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12 Days of Christmas (2017) – Day 6

10th Annual #12DaysofChristmas Giveaways (2017) at karenehman.com.


One of you WHO COMMENTS ON ALL TWELVE POSTS AND ALSO SHARES ABOUT THE SERIES ON SOCIAL MEDIA will win a grand prize from me, pictured here.

10th Annual #12DaysofChristmas Giveaways (2017) at karenehman.com.

REMEMBER…in order to win the grand prize, you must leave a comment on all 12 posts. You can start with Day One HERE.

OK, let’s get started with our sixth day’s guest, Arlene Pellicane!


Christmas Coming Alive

How can you make Christmas come alive for your children, grandkids, nieces or nephews without a phone or any screens?

When my three kids were younger, we’d decorate gingerbread houses together with other families from church.  Now that they are older, they are my best assistants in everything Christmas.  Each year during Thanksgiving break, we take out our artificial tree (which we bought at a garage sale in the heat of summer for next to nothing!) and decorate the house.

My oldest Ethan is in charge of decorating the mantle with a Lego scene.  Noelle dresses up the staircase and puts up the stockings.  Lucy starts putting together the manger scene with our Little People set from years ago.  Giving each child a job gives them the pride of ownership.  We decorate the tree together with homemade ornaments (including ones my forty-something husband made in kindergarten) and ornaments from places we’ve been.  Many of the ornaments have dates written on them to help us remember.

We’ve hosted Christmas parties for our kids’ classrooms at our home.  It’s a Christmas cookie and caroling (sometimes chaotic) extravaganza!  Everyone brings cookies to share and we provide the hot chocolate.  Before caroling in our neighborhood, we rehearse carols about the real meaning of Christmas such as “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “Joy to the World.”  The first time we did this, I was amazed at how many children didn’t even know the words to these songs!  We share the story of the first Christmas with props and dramatic voices and then stampede down our street, ready to sing the newly learned carols.

Look for ways to create screen free joy for your family by decorating, serving, baking, singing, and sharing the good news of Christmas.  Put away your iPads and phones more often during the Christmas season.  Instead look for ways to involve your kids in celebrating Christmas.  You don’t need Wifi to have a very merry Christmas season.  In fact, your home will probably be a whole lot more peaceful without it!

Day Six Giveaway

For the 12 Days of Christmas series, I am giving away two of my books to help tame your technology, Calm, Cool and Connected: 5 Digital Habits for a More Balanced Life and Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World (co-authored with Dr. Gary Chapman).

10th Annual #12DaysofChristmas Giveaways (2017) at karenehman.com.

Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of several books including 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom and 31 Days to a Happy Husband.  She has been a featured guest on the Today Show, Fox & Friends, and Focus on the Family.  Arlene lives in San Diego with her husband James and their three children.  To learn more, visit ArlenePellicane.com or connect with Arlene on Facebook or Twitter.


12 Days of Christmas Giveaways Rules

  1. You can comment on all 12 days (once per person) up until midnight Pacific time, Sunday, December 17. All posts are linked on Day One here.
  2. U.S. Addresses only please.
  3. One daily winner will be chosen from each day’s comments and all winners (including Grand Prize) will be announced on Wednesday, December 20.
  4. Share the giveaway with your friends and followers using the share buttons below.
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  1. Last week, my focus was on getting gift shopping (nearly) finished, so that this week, my only at-home child and I could work on decorating. Between last night and tomorrow, 2 of my away sons return home for Christmas leave and Christmas vacation/break from college and we can focus on spending time together, getting the tree, baking and loving on each other. Minimal screen time is a dear hope of mine!

  2. My husband and I were just talking about how different things are with tech for kids. Hard to see our parents as examples for this part of parenting

  3. Really like the post! Its interesting that one can embed traditions with our loved ones, but as our children grow, I have learned to add to the tradition through things they show me to love!

  4. Wonderful ideas and I could definitely use both of those books. I’m a grandmother but I enjoy screen time too. Too much, at times!

  5. I need to read these books! And, even more so, I need to control my time on social media. It can really take away from the time you spend living if you let it!

  6. With young grandchildren, I’m also looking for ways to spend quality time with them. This helped me realize ideas don’t have to be complicated to be meaningful. Thank you.

  7. My friends laugh because I STILL have a flip phone but the person I am with is WAY more important than any screen….and should I start to forget that truth – one glance at my phone brings me back to reality! My kids are growing up and seeing that mama doesn’t always have her phone in her hand – she’s busy doing life!

  8. This made me wish my grandchildren could be closer so we could spend time together getting my house ready for Christmas… I am so thankful my adult children set boundaries for the grandkids with their electronic devices all year long.

  9. Day 6 for me: Wow, I live so far away from my grandchildren, but if they did live nearby or if I did have them here for Christmas one year, I would definitely have them help me put up the Christmas tree, as well as decorate it. In fact, I would go all out on decorating the entire house, which we never do. We would be so busy decorating, that they wouldn’t have time for any electronic devices. After we’re done, I would have my hubby start the fireplace, make hot chocolate, and read Jesus’ birth story. I can’t wait for the grandchildren to get older and are allowed to stay with us!!!

  10. I enjoy Christmas eve tradition with my family… new PJ’s (because who doesn’t love fleece) and hot cocoa, popcorn tin in the middle of us all and watching a Christmas movie, this year, I want it to be special for us all. Time. You can’t make that up. And this year, might add making something for Christmas morning to the list…. just spending quality time with them. <3

  11. We love putting up all the decorations and getting the tree as a family. Highlight for sure!!! And treasured memories!!

  12. I am at fault of spending too much time on my phone. But it’s not facebook. I have my reading apps on my phone and so I read on my phone all the time, i used to read books, but these apps save me a lot of money. I also play games and look up recipes and idea on pinterest. I will try to put my phone down more in the evenings and spend some more time engaging my kiddos.

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