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 I’ll be traveling back to New Jersey, where we used to live to see family and friends for Christmas. I’ve got gifts to give out and people to spend time with. One way we slow down at Christmas is by staying home all day on Christmas Day. We don’t go to anyone’s home. Our home is open to anyone who wants to stop by, but the day is for us. We stay in a PJ’s all day and play games and watch Christmas movies. We have breakfast together and then dinner to sometimes with family who has stopped by.
    It is a wonderful day.

  2. This weekend my 92 year old mother, siblings, their spouses, my husband and I will be getting together at a local B&B inn that has a restaurant. It is transformed into the most beautiful great room with a 30 ft tree decorated and well it is just grand to be there to take it all in. The owners are fine christian people and they really put on a wonderful buffet dinner to enjoy too. It will be nice to go there and enjoy family and a wonderful meal during this blessed Christmas season.

  3. Wrapping gifts, sewing four little girl aprons, baking cookies and babysitting some of the little girls. So we’ll be watching some Christmas TV specials and working on their Christmas gift to their parents and to Jesus – verses being memorized to say and songs to sing!

  4. This weekend I have the good fortune of attending my very own birthday party! I have privilege (or curse) of being born just 11 days before Christmas which has made for not so fun birthdays over the years. This is only something that you can truly appreciate if you also share a December birthday. I have had 2 birthday parties in my life (one of which I planned myself) and decided that since this is a milestone birthday I wanted a party! I am married to the best husband in the world who took me seriously and has organized a party that will be held tomorrow. The best part I have had nothing to do with it so know nothing short of the time! So that’s what I’ll be doing tomorrow!

  5. My husband and I get to go shopping without the kids tommorow and I hope we can go to Barnes & Noble, get a coffee and just linger. Make it a productive yet enjoyable date day.

  6. This is a busy weekend for us. Looking forward to the events of the weekend and then to a quieter week next week. We’re enjoying an early snow in coastal Virginia…something we don’t often see. I’m even enjoying it, and I’m a warm-weather girl at heart. Anyway, my younger daughter (9 years old) will dance in her 7th annual production of the Nutcracker this weekend…shows tonight, tomorrow night, and Sunday afternoon. Various friends and family members will attend on different nights, but mom (me) needs to be there for all 3 shows…to assist with wardrobe, hair and make-up backstage, to work the concession stand at intermission. I’m planning to leave the backstage duties to someone else tomorrow night and enjoy the show from a comfy seat in the audience. My little ballerina is also in the choir for our church’s Christmas program, so she has a 3 hour rehearsal tomorrow morning and the program Sunday night. Like I said, a jam-packed weekend…with the hope of a quiet, relaxing few days afterward.

  7. Hi all! I will slow down after reading this blog, by reading the CHRISTmas story to my almost 7 yr old girl, from Luke 1&2! She gave her sweet heart to Jesus earlier this year! At school, they wrote down what gift they would give to Jesus and she said she would give Jesus her SOUL, because she loves HIM! Now THAT is deep for a 7 yr old! PTL! It brought tears of joy to think she truly “gets it”! How many times do I NOT “get it”?? THX for all ya’ll do! Merry CHRISTmas! Would LOVE to win this package! Sounds wonderful! :)

  8. I will be wrapping & baking. My daughter is then coming into town from CA Sat evening, so will be celebrating & talking about the “Reason for the Season”

  9. Karen,

    Just staying home and caring for my ill husband, this I do do most of the time. When he is up to it we get out to do the shopping and that is about all. So my weekend is to be taking care of him and getting caught up on some Bible study.

  10. Karen,

    What a wonderful blog. It blessed me.

    This weekend I want to spend a lot of time in praise and worship. I will be doing a little shopping to finish up and any wrapping needed. I can’t wait to spend some time with my wonderful husband of 45 years. We will spend time with our grandchildren – love that. I have a new Christmas book to read to them and we will be talking about Jesus birthday.
    It is not nearly as rushed as when we were raing our 6 children. Even then we always found quiet time to read the nativity story together. Those are my precious memories.
    Hope your weekend will be as lovely as mine.

    Merry Christmas.

  11. Hi Karen!

    Yes I do need to slow down & simplfy :) I think God has kinda forced me to do it this year (in a good way)… My husband & I will be watching our son play for Watertown H.S. Basketball tomorrow. Then, I think we’ll do some baking when we get home – yummy!

  12. This afternoon is the Office Holiday Party. Once I leave there I will head home to bake Christmas goodies with my new roomies and prepare a toasty dinner as it is storming here. This weekend I will resting and relaxing as my Christmas celebration will be very low key this year. My children are all grown and out of the house and haven’t included me in their plans for this year. I don’t mind, it’s much less tress for me.

  13. I am spending the weekend at my daughters. While she works, I’m going to be spending time baking with my little granddaughter. We are going to bake lots of cookies to giveaway and do a gingerbread house together. I’m really looking forward to it. thank you for the awesome giveaway.

    [email protected]

  14. I’ll be moving. I have a Christmas party tomorrow, then back to house to prepare for movers who are coming on Sunday and Monday… staying at my mom’s until after Christmas… hubby returns on 23rd to take us all to our new home…where we will be arriving the day after Christmas;) I’ll slow down in a few weeks, but sincerly enjoyed the P31 Devo and this post as a “still” moment today:)

  15. Love your idea about sending kids off with their own Nativity. Though my kids are older and I can’t do the one piece a year bit, I can start looking for a set to give them when they move out. The nativity was always my favorite part of settng up the tree and I would recount the story in my head as I put the pieces out, even as a little kid.
    Thank you also for the reminder of Mary and her ability to be still and know her God.

  16. We hope to get some shopping done – we’re ALMOST done! And wrapping should be on the agenda, as none of that has taken place yet. However, I mostly want to relax with my hubby. Last weekend was very busy, and I want to SLOW down! So – nothing on the calendar tomorrow!! :-)

  17. My daughter and I are singing in the CHRISTmas concert at our Church Sunday morning. Our children are going CHRISTmas caroling with kids from the church. And if that isn’t enough we are in the process of starting a church in our town with 3 other families. None of this is stressful to me tho. We make an effort to keep Christ the center of CHRISTmas and not get so wrapped up in the commercialization of it.

  18. In addition to the normal hustle and bustle, this is my busiest time at work. I will be working part of the weekend and then Sunday, after church, celebrating Christmas with my parents, sister and our kids.

  19. I took the day off from work today so I can finish all I have to do in one day instead of the usual trying to run errands in the time after work and before daycare pick up. But it’s raining so I might actually just slow down today and rest, :)

  20. This weekend we will join my husband’s brother and family for a tradition we’ve been doing for several years now. We go to their church which puts on a beautiful Christmas concert and then enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. It’s something we all look forward to each year.

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