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. Going to be spending the day today wrapping presents. Tomorrow is church & a birthday party for Jesus in the preschool class that my daughter & I teach!

  2. This weekend is filled with cooking, a Christmas party, Sunday morning and evening church services, the first of five Christmas celebrations, and preparing for a week-long trip. Somewhere in there, we will be signing the papers for a van the Lord has blessed us with.

    Also on my heart is the need to spend extra time focusing on the real reason for the season with my 3 year old and one year old.

  3. hAve a kidzchurch Christmas party in church this evening and the advent carol service tomorrow. In between we wait for my husband who is travelling back – the last 36 hours he waiting in different airports as flights are cancelled and he makes alternatives!

  4. My daughter who just got home from college will take the younger ones shopping today, while I stay home to wrap gifts. My husband has to fix the neighbor’s tractor today, among other “house” chores. Due to illness in my family, I lost five days of work so I have a lot of making up to do, but I plan to figure out something fun to do with the family and also will do some Bible study for “me” time.

  5. This weekend consists of a little bit of work for mumma(Sat.), driving around to look at Christmas lights (Sat. night), church service on Sunday and making great Christmas memories throughout the hustle & bustle.
    It is the most wonderful time of the year. :)
    -Colleen G.

  6. Thank you for the GREAT devotion! I’ve already saved that devotion to use when my toddler son is older! I know my husband will love it, too.

    Wonderful tips here, too. We’ll be with family this weekend, and my husband and I would like to model relaxing, enjoying, and being grateful (rather than rushed and stressed)! We’re looking forward to it!

  7. Hi Karen, I rented a Santa suit for a work Christmas party fo kids followed by a little Christmas shopping. Taking pictures of Santa with each child

  8. This weekend we had Christmas with my family tonight and on Sunday we will have a small Christmas gathering with our lifegroup. Lots of fun. Love the ideas in today’s post. Will have to put some of those in to practice.

  9. We have friends visiting from out of town. We are hanging around the house together, talking, eating, and watching movies. The kids are all busy playing together. We visited Frankenmuth, MI tonight and the world’s largest Christmas store, Bronners. It is a fun, relaxing, spending-time-together sort of weekend.

  10. This weekend I hope to connect with my boys. You see my oldest is a missionary in Slovakia and my youngest went to Slovakia to visit him. So I am hoping to connect with both of them on Skype. I also need to do some cleaning and last minute shopping. Just for fun I hope to bake more cookies to give to our neighbors.

  11. this weekend I will be busy wrapping presents, and cleaning house for family visits next week and on Saturday evening, our family will be serving at the local rescue mission!!

  12. This weekend I hope to get a scarf and cap finished to get as a gift and wrap the gifts my daughter and I have gotten for a young lady that is in a nursing home.
    I also want to spend time with the Lord and reflect on this special season He has given us and especially the Special Gift He gave to us so many years ago.
    I am just so looking forward to seeing what He has in store for me in the coming days.

  13. We will be baking Christmas cookies at my parents’ house Sat., and last minute shopping this weekend too…… I know I’m one of those “last minute” shoppers! We also have a birthday on Monday and Tues to shop for. As you can see I’m not someone who usually gets gifts ahead of time!

  14. We will be celebrating birthdays all weekend as well as finishing up the holiday shopping and gift wrapping. I have found myself many times this past week hurrying along and rushing my kids everywhere. A few times I have just stopped and sat down with my kids, read a few books with them or played their favorite games. It helped me to get back to what is really important and what the season is really all about…LOVE.

  15. This weekend will be filled with final dress rehearsals and the performance of our annual Christmas program at church:) I would LOVE to win!!!

  16. What a great give-away!!!! I love all those things!!! I am doing some card writing, checking my list, wrapping a few things. I’d have to say a nice long hot bath sounds relaxing or some quiet time with God. Not sure if either of those will happen but it’s all good. <3

  17. I will be wrapping gifts, finishing up baking, and possibly attending a party. Trying not to make these days leading up to Christmas so busy, so that we can stop and enjoy the moment.

  18. I will be making candy for our church. After our program and worship service we always pass around a tray full of homemade candies the Sunday before Christmas.

  19. We will be baking and making all kinds of treats. I will start tomorrow with some ladies from my church getting together for a brunch – ahh.

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