Well it’s already mid- December. How’d that happen? Oh well! We’re ready! This year has been much less stressful without having to wait on school to be out to have some Christmas fun and do last minute things. Most of my shopping is done and we are ahead of the game on baking and such.

My Goal was to make this a memorable Christmas season by making fun memories and doing things that had meaning and could teach my children something while having a good time. Here are some of the things we have done or will do:

Cinnamon Honey Butter

I made this and Jake helped. It was for his teacher’s gifts. He had fun mostly licking the bowl clean. There are tons of places to find the recipe and endless breads, biscuits, and treats to spread it on! Yum!

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We put it in little jars with tags and wrapped with raffia. Cute cute.

Something I didn’t make but will in the NEAR future. Chocolate dipped marshmallows. Yep. Will do this real soon. May or may not give them as gifts.

Got the idea from this place: Adventures in Savings


Along with the crafts, running around, and shopping lines, comfort and joy are things that I treasure the most. We had an awesome time of worship and quieting our hearts before the Lord at our Women’s Night at church.

These are 5 of my dearest friends. I am thankful for these women in my life who are there to encourage me, pray for me, listen to me, and sometimes give me a good kick in the pants when I need it!

We have several Christmas traditions. Some are the obvious. Advent calendar, opening gifts, Christmas tree, but a few that we have started that are out of the box I wanted to share with you. Every year, since we sponsor a child from World Vision, we receive a catalog full of ‘gifts’ you can give to sponsored children and families. You can give anything from soccer balls, to water wells, to goats, cows, and chickens. This year, along with picking something to give as a family, we are encouraging the kids to use their own money to pick out a gift to give. They can pick a chicken for only $10! We are teaching that these gifts will give all year and will help give necessities to families that otherwise have a hard time just surviving.

You may have heard of the Elf on the Shelf. The concept behind it is a little Elf you buy that comes with a story book. The book explains how the Elf watches you and reports back to Santa and tells Santa if you’ve been naughty or nice. He moves around your house until Christmas, then he leaves and comes back for next Christmas. It’s a really cute little Elf and a cute concept, but what about after Christmas? And what if your child misbehaves? Are they to redeem themselves to an Elf so they’ll get presents from Santa? Since we also don’t make a big deal out of Santa, I came up with our own version of Elf on the Shelf.

Read this article for a great way to ‘do’ Santa

This is our Elf, named Buddy. Buddy does fly around our house, but he doesn’t report to Santa. He encourages good attitudes, good character, and good behavior. Sometimes he will be holding a treat. Most nights, he is holding the next ornament that goes on our Jesse Tree. This is our next tradition we started this year. This is a daily family devotional that is started on Nov. 29 and goes to Christmas Day. The devotions have a bible story and a question a the end. Then the fun part- put the ornament on the tree! It’s a concrete way for little ones to store God’s word in their hearts. Here’s Buddy sitting with our tree.

We use this devotional you can print

but this one is good too

 

Now, a project for the big kids…

Homeless kits (we need a better name for these!)

What these are are just baggies of our overstock of toiletries around the house, a free meal coupon, a printed list of names and addresses of local shelters, and a note to say God loves you.

These took less than 10 minutes to make

And the next time you see someone at a red light that is in need, instead of turning your head to act like you don’t see them, roll down your window and hand them one of these!

Ok, My chalk sign says it all…

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