The Hush Among the Hustle

Monday Morning Note: This post will be left up until 3:00 pm EST to give more of you the chance to enter. New post & winner announced then. :-)

Merry Christmas to you who’ve clicked here by way of my Encouragement for Today devotion. If you haven’t read it yet, click here so you’ll be on the same page as the rest of us. Don’t forget to come back for the giveaway!


A hush among the hustle.

Could we find it this year at Christmas?

Could we model it for the children in our lives?

Here are some ideas to try!

(Be sure to read to the end for a Christmas sale on signed copies of my books and the holiday hush giveaway too!)

Making the Nativity Real & Remembered

The nativity scene and story of Jesus’s birth ay be the most dramatized, reenacted, painted, composed about, and otherwise depicted event in history. But how can you write the story on your loved ones’ hearts, not just plant it in their heads? These ideas help, and the moments experienced with the nativity can be living memories.

~ Tell the Story Over & Over

For a keepsake to treasure in years to come, record your children each year telling the nativity story into a tape recorder. Toddlers will be able to articulate just the basics about the Christ child, the manger, the angels and the shepherds. As they grow, more details will be added to their narration. Once they are old enough to read, let them read the story from Luke 2 out loud to be recorded. It will be fun to hear how their voice changes from year to year. A great present to give grandparents!

~ Give the Nativity

When each of your children are young, purchase a nativity set for them to have when they are grown and leave your home. Figure out how many pieces are in the set. Then, each year, give them one piece in their stocking, timing it so that they get the last piece the year they are 18.

~ Live the Nativity

Take in a living nativity experience. Many churches reenact the first Christmas by having church members dress up like the characters found in Luke chapter 2. Children especially love to drive by and see the holy family, the angels, shepherds and wise men. Return home for some hot spiced cider or hot chocolate.

~ Go on the Hunt for Jesus

Hide a baby boy doll and on Christmas morning crank up a yuletide tune to awaken the kids. Then hunt for baby Jesus, just like the Wisemen of old. After He’s placed in a makeshift manger, read the Christmas story from Luke 2, before opening your presents. Reiterate the point you’re illustrating: Jesus before ourselves!

~ Build Suspense Along with the Story

Place your nativity set out piece by piece, telling the Christmas story as it is found in scripture.

The first night, place Mary out all alone, as you come to the part of the Bible where she is mentioned. The next night comes the angel who appears to her. The following night, Joseph appears and so on.

You’ll soon be placing the animals, shepherds, baby Jesus, and finally the wise men, who arrived a few years after Christ was born. This is a great way to make the Christmas story last over several days and the kids will look forward to the new character put out each night.

~ Light the Way

Many cultures place a candle in the window from dusk to dawn on Christmas Eve signifying the star that guided the wise men to Jesus. For fire safety reasons, I’d suggest using an electric candle.

~ Trekking for a Tree

For a unique family outing after Christmas, get a hold of a copy of the wonderfully illustrated book The Night Tree by Eve Bunting. It tells of a family’s annual outing to decorate a tree in the forest with popcorn strings and fruits and other treasures that the animals will be delighted to find and eat.

After reading the book, your family too can trek out to the woods to decorate your own night tree. Then return home for a round of hot cocoa, just like the family in the story.

NOTE: If you’d like to get any of my books (with no tax & free shipping!) personalized for Christmas gifts, click here for more info.

Now for the giveaway! It includes:

~ A composition book to use as a journal, recording thoughts, musings & ideas.

~ A set of my favorite writing pens–Sharpie fine tip.

~ Some note cards with whimsical decals for you to record favorite verses to memorize or quotes to inspire you. Place them where you’ll see them throughout the day to ponder.

~ Two heart-shaped Post It notepads for jotting down those “to dos” that are sure to pop in your mind when you are trying to contemplate or meditate on God. Write those thoughts on the sticky note and get your focus back. When you are through, the notes will remind you what you need to take care of.

~ A notecard & envelope set to write an old-fashioned note of encouragement to a friend, family member or even a stranger!

~ A box of Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Tea by Celestial Seasonings. Herbal & caffeine free!! Sip, savor and slow down.

~ An assortment of Lindt chocolate truffles. To enjoy with your tea. :-)

~  A tube of Bath & Body Works Vanilla Noel body creme. Well……just because!!

Okay—leave a comment today letting us know what you will be up to this weekend. Shopping? Wrapping? Parties? Do you have any ideas for how you can take a moment to slow down and hush, instead of rush? If time is tight, simply say, “I’m in!”

The winner will be announced Monday when we’ll have another giveaway and a special guest! Oh, and speaking of winners…..the winner of the decorating giveaway is:

Courtney: timestamp: December 16th at 8:39 pm.

Congrats! Send your mailing address to me at [email protected]. :-)

Hushing-not-rushing Blessings,

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  1. This weekend, we went shopping,in the rain. Once we got home, we really slowed things down, by having pizza and watching Christmas shows.
    I had planned to make very basic appetizers on Christmas Eve, and read the Christmas story (in the bible) to my kids, ages 13,4,2 for the first time. This will be our first year, at home (as we can not afford the trip home to be with our extended family this year), so I wanted to begin our own family traditions. I love reading the ideas here, and will incorporate a few. Thanks,Karen!

  2. We enjoyed the Christmas musical at church and then spent time with family to celebrate Christmas and December birthdays. Put my name in for a chance to win…what great gifts!!

  3. We had a wonderful weekend! Shopping, watched my nieces play basketball and enjoyed the childrens Christmas program at church on Sunday! It was awesome!

  4. This past weekend was kind of our rest between the busy weekends! It was wonderful and filled with sleeping in and hanging out with the family.

  5. I missed actually reading on Friday since I was out sick—but we were super busy this past weekend with my husband’s family Christmas gathering at our house—oh the cooking, wrapping, cleaning that went on in my house! Fun was had by all, but now I need a vacation!

  6. I decorated in reverse order this year, so this weekend we finally got our tree! My boys, though some are grown, still love to come home to the giant tree. So we have a 12 1/2 foot Norway pine in my living room, which is at least 8 feet wide! I have the lights on; now on to the ornaments!

  7. We celebrated a college graduation – nursing – so 2 graduations for my niece. My daddy’s birthday and 2 Christmases. :) I am POOPED!!!!

  8. We’re wrapping presents and doing some baking. I was feeling a little stressed about getting everything finished. My daughter sensed this and surprised me with a treasure hunt complete with clues taped around the house. Midway through the hunt she’d wrapped up M&M’s for me as a treat. At the last stop my daughter showered me with hugs and kisses. What a treasure I found today!! Merry Christmas!

  9. This weekend… just church, cleaning my apartment, getting excited for a weekend with my bf and his family next weekend, wishing I did not have to work this week but sooo thankful for a wonderful job! :D

  10. I had/have children’s church play practice and a Christmas special music performance in our evening service on Sunday (tonight).

    There’s also been cleaning house and jr. high’ers studying for finals.

    This devotion (read it Sunday, but it’s dated Friday) was timely for me. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

  11. We have our church small group party and then my daughter is having a cookie decorating party the next night-making Christmas memories!

  12. We’ll be baking some cookies and putting the finishing touches on our Christmas crafts. I love spending time with my family!

  13. well, i only have one grandson left to get for and off i go with my baking. i take care of two of my grandchildren who are 2 and 3 and it’s going to be such a delight in having them help me bake. thanks for all the encouragement i get from your blogs and may God bless you and your family this Christmas season. thank you again.

  14. Last weekend, we decided to go to a “Nativity Live”. My 4 year daughter didn’t recognize that one of the angels was her preschool teacher. The next day, I asked her to tell her teacher that she saw her. She hesitated and said “Mrs. Lundeen, I didn’t see you as a fairy”. Oh well, I think she lost some of the meaning of the true meaning of Christmas–I have to keep working on it.

  15. To complicate Christmas, our daughter, a divorced mom, has her son (our Grandson) this weekend. So, this weekend is our “gift exchange” Christmas time. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will have their own difficulties – as I miss our daughter and grandson. She will be working and he will be with his dad. I certainly have found that I cling even more to the “reason for the season” as I struggle with our own stressful Christmas routines.

  16. I’m unpacking. We had an unexpected move and I am surrounded by boxes but we do have our Christmas tree up (with lights only, no time for decorations this year) so our kids can still enjoy a little piece of Christmas. Thanks for the ideas.

  17. This weekend we are trying to prepare for travel “home” to be with family and friends for Christmas. Just little things…it’s actually a slow time for us…no rush here as we enjoy the “peace” before the “rush”. Although we do have some worries…we’re trying to plug/catch a few leaks in the roof that just came with a recent storm and hoping we don’t get more “wet” while we’re away. That brought a little kink in the ease of the weekend…but we’ll survive. Loved all the shared ideas for slowing down and keeping Christ in Christmas!!

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