It’s a little late on this one but since I just started this blog, I figured I should put it in. We are big into advent. I love having the girls get excited about Jesus’ birthday and making sure that they are trying to put Him first in their thoughs each day of advent. I am pretty positive next year I’m going to buy Truth in the Tinsel . I usually make my own crafts and activities, but this year we didn’t have a devotion, we just read Luke 2 every day… I miss doing a focused devotion and I hear that Truth in the Tinsel is great for that. The cool thing about reading Luke 2 is every day we read a little more, so by this time of the month the girls have the whole begining part memorized… including “This was the first census while Quinirius was governor of Syria”. Luke 2 actually has a couple of geographical references so it is helpful to encourage the kids to look at Biblical maps to see where they traveled. Here is a pdf of all of the luke 2 verses that build on eachother each day. Luke 2 file
What we do everyday:
I made this quickly on November 30th. I took a frame that I used to put the girls art work in and hammer finishing nails into the side and connected with craft wire. I then use little clothespins that I got at Michael’s to hold up printable cards from 1-24. I got the printable at the Sanvie blog (so simple and beautiful). Then I used post-its on the back so that I can use the calendar over and over again. I think I saw the idea somewhere last year but I can’t find where it was. We usually use our sock advent calendar, but it tends to get so messy and droopy by the end, this was a nice clean calendar!
Our second thing is that we have our own version of Elf on the Shelf. We don’t do Santa and never have. I’m ambivalent about it, but my husband doesn’t like the idea of lying so we tell them the truth about who Saint Nicholas was and why people believe in him today. We always talk about how much he really loved Jesus. The girls like being in on the secret that the adults know and to this day they haven’t ruined it for any of our friends kids. Last year I bought them Why do we call it Christmas? and it was great for really explaining who he was. All that to say we don’t do the big red guy, so we have have Mary, Joseph, and the donkey journey through our house and the girls have to find them every morning. It’s perfect since we lost the baby Jesus to that nativity so they are free to roam.
We also got this awesome gift from a friend. It’s a stocking for Baby Jesus and it’s our job to fill it. It was a great way to tell the girls about what kinds of gifts Jesus would want and how loving others makes Him happy. It was also perfect since my daughter was learning a verse for school – Matthew 6:20″Instead, store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust don’t destroy and thieves don’t break in and steal.” God’s word translation. The stocking comes with these adorable little cards that you can fill in with what you gave him that day and then put it in his envelope.
I have created a pdf of the little notes for when we run out, but you can use them with a regular stocking or even a little jar or box. It would be fun to roll them up and put them in an ornament and put the year on the ornament and then you would have a reminder of how you gave to Jesus each year. jesusnotes
Everything we’ve been doing this Christmas is super easy and we’ve loved it. I didn’t give it a full five stars for looks cool because I think sometimes my kids think the mary and joseph aren’t as cool as elf on the shelf – plus Mary has blonde hair in our set… there is no way the real Mary had blonde hair – so the star is lost for historical inaccuaracy!