Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Meaningful Countdown to Christmas

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The internet is saturated with ideas for things to do from now until Christmas.  It is so tempting to feel like we have to do all the things.  Maybe we even want to do them all!  But a meaningful Christmas season is often a simple one.  Choosing one or two activities to do with your children will cement more happy memories than pages full of plans and a stressed mom. And, yes, it's okay if they only thing you are able...or do is sing a Christmas carol in the car on the way to the grocery store or read a library book before bed.  The little things matter.

{If you have time, go read this:  Don't Have to Do Holiday List}

This holiday season I am 7 months pregnant and craving quiet and simplicity.  With children ranging from 5 to 13, I want to impart the meaning of the season so we are focusing on scripture

  • We are reading through these (free) Christmas ADVENTures in Prophecy Scripture Cards.  We are not following a timeline but simply reading 1-2 a day during our Bible time on school mornings.  Each card has an Old Testament scripture and its corresponding New Testament fulfillment.

  • During my personal devotions, I am reading Love Comes Near: An Advent Bible Study.  I purchased the PDF for $5 and transferred it to my Kindle for easier access.  It comes with ideas for including the whole family in each day's reading, but I've decided not to do that this year.

  • I loved the Thanksgiving copywork that my kids did throughout the month of November so I printed out the Christmas 31 Day Scripture Writing Plan for December.  Again, we don't follow the prescribed timeline.  On days when they do writing, they chose a verse to look up and copy.  I expect each child to complete only a handful of the listed scriptures before we stop for winter break. 

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I wanted to quickly share 2 things that have been meaningful to us in past years.  (Remember.  You don't need to do all the things.  Pick and choose what works for your family!)

  • Several years ago, we started studying the many names of Jesus.  My friend, Allyson, has the original set of Names of Jesus {Advent} Card on her blog and you can get the second set with different names, plus a 6-card expansion pack on my blog.  My kids have memorized all the names from the cards so we review them throughout the year.  They love to challenge themselves to remember them all. We also supplement with  7 scripture flashcards from What's in the Bible?  All of the above resources and printable are free!

  • Last year, I bought the Truth in the Tinsel  {affiliate link} eBook and found it worth every penny of the $7.99 I paid!  I used it primarily with my then 4-year-old and 6-year-old. They are still talking about it this year.  I knew doing a craft a day would be beyond stressful so I also purchased the printable ornaments to color (also worth $3.99).  I printed my friend, Allyson's, FREE tracing cards  to collect all our ornaments in one place since I didn't have a place to hang 2 sets of ornaments.  (Allyson recommended using a 1" book ring.  I simply stapled the pages together into a booklet.)  With the pressure off, we did end up doing a few of the crafts, too, 

Alaine and Ben; December 2014

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