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 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]. :-)