A pot is just a pot, right? It doesn’t matter what you use, as long as you put your spare change in something, and then give it away to a good cause. So why does today’s challenge invite us to decorate the pot into which our small change will go during the season of Advent? Here are some possible reasons:
1. We decorate everything else…
…so if we decorate the pot, too, then it becomes more fully integrated with our preparations for Christmas, and helps us to reflect in our own lives the generosity of God.
- You could co-ordinate it to go with your Christmas tree, so that every time you see your tree, you think about your money pot.
- You could colour it purple – the church colour of the season, and keep it in your ‘special place’ (see 1st December’s action), making the act of donating money part of your prayerful reflection on Advent.
2. Decorating takes time…
…and it might make you sit down for a few minutes and do something creative.
- There aren’t many stopping days left till Christmas, and it’s worth grabbing every chance you can to spend a few minutes doing something that you don’t have to do.
- A creative project doesn’t necessarily mean an individual project – rope in other members of your family, or invite a neighbour round for tea (and provide a pot for them too) and have a nice cup of tea while you decorate together
3. Decorating your pot takes effort…
…and means you’ve invested more in it than just small change.
- you probably won’t get a chance to see what becomes of your money once it’s donated – decorating your jar is a way of making your donation feel real and significant.
- You’re more likely to remember that the pot exists(!) and that you need to fill it(!) if you’ve made some effort decorating it – it will stay nearer the front of your mind.
4. Decorating your pot will draw attention to it…
…and you won’t be the only person who notices.
- The more beautiful (or wacky, or bizarre, or lovely, or funny) your decorated pot is, the more it will attract attention. It makes generosity an attractive focal point.
- It can be a great conversation starter with people who visit your home (or see it on your desk at work), and you can use the opportunity to talk about why you’re doing it.
But in the end, whether you decorate your pot or not, you’ve introduced into your household a really great habit: taking the spare that you might not even miss and making sure it goes somewhere where it will make all the difference in the world. The decorating may well be good for you spiritually and socially – and may also be fun! – but the money is above all not for us, it’s for others.