the whole Advent Conspiracy deal, for starters.)

And hopefully I made it clear that this isn’t about insisting that people in stores wish me Merry Christmas (instead of Happy Holidays) and give Baby Jesus equal time with Santa or any of that.

It kind of all just boils down to Matthew 25:40 where King Jesus says, “Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me.”

If Christmas for a Christian is really supposed to be about celebrating Jesus’ birthday, then shouldn’t we be asking Jesus what he wants?

And didn’t he already tell us what the equivalent of giving him a gift would be?

Is it the hustle and bustle and spending and more spending and rushing and wrapping and stressing and spending–and then tossing some sort of Advent box or Jesse Tree into the mix, making Jesus a cake, and calling it a day?

Or did he have something different in mind?

Like caring for the least of these.

I’ll be back tomorrow with Skipping Christmas, Part 2 (once I know what I said on the air and what I’d to explore further). Feel free to ask me anything in the comments that you’d like to know more about.

In the meantime, I’m pretty sure I promised y’all a FREE E-BOOK.

Just leave a comment letting me know which one you’d like, and I’ll e-mail it to you within the next day or so. Your choices are:

Once Upon the Internet (the true story of our 52 zoos in 52 weeks adventure where we stayed with strangers who became friends).

The Husband’s Guide to Getting Lucky (yep, just what it sounds like).

The Wife Life (geared toward young-marrieds but a fun read for a wife of any age).

We Dream of Cambodia (my newest e-book that actually hasn’t been released yet–all about our trips to Cambodia and the people we fell in love with there).

And 5 lucky winners will receive a FREE COPY of ALL 4 E-BOOKS OR a copy of Deepening the Soul for Justice OR a copy of The Exodus Road (2 great books that hopefully I had a chance to mention on the show).

See you back here tomorrow! (I’ll be sharing lots of ideas for giving gifts that make a real difference in the life of the person you bought it FOR and the person you bought it FROM.)

47 thoughts on “skipping christmas

  1. Pingback: $3 christmas! | Marla Taviano

  2. Julia D.

    I just listened to the podcast today – I would love The Wife Life. Also, I like the family photo and the t-shirt look. That’s my style!

  3. Pingback: a different sort of christmas | Marla Taviano

  4. valerie (in TX)

    So sad I missed you on the radio, but hoping I can listen from the archives soon! I’ve been wanting to read your zoo book for the longest, but Cambodia wins out. 🙂 I’d love a copy of your new book when it releases! <3

  5. Pingback: re-imagining christmas | Marla Taviano

  6. Thomas Hebel

    I enjoyed listening to your talk today on the radio. I would be interested in your book “The Husbands Guide to Getting Lucky.” Anything that broadens my insight to a better relationship with my wife is exciting!

  7. Jennifer

    I missed your talk this morning, but I look forward to reading part 2 tomorrow!!! I have a feeling I’m going to really like what you are going to say since I often feel like a scrooge at Christmas with the “regular” Christmas traditions. 🙂 (I’d love to read your new Cambodia book, too!)

  8. Shellie Petit

    Heard you on Midday today – you did great! Found your website from their link & am loving it. It’s been on my heart the last few yrs to change the way we celebrate Christmas. I didn’t really know where or how to start & you’ve given us so many good ideas – THANK YOU 🙂 You have a beautiful heart & are breath of fresh air! I so have a heart to do some kind of mission in an upcoming season in my life & would love to read about your Cambodia experience & “family”. May God bless you, your family & all your endeavors!

  9. Gaylene Carpenter

    Love celebrating His birth the right way.
    I’d like, touch choice as I love zoos, however, missions win out. So…I can’t wait to read “We Dream of Cambodia”.

  10. Vallaree Fields

    Hey Marla! You are such an encouragement to me! Love you 🙂 (
    I would really like to read about your zoo adventures.)

  11. Stephanie Stewart

    I heard the Midday Connection interview today and thought it was wonderful! And I am very interested to read “Once Upon The Internet”. I also look forward to following your blog – and you have inspired me to restart blogging. Thank you for sharing your heart today – and your family is beautiful!


  12. Heather

    Thanks for the great idea on the radio today. I have 4 children agree 6 and under and I’m rely tired of stuff invading our home at Christmas. Going to chat with my hubby and them about skipping the gifts this year and giving to others!
    I’d love a copy of the Wife Life 🙂

    1. Marla Taviano

      Thanks so much, Heather! That sounds like a plan! And thankfully, they’re still young, so it might be easier than if they were older. Another fun thing to do is go through old toys and pick out some good ones to pass along to others.

      Will get your e-book to you soon!

  13. Jean

    I love the idea of skipping Christmas by replacing it with something BETTER! Like becoming more aware of all the needs in the world, or in our country, or in our town, and probably even in our own church! You mentioned the book “The Advent Conspiracy”, which I am going to see if my library carries. And, I would love a copy of your e-book Once Upon the Internet. Thanks for being brave, Marla!

  14. Celia Mikus

    Hi Marla,
    Just listened to you on the radio, thanks for sharing, I love the idea of your skipping Christmas and spending it on a trip to another country to help and love on people.
    The e-book that strikes me is the zoo adventure.

  15. Sarah

    Marla, Thanks for sharing on Midday today. It was very thought-provoking and I will be sharing my thoughts about it with my husband and we’ll pray for God’s guidance as we celebrate Christmas. I’d be interested in your book, Once Upon the Internet. Thank you and God bless. =)

  16. Karen Wells

    I really enjoyed hearing about skipping Christmas …or rather celebrating the holiday the right way by giving back… I have been toiling with how to move my family – husband of 22 years and 15 and 12 year old children with this concept of giving back…. we struggle on being consistent, as children from the “burbs”….its foreign. We are devout Christians but we are struggling in this area…Please hElp!

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