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. My favorite gifts for the kids are ones which they can use to build or create something. I love watching them be creative over and over, which doesn’t happen with your average run-of-the-mill toy!

  2. As a mom and grandma – I have taught my children and now grandchildren handicrafts, such as crochet and sewing. I also like to handmake my gifts, so they see the value of giving from the heart! (AND the delight of having a brand-new dress for dolly!) It warms my heart when my older girls now make gifts for their friends and family!

  3. we bought the money bank that has 3 sections. One each for save, donate (church), spend. It helps them see that these 3 should be a constant thought….all 3 each time you have money. They love having it set aside and can see what money they have.

  4. Shopping with little hearts in mind is accomplished in our family when we focus on gifts that either bring value and education to our girls, require them to use their imagination, or require all of us to be involved. We rarely buy toys, but instead will buy books, puzzles, and art supplies. And sometimes, we will buy larger play items for the backyard or for family time. We are also careful about the books that we buy and the lessons they teach. Recently picked up devotional books for my girls by Sheila Walsh.

  5. I buy the Veggie Tales movies for the young relatives and last year I purchased Lynn Cowells devotional book for my teen nieces.

  6. Shopping with little hearts in mind I find difficult. I soo want them to have gratitude and appreciate the gifts they are given while remembering the true meaning of Christmas which sometimes gets lost amongst all the shopping!

  7. I like to find gifts that can be used and are needed, not just toys. This year, I’m making hands-on toys such as a geo-board and felt play sets.

  8. My kids are a little older, but I still love to give books. Some of my fondest memories are of reading The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe with my children. We had some wonderful discussions about Christ through that story.

  9. We give three gifts that mimics the gifts of the magi. One of them is something to encourage their spiritual life.

  10. For my 2 yr. old niece, I love to get non-electric toys (wooden puzzles, stacking blocks,etc.) and I love to give her books that I read to my kids when they were little.

  11. With my son it is one big gift that is usually on his wish list. It isn’t necessarily the priciest gift but it is a gift that he wants. The second gift is always a book that we can read together. The third gift is about tradition. Each year my son gets a Lego Advent calendar and we open each day together.

  12. I like to buy gifts for my niece and nephews that encourage creativity and thinking. Something that is fun for them, but also helps in their growth.

  13. When shopping for our kids, I like to find stuff for them to “do” the rest of that day. Easy bake oven for our little girl and Legos for our boy. They get to be creative and use their brains.

  14. We purchase a want, need, wear and read. Our usual read is a new family devotional so we aren’t getting stagnate in our evening bedtime reading.

  15. I love to shop for children’s or little girl’s devotionals that we can read as a family each night. I have 3 girls and I know that it is so crucial for us as parents to instill these values in them as we raise them. With a world so full of hate, I only pray what they learn they can take up against what the world will come at them with! We also love shopping for anything that will allow us to help have family time, Board games, tickets to events and some movies.

  16. I often buy books for kids on our list. I love to sit down with a book from my childhood and enjoy the familiar pictures and words. It’s fun to think of giving that same experience to someone else.

  17. I found a great deal on Veggie Tales Christmas DVD’s this year. My son is getting the Double Feature, so are my nephews, and my son’s godparents’ family. Fun and good lessons for little ones. My 4 year old also LOVES his many Bible story books.

    Carissa in eastern Iowa

  18. I like to give gifts that reflect the child’s personality and ones that help them grow in their faith.
    – Colleen G.

  19. Although I’d like to say I shop with Christ in mind..I typically shop more with developmental skills in mind. Puzzle’s, Lego’s, building toy sets etc…things that keep the eye and hand coordination active :) But now that my kids are getting older, I would say that I will prob be looking for things like the giveaway that they can really utilize and learn from!

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