The 5th Day of Christmas with Courtney DeFeo

chaos.calmFrom unrealistic expectations to traditions to your screaming schedule as well as those annual holiday encounters with the in-laws and outlaws, this free 5 Day challenge will allow your holidays to go from chaos to calm. Click HERE for the free 5 Day Challenge and they will automatically come to your inbox. Merry Christmas!


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IMPORTANT NOTE: You may comment to win on all of the 12 Days of Christmas posts until Sunday night, December 15th at midnight EST so be sure to read through those you missed and catch up!

get-attachment-9.aspxWelcome to the 5th Day of Christmas with my guest Courtney DeFeo.

Courtney DeFeo is the founder of this Lil Light O’ Mine blog ( and believes our kids can light up the world. As a former marketing professional, she lives in a constant brainstorm with herself and suspects it’s the route of her migraines.

Her favorite topics to spin are “bringing faith to life in the home” and “empowering moms” and “teaching virtues in a fun way.” She wants her little light to shine so that her family knows Jesus intimately and others might see His love in the process. And now, here she is for our 5th Day of Christmas!


I used to circle one toy on every page in the JCPenney catalog. Now, my two little girls open up the American Girl catalog and circle one of everything. One small problem, we did not win the lottery last weekend.

I certainly LOVE to delight and surprise my girls with their hearts’ desires. However, I have to keep reminding myself how quickly the “stuff” gets tossed aside. In a matter of weeks, all of the toys and things are forgotten and the money seems wasted.

Don’t get me wrong – mine will definitely get a few of the circled things. I am just on a constant mission to target their little hearts. I want them to always be thinking more about GIVING not GETTING. Two years ago, I started Light ‘Em Up – a program to equip families to light up their communities with kindness. It has thrilled my heart to watch kids grasp the concept of generosity. Join us!


Here are TWO TIPS for shopping with little hearts in mind.

  • Shop to Connect: Think about experiences over things. Give the gift of time – a sleepover with grandparents, a date night with Daddy, a manicure with mom or a promised game night with the family. These can be more affordable (in the form of coupons) or you can give a gift that coordinates with the experience – the sleeping bag, the new game or a telescope for moon watching! If you think back to your childhood, do you remember your favorite toy more? Or the moments and time you had together with your family?



  • Shop to Train Hearts: I believe we all share a common goal – for our kids to fall in love with Jesus and follow Him. What if our Christmas morning reflected this priority? Can we give a new devotional? or new bible? I absolutely love Jesus Storybook Bible, Jesus Calling for Kids and of course my ABC Scripture Cards.


  • One “free” way to train hearts – is to wrap up gifts to God. Have each family member write down what they want to give to God for the year. A kind heart? A sharing spirit? Self-control?



cardsI am a crazy huge fan of Karen Ehman! She has encouraged me and lifted me up. And I love all of her amazing books. I’d love to treat TWO of you to a set of ABC Scripture Cards for your family.


… commenting on how you shop with little hearts in mind. I like to purchase gifts that teach, encourage kids to create or are consumable. How about you?


  1. I usually give a mix of gifts: When they are young I give Bible picture books with the stories of some of the key spiritual truths and some of the more commercial items like baby dolls and toy dishes and trucks; Bibles and Christian books when they are older plus games or Legos. For the older girls, I like to give cross necklaces.

  2. I love your idea for Christmas! We try to incorporate these kind of things for my 2year old. But still all new to this whole parenting thing! And to teach God! In heard the abc scriptures and love the idea! That would be awesome! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Mine isn’t a gift that appears under the tree. I have taken my grandchildren to see the Christmas story at Sight and Sound in Lancaster PA. Memories last longer than anything else I could buy them.

  4. This is such a blessing, we try to have the kids take notice around them is there a child or an adult that looks like they might have a need; it is taking a bit of “coaching” but it feels so wonderful to coach them in looking for needs; I have a lot of work to do, but I think as we make our lists or check them; maybe (after reading your devotion) we can make a column for a needy child what do they think a child may want and then shop together for it ..thanks so much

  5. We try to purchase things that we can play or use as a family…. craft kits, board games, books, etc. It’s so nice to have your child bring one of their presents your way to play with. What a great way to celebrate family!

  6. I shop for things that will bring us together as a family. Board games, favorite movies, music, books to read together. Anything that promotes togetherness.

  7. We love giving books to family. We also invite our friends over for a meal, serving their favourites! I love to cook and bake! We then play games or watch a movie together.

  8. I have been trying to be more intentional about my gifts for my three boys this year. It has taken me three kids to realize how much stuff they really need and how much is just excess in our house. I want them to remember why we celebrate Christmas, not just the stuff they opened.

  9. We follow the four gift rule for our daughter. Something she wants, something she needs, something she can wear and something to read! It’s fun for us to decide what to give her. This year we found a toddlers bible at Goodwill for her to read. We got her a Praise Baby DVD for what she really wants to watch. A pair of rain boots for her to wear to keep her feet warm and dry. And for what she needs we are still deciding -maybe a fun toothbrush since she goes through them so fast! We have also been including her in our daily Advent candle lighting which I think is a special gift to her that I hope she will pass down to her kids someday! God bless you all and Merry Christmas!!

  10. I love all the fun of Christmas (from the earrings and art pencils in stockings to the comfy slippers and PJ’s), but one of my most favorite things to find for my kiddos are the inspirational CD’s/DVD’s with great spiritual messages. I also try to focus on the themes they will have for their next year of spiritual learning. We also do a new Christmas book each year. It’s such a fun moment to bring out the books every year and see how excited they get – reminds me of the special memories I have from childhood and gives me hope I’m making a lasting (and loving) impression on their lives too. I love the feeling!

  11. We have the Jesus Calling book for kids and we love it! I love books that we can read and enjoy together at bedtime.

  12. Love giving books and creative things that require kids to use their imagination. My kids love coloring books and stickers!

  13. I am a teacher and I love to give books! It opens up the imagination! My girls love that I earn free scholastic books from the book orders!

  14. Because I love to read and I want my children to love it as well, I always buy wonderful books for them to read or for us to read together. Each year, I also try to buy a new Christmas book.

  15. I like to give children gifts that are a group activity that includes their siblings or their parents. I have no children at home but I will always remember when I wanted an Easy Bake Oven-my mom said “Why do you need that when I can teach you to bake with OUR oven’ TIme spent with my mom baking, cooking and preparing for guests is what I remember most.

  16. Shopping for little hearts is my favorite and my favorite thing to give a child is the book A Charlie Brown Christmas. This book shows the true meaning of Christmas while still keeping with the bright colors and characters that all children love. That is what Christmas is about Charlie Brown!

  17. I like consumable gifts too. This year we are giving a big box of art supplies to our girls…they can create masterpieces to their hearts’ content…and eventually I won’t feel bad about tossing the half used paints and dried up markers!

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