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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!

The kids and I have been busy (in a good way) preparing for Advent. Over the past weekend we put up our tree, hung the lights, and have jumped into the joy of the season. It's on my heart to share with you some of what we're doing  here at the Shoebox to make Christ the center of our Christmas season. It is my prayer that you will enjoy some of my ideas, and be inspired to celebrate Christmas in a whole new way with your family this year. May the peace of Christ fill every nook and cranny of your home and hearts this season!

I will be posting throughout the month, so stay tuned!

Our themes for the Advent season are Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. My prayer for my children(and myself and my husband) is that we would not be distracted by anything this year that would steal the hope, peace, love, and joy that God has planned for us. I've made a few personal decisions to make an effort to eliminate distractions for myself in the hopes that it will trickle down to everyone in my home. What can you do to limit distractions for yourself and your family? Ask God what you should do. He'll tell you!

Week 1-Hope:
God's promises never fail! So many of the prophecies and promises God made hundreds of years ago have been made true in Christ. We can put our hope in Him. He never lets us down.

December 1

Bible Reading:
Isaiah 11:1
"A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse: from his roots a Branch will bear fruit."

We will make the first ornament of our Jesse Tree with this verse and discuss God's hand in our lives, His almighty providence, and his perfect plan to give us a Savior from the first day of creation.

If you're not familiar with The Jesse Tree, go HERE or just Google it! It's an awesome tool in teaching the Bible to your kids at Christmas time. It teaches God's hand in the perfect plan for Christ from Genesis to Jesus with a short Bible reading for each day, and an ornament to add to your tree. You can make the ornaments, or simply print and color them. Keep it simple! We did. Remember, it's not about the elaborate decorations, it's about the time you spend in God's Word with your kids.

I also made this Advent calendar. Tucked inside of each day is a special verse that goes along with our 4 themes: Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. Each day as we count down to Christmas morning, they will find a verse inside. The calendar was made from paper towel holders cut into 2 inch segments, and then decorated with tags, paint, or whatever else your heart desires. You can see the before pic here to give you an idea.

Great idea:
The book of Luke has 24 chapters. Perfect for the month! I encourage you to read one chapter each day with your kids. I am reading the NIV myself as part of my morning quiet time, and then breaking it down with the young readers Bible I have to make it easier to share with the kids. Instead of waiting until Christmas morning to talk about the story of Christ's birth, tell them now. Then during the month they can get to know the Savior through the wonderful book of Luke in God's Word.

Special activity: Make a blessing box with your kids. Place an empty box under your tree, and fill it throughout the month with items for a family in need. Add to it each day. When your out and about pick up something for your blessing box. It's a great way to involve the kids in the gift of giving, and it helps keep the focus off of getting when your shopping.

Here's a pic of our box. We wrapped it in white craft paper, and plan on decorating it. It looks like we'll need to get another box soon. So far the boys have filled it with canned goods, and non perishable foods. They have drawn some pictures and packed up some ornaments too.

Most importantly, ask God to direct you to a family that needs it! Deliver the week of Christmas, and bless someone that needs to see God's love!

Tip for the day:
If you can, get your shopping done. It helps to get it over with so you can relax. If you're not able to right now, that's ok. I'm not quite done yet, but I plan on trying to get everything done this week.

Also, don't feel the pressure to buy something for someone just because they got something for you. This is always a last minute shopping trap! Someone gave you that gift to bless you, not stress you out. Remember throughout the new year, and return the blessing when God places it on your heart.

Shop online! Avoid crowds and stress by completing your from home.



At December 2, 2010 at 9:19 AM , Blogger Diane said...

Love all of your ideas especially the blessing box. I may have to start one of those here.
Hope you have a blessed day! :)

At December 2, 2010 at 4:14 PM , Blogger Our Homeschool Fun said...

This is a wonderful post. I really like your advent tree and blessing box.

I love his hangman phrase:-).

I'll be looking to see what else you do throughout this month!

At December 2, 2010 at 11:57 PM , Blogger R.M.Gilbert said...

Oh, I love the idea of a blessing box. Great post Adrienne!!

At December 4, 2010 at 10:58 PM , Blogger Janet Rose said...

Great ideas, Adrienne! Thanks for stopping by my blog and posting your comment!
I need to check out the Jesse Tree. I've read about it on several blogs.


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