The Christmas season is often the most cluttered in terms of time and materials. We sometimes measure our level of enjoyment during Advent by the number of Christmas decorations, the number of cookies we make or the number of Christmas decorations, the number of cookies we make or the number of parties we attend.  In the Gospel of Matthew, the image of John the Baptist contrasts with the idea that bigger is better.  John lives a very simple life out in the desert.  His example teaches us a great deal about the connection between simplicity and the Christian faith.