In October, I found a cute little fire car on a great sale at Amazon. Amazed, I scooped it up and hid it in my husband's closet.
A month later, I found an adorable police car on sale at Kohl's. One more large gift added to the closet.
Christmas rolled around and I couldn't figure out how to wrap them.
So, we decided to have a treasure hunt for my two-year-old and one-year-old grandson.
We couldn't give clues with words but we could with pictures.
We snapped some photos of their crib, the fireplace, and the garage. We printed them on our printer.
Then we wrapped up the photo of the crib in a little box.
Rusty and Cooper opened the box and headed to the crib where they found another photo taped to the side of the crib.
Are you looking for hope this holiday season?
Are you hoping for a brand-new start?
Do you want your failures and flaws wiped away in one sweep?
I have something important to share with you! You can have hope, a brand-new start, and your failures and flaws wiped away in one sweep.
But, wait. There’s more. You can start life over with a new heart. The old gone; the new come.
“How much does this cost?” you ask.
The answer may surprise you. It’s free! There’s no strings attached. No newsletters to sign up for. No comment to leave. No shipping to pay.
God’s gift of Eternal Life this Christmas season is FREE.
“The wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 3:23).
Those who believe in their heart and confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord will be saved. “If you declare with your mouth that ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified; and it is with your mouth you profess your sin and are saved” (Romans 10:9-10).
Head over to Thrifty Homeschool to enter our Free Giveaway.
The lucky winner will get Celebrate Christmas with Cookies Unit Study from Powerline Productions. This unit study makes learning fun for children who love picture books, Christmas, making cookies, and eating cookies.
Each day, there is a picture book to read aloud together. Then, it's time to learn all kinds of fun things related to the picture book. Finally, it's time to bake cookies or create cookie-mix-in-a-jar gifts. Sometimes you will freeze cookies. At the end of the unit study, you will have a delicious and attractive collection of cookies to give to friends and neighbors as a thoughtful Christmas gift.
Enter to win a digital copy of Celebrate Christmas with Cookies Unit Study by filling out the Rafflecopter form at Thrifty Homeschool. The giveaway ends December 16th at 11:59pm ET. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond. Please read all the Rafflecopter terms & conditions upon entering.
Have a Merry Christmas!
Meredith Curtis and the Powerline Productions Team.
"What kind of cookies are you making?" Shine asked.
"I'll pick up eggnog at Publix on the way home from work," Julianna added, grabbing her purse as she walked out of the kitchen toward the door.
Tonight was our annual Decorating the Christmas Tree Night, a tradition started our first year of marriage.
We start with a special dinner: Chicken and Dumplings, Ambrosia, and Muffins. Afterward, we do our Christmas devotions. Then, we listen to Christmas carols, eat cookies, and drink eggnog while we decorate the tree. There are treasured ornaments we pull out each year to hang on the tree. Some are handmade. Many are decades old; some handed down from grandparents.
Back in 1986, I had my first baby, a little girl named Katie-Beth. I started an ornament collection for her that first Christmas. I made one little stuffed Christmas bear for her and one for our tree. Thus, began our annual ornament tradition.
Each year I make one ornament for the tree and one for each of the children. That way when they take their ornament collection to their new homes, they will have ornaments that are exactly like the ornaments they grew up with.
Sewing, rubber stamping, embossing, cross-stitch, painting, and more crafting methods were used to create keepsake treasures. The ornaments tend to reflect whatever hobby I was into that year.
Mom and I made quilted ornaments one fall when she and Daddy visited. They were so time-consuming to make, but we enjoyed chatting and catching up on all the family news as we worked.
One year, we went and chopped down our own Christmas tree. What fun! We slice off some thin round pieces of wood from the bottom of the tree and engraved the date. Looking at that ornament brings back fond memories of that special day.
When my kids were little, I made them Scripture Memory Books out of magnetic photo albums. I wrote verses on colored card-stock and cut out magazine photos to match each verse.
It had an amazing impact on my life. As I worked on the Scripture books, my mind was saturated with the Word of God in a positive way. Years later, i had my teens create Scripture books as assignments in various Real Men and God's Girls courses where they learned about marriage, homemaking, leadership, and growing in Christ.
Now I am a grandmother and I wantto carry on the tradition so I created Scripture Memory books in Word, took them to the printer, and created nice coil-bound books. The children love them!
I make sure to use lots of photos of the child I am giving the book to in throughout the pages. Children love to see photos of themselves.
Sometimes the thing with frightens you most is exactly the thing you need most. This lesson is taught by Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Set in Prince Edward Island Canada and published in 1908, this 109-year-old book never fails to delight me. I love the characters, the well-described scenes, and the story itself.
Meet Anne Shirley. She is eleven years old, has red hair and freckles, and no living relatives. Old Matthew met her one day when he went to pick up an orphan boy that he and his spinster sister Marilla were going to adopt to help with their farm. A mistaken communication brought old Matthew this enthusiastic, talkative little girl instead of the helpful boy he expected. Anne managed to charm both Matthew and Marilla so quickly that they agreed to keep her and make her part of their little family.
Being orphaned so early in life, Anne never knew family or experienced love. She lived with families who used her as a free babysitter and maid. In those situations, she learned many things about menial cleaning chores and child care but was never treated as a member of family. She was allowed no play time or fun activities so her vivid imagination was needed to provide her with all her friends, hopes, and dreams.
What an imagination this girl had! She could dream up best friends, haunted forests, stories, plays, and all kinds of adventures. The problem with an imagination this active is that following can lead to trouble. If Anne did anything better than imagine, it was get in trouble.
This novel follows Anne’s life in the small town of Avonlea where she lives on a farm with Marilla and Matthew. She lives next door to another eleven-year-old girl who becomes her best friend as soon as they met. It didn’t take Marilla long to realize the voids in Anne’s education, spiritual as well as intellectual. We follow Anne off to the local school where she learns about writing, reading, relationships, and even geometry.
Many characters in this story, especially Marilla talk about God and matters of the spirit. Anne came to Avonlea with only the dimmest idea of what He was about and no idea how to honor Him. Fortunately for Anne’s spirit, the local church found a young new pastor with a godly wife who wanted to mentor her young Sunday school students.
"We give all the children pajamas Christmas Eve so that they can have brand new p.j.s for Christmas morning. And the pictures look so cute!" my friend explained.
I wasn't sure about the pajama thing, but I liked the idea of nice pictures from Christmas morning. What if we all wore Christmas T-shirts or sweatshirts? That was back when my oldest daughters were two and four years old. My mother bought them adorable little bear sweatshirts and they wore them Christmas morning while Mike and I wore our own Christmas sweatshirts.
More than cute photos, I loved the splash of Christmas color they added to Christmas morning. I started collecting Christmas T-shirts and storing them in a suitcase that only came out in December.
It all started with putting a bright red towel under a punch bowl to catch the spills. The lush Christmasy red towel made the punch bowl shimmer shades of red. And the table was protected! Then, of course there was the towel sale at Kohl's.
In my house, I have lots of old furniture--hand-me-downs from grandparents. These beautiful wooden end tables and dressers are easily marked up, so I keep them covered with linens (another hand-me-down from my grandparents). This Christmas, I decided to replace some of these tabletop linens with towels to add a splash of color.
I liked the bright splash of Christmas color underneath my various Christmas decorations. And the great thing? These Christmas decorations can be tossed right into the washer to be fresh and clean again.
Another thing I do with towels at Christmas is to put them under the coffee pot and the tea things in my kitchen. I love the cheery brightness the red towel brings under the tea things.
If you are looking for an easy way to add a splash of color; consider red and green towels. It's a quick, easy, and fun way to decorate.
We have resources to add fun to your Christmas:
FREE Curtis Family Christmas Devotions
Celebrate Christmas with a Traveling Dinner
Celebrate Christmas with Cookies
Celebrate Christmas with Cookies Unit Study
Celebrate Christmas in Colonial America Unit Study
Celebrate Christmas in Germany Unit Study
This is an essay my daughter wrote years ago when she was in high school for her God's Girls 106: Hospitality, Friendship, and Celebrations class. I thought it was awesome and share it with you....
Christmas is a holiday all about....well, about the Christ child who gave it its name, right? While the secular world, in the midst of singing carols that explicitly remind them, may forget the origin of this holiday, as Christians, we believe Christmas is all about Jesus’ birth. Believing this, and in the beauty of the “magic of Christmas,” many Christian parents seek ways to make this Christ-holiday (or holy day) a special time for their children. They want their children to hold beautiful, sparkling memories of Christmas as a little kid, to be able to look back and remember how loved they were and how “magical” and special Mom and Dad made Christmas.
So, as good moms and dads, Christian parents draw from the well of Christmas memories from their childhood and begin to create those same memories with their children. There is something so special about family traditions passed down from one generation to the next. We remember the spicy pine smell of Christmas trees, the plates of Christmas cookies, the excitement of waiting for Santa Claus, and we want our children to share those joys. So, we bring home a Christmas tree, we bake cookies for hours in the kitchen, and we carefully foster our children’s faith in Santa Claus.
However, as we nurture beautiful memories for our children, we come across a question in Christian circles: Is it wrong to teach children about Santa Claus?