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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Advent Devotions & Jesse Tree

There are some wonderful ideas all over the blogosphere for Jesse Trees.
Here's what we're doing this year.

I printed the free templates from Tired, Need Sleep (you can find them here). Then, I colored the pictures and mounted the devotions onto cardstock and laminated them. The tree is made out of scrapbooking paper and has magnets on the back so it can stick to my refrigerator. The picture circles also have magnets on the back of them. Each day, as we do the devotions, we add a magnet to our tree.

I also printed extra copies of the advent devotions and pictures and made simple coloring books with construction paper for my boys. They color the picture while we read the Bible story. 

Do you have a Jesse Tree? I would love to see how your family celebrates advent.

A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to Nicole @ Tired, Need Sleep for sharing these printables! Be sure to check out her blog.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Books

A few years ago, our family started this tradition that I heard about from the Family Fun magazine. It has truly become a beloved tradition in our home. Each December, I wrap up 25 children's Christmas books and the kids take turns picking one book each night for their bedtime story. If you don't have enough Christmas books, pick some up at the library. There are so many great Christmas books for children, this is a great way to read some of them during the Christmas season.
 Here's our list for this year (a star indicates a family favorite):

*The Little Drummer Mouse - Mercer Mayer
Arthur's Christmas - Marc Brown
*Dream Snow - Eric Carle
There was no snow on Christmas Eve - Pam Munoz Ryan
The Steadfast Tin Soldier - Hans Christian Andersen Retold by Tor Seidler
Angelina's Christmas - Katharine Holabird
Wake Up Bear..... It's Christmas! - Stephen Gammell
Chita's Christmas Tree - Elizabeth Fitzgerald howard
The Christmas Train - Ivan Gantschev
Joy to the World! The Story of Christmas Retold by dina Anastasio
Stop! It's Christmas - Mary Manz Simon
*Father and Son - Geraldine Mccaughrean and Fabian Negrin
*The Grinch Who Stole Christmas - Dr. Seuss
The Nutcracker Retold by Stephanie Spinner
One Snowy Night - M. Christina Butler
*The Best Christmas Pageant Ever - Barbara Robinson
The Legend of St. Nicholas - Dandi Daley Mackall
When Christmas Came - Eileen Spinelli
Room for a Little One - Marin Waddell
The Crippled Lamb - Max Lucado
The Very First Christmas - Paul L. Maier
Lily, The Lost and Found Lamb - Lydia Salazar Martinez
The Silver Christmas Tree - Pat Hutchins
The Christmas Star - Marcus Pfister

Christmas Countdown & Activity List

Have you seen this adorable idea for a Christmas countdown over at Just Something I Made? SO cute! And she is even kind enough to share the printable labels.
Here's my version:

How perfect is this spool holder? My mom picked it up at a second hand store for me. Isn't she sweet?

Here's the list of Christmas activities I included on our countdown:
1- Make a Christmas craft
2- Decorate living room window with nativity window stickers
3- Prepare and mail a Christmas care package for soldiers
4- Get hot cocoa and go to a living nativity at a local church
5- Go to hometown family Christmas Celebrations
6- Watch a Christmas movie
7- Make a Christmas craft
8- Surprise other families with anonymous gifts on their doorsteps
9- Make a Christmas craft
10- Family Game Night!
11- Learn about Hanukkah & go to Hanukkah celebration with homeschool group
12- Make a gingerbread house
13- Decorate gift wrap & wrap gifts for siblings
14- Sing Christmas Carols
15- Bake bread & deliver it to the neighbors
16- Have a picnic dinner in front of the Christmas tree
17- Make Christmas gifts for grandparents
18- Make homemade Christmas cards
19- Bake cookies and deliver them to families from church
20- Drive around and look at Christmas lights
21- Take homemade Christmas cards to a nursing home
22- Make a Christmas craft
23- Go to grandparents house for Christmas celebrations
24- Watch a Christmas movie
25- Celebrate Jesus’ birthday with family

I hope that you're all able to take some time to make special family memories this holiday season!